Judge Allows Trump And Co-Defendants To Appeal Fani Willis Ruling

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Judge Scott McAfee ruled Wednesday that former President Donald Trump and eight other co-defendants can seek review of his decision not to disqualify Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.

McAfee granted the certificate of immediate review sought by defendants, finding it “of such importance to the case that immediate review should be had.” The decision means defendants can appeal McAfee’s decision, which allowed Willis to stay on the case against Trump after special prosecutor Nathan Wade stepped down, despite finding an “appearance of impropriety” in their actions.

“The challenged order is not one of final judgment, and the State has informed the Court that it has complied with the order’s demands,” McAfee wrote. “Thus, unless directed otherwise by an appellate court, supersedeas shall only apply to the order being appealed.” (RELATED: Judge Says Fani Willis Must Ditch Nathan Wade Or Step Aside From Trump Case)

“The Court intends to continue addressing the many other unrelated pending pretrial motions, regardless of whether the petition is granted within 45 days of filing, and even if any subsequent appeal is expedited by the appellate court,” he continued.

Trump co-defendant Michael Roman filed the initial motion to disqualify Willis in January, alleging she financially benefited from appointing Wade, her romantic partner, when he took her vacations.

McAfee wrote in his ruling last week that there were “reasonable questions” about “whether the District Attorney and her hand-selected lead SADA testified untruthfully about the timing of their relationship.”

Wade and Willis maintained in their testimony that the relationship did not begin until after he was hired, though a long-time friend of Willis contradicted this, stating it began in 2019. They maintained Willis repaid Wade for vacation expenses in cash.

Wade’s former law partner Terrence Bradley also told Ashleigh Merchant, Roman’s attorney, that the relationship began before Wade was hired, according to text messages.

Steve Sadow, Trump’s lead defense counsel, said in a statement that McAfee’s decision to grant the certificate of immediate review was “highly significant.”

“It means the defense is permitted to apply to the Georgia Court of Appeals for pretrial review of the Judge’s order refusing to dismiss the case or disqualify Fulton County DA Willis,” Sadow said. “The defense is optimistic that appellate review will lead to the case being dismissed and the DA being disqualified.”

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