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Trump Informs Georgia Appeals Court Of Intent to Challenge Fani Willis Ruling

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


Former President Donald Trump’s legal team has informed the Fulton County Superior Court that he will formally appeal the court’s previous ruling allowing District Attorney Fani Willis to remain on her RICO case she filed against him and 18 others alleging interference in the 2020 election.

The issue with Willis began in early January when former White House staff member Michael Roman filed a motion seeking to disqualify DA Willis from prosecuting the case against Trump and his co-defendants. The motion alleged that Willis had an “improper” relationship with then-Special Prosecutor Nathan Wade and claimed that she financially benefited from both the investigation and the relationship.

On March 15, Judge Scott McAfee ruled that Trump and his co-defendants “failed to meet their burden” of proving that the romantic relationship between Willis and Wade constituted a “conflict of interest” or that Willis benefited from it. However, McAfee acknowledged a “significant appearance of impropriety” and decided that either Willis or Wade would need to step aside for the case to proceed in Fulton County. A few hours later, Wade resigned.

On March 18, Trump and several of his co-defendants sought permission from Judge McAfee to appeal his decision, and on March 20, McAfee granted their request. On March 29, attorneys for Trump and his co-defendants filed an application for an interlocutory appeal, arguing that Wade’s departure did not resolve the appearance of impropriety and had “cast a pall over these entire proceedings.”

On May 8, the Georgia Court of Appeals agreed to hear the appeal, giving Trump and his 14 co-defendants 10 days to file a notice of appeal, thus transferring the case from Fulton County Superior Court to the Court of Appeals, Fox 5 reported.

Meanwhile, a recent ruling allows attorneys representing one of the co-defendants in the Georgia case to contend that Willis exceeded her jurisdiction when she filed election-related racketeering charges against him.

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Harrison Lloyd, a former leader of the Black Voices for Trump coalition, was granted a certificate of immediate review by District Judge Scott McAfee earlier this month. This allows Lloyd to request a review by the Georgia Court of Appeals. The McAfee decision is unexpected because it goes against earlier decisions invalidating procedural motions to prevent Willis from pursuing specific crimes.

McAfee wrote that he was willing to entertain Lloyd’s argument that Willis’ “election-related” investigation was beyond her jurisdiction.

He has previously argued that she “did not have authority to investigation or presentment authority to bring election-related charges against the Defendant absent a referral from the State Election Board,” according to filings.

“It is undisputed that no referral was sought nor granted,” Floyd’s latest motion reads. “Despite this Court’s explanation of ‘harmony’ amongst these statutes, to hold that the District Attorney holds concurrent jurisdiction with the SEB, and that a referral from the SEB to the District Attorney is not necessary in election-related cases, renders O.C.G.A. § 21-2-35 absolutely meaningless and superfluous.”

Willis is currently dealing with yet another legal issue—this time, a lawsuit brought by a state legislator in Georgia.

In her suit, Rep. Mesha Mainor, a Republican elected to the Georgia House in 2020, “alleges that Willis, Commissioner Marvin Arrington, the Fulton County Ethics Board, and the county itself were derelict in their duties to properly litigate a criminal case in which Mainor was repeatedly stalked by a former friend and political associate,” Newsweek reported.

Mainor, who secured a substantial victory in the 2020 election from the constituents of House District 56 in the Democratic stronghold of Atlanta, grabbed headlines last July by switching parties and formally affiliating herself with the Republican Party.

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Mainor’s lawsuit, which was filed on April 2 in Fulton County Superior Court, alleges that she enlisted Corwin Monson as a campaign volunteer in January 2019.

He “assured” Mainor he could help her get elected, though one month later, she was “forced to terminate” him after she witnessed “his unruly, belligerent behavior,” the suit said, according to Newsweek, which resulted in him stalking her and eventually violating a protective order granted her by a court.

The lawsuit alleges that Arrington, who defended Monson in a legal capacity, “used his influence to circumvent the office policies of the District Attorney’s office,” which allegedly included copying the DA on emails, negotiating plea bargains directly, and demanding meetings. That led to Willis eventually dismissing one of Monson’s aggravated stalking charges, while she offered a plea deal of 1 year in prison and two years probation for the remaining charge.

In her suit, Mainor said she was never informed of the deal by Willis, which she says is a violation of the Georgia Victims Bill of Rights.

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