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More Trump Co-Defendants File To Have DA Willis Removed From Elections Case

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Embattled Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is facing a new battle to remain on the RICO case she filed against former President Donald Trump and 18 other co-defendants stemming from the aftermath of the 2020 election in Georgia.

Joining Trump, key co-defendants Mark Meadows, Trump’s former chief of staff; Rudy Giuliani, his former personal attorney; and Cathy Latham and Michael Roman have filed appeals in the case with the Georgia Court of Appeals. Their actions challenge a controversial ruling by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee over a month ago, which permitted Willis to continue overseeing the case even after the resignation of former special prosecutor Nathan Wade.

Everyone is arguing that Willis’ relationship with Wade and other actions she took about the case’s prosecution compromise her.

Former DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James told Atlanta-based WSB-TV’s Richard Elliot that he believes the appeals court should review the case due to the lack of legal precedent surrounding it.

“It’s uncharted territory,” James said, adding that the review is likely to take months, meaning there won’t be any trials before the November election.

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“I don’t see how that’s possible. Now, strange things have happened, right? But I just don’t see how that’s possible,” James said.

Four individuals—bail bondsman Scott Hall and attorneys Sidney Powell, Kenneth Chesebro, and Jenna Ellis—have pleaded guilty to charges. The remaining defendants, including Trump, have denied any wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty.

Last month, the appeals court agreed to hear Trump’s case and gave him 10 days to file.

Steve Sadow, a lawyer for Trump, stated that Trump “looks forward” to presenting arguments to the appeals court that the case should be dismissed and that Willis should be disqualified due to “her misconduct in this unjustified, unwarranted political persecution.”

NBC News added:

McAfee ultimately found the “appearance of impropriety” created by their personal relationship should result in either Willis’ or Wade’s leaving the case. Hours later, Willis’ office confirmed that Wade had resigned and that she had accepted his resignation. 

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Days later, McAfee granted a certificate of immediate review, giving Trump and eight of his co-defendants permission to appeal his decision to keep Willis on the case. That gave the court of appeals 45 days to decide whether to hear an appeal. Lawyers for Trump and the other defendants then asked the appeals court to allow them to challenge the ruling.

Dubbed “The Fulton 19,” the group of Trump co-defendants argue her many conflicts should disqualify her from the case, potentially leading to their exoneration, The Federalist reported.

Harrison Floyd, a former Trump campaign employee and one of the 19 defendants, has posed a jurisdictional challenge at the center of the controversy. Floyd’s attorney contends that the state election board holds primary jurisdiction over election-related violations, not Willis’s office.

They argue that Willis overstepped her authority by pursuing the indictments, potentially resulting in fragmented or duplicate prosecutions.

According to Floyd’s attorney, Chris Kachouroff, a ruling in Floyd’s favor by either the Georgia Court of Appeals or the Georgia Supreme Court would signify that Fani Willis indicted the defendants without proper jurisdiction. Such a decision would not only result in Willis’s entire case collapsing “like a house of cards,” but it would also remove her legal immunity.

This could potentially subject Willis and Fulton County to multimillion-dollar civil rights lawsuits from the defendants, as noted by The Federalist.

Meanwhile, according to Fox News, Missouri Attorney General Bailey, a Republican, stated that his office would file a Freedom of Information Act request with the DOJ that seeks to uncover “activity and/or communications between Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, New York Attorney General Letitia James, Special Prosecutor Jack Smith or Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis related to the investigation or prosecution.”

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