Appeals Court Halts Georgia Election Interference Case Against Trump and Others

Jimmy Williams

The Georgia Court of Appeals has temporarily halted the election interference case against former President Donald Trump and several others.

This pause allows the court to review a lower court judge’s decision to keep Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis on the case.

On Wednesday, the appeals court issued an order preventing Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee from proceeding with pretrial motions while the appeal is pending. This delay makes it even more unlikely that the case will go to trial before the November general election, in which Trump is expected to be the Republican nominee for president.

The appeals court docketed the appeals from Trump and eight other defendants on Monday. It tentatively scheduled oral arguments for October 4, if requested and granted. The court has until mid-March to issue its ruling. The losing side can then appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court.

A spokesperson for DA Willis declined to comment on the appeals court’s decision.

In August, a Fulton County grand jury indicted Trump and 18 others, accusing them of trying to illegally overturn the 2020 presidential election results in Georgia. Four defendants have reached plea deals with prosecutors, while Trump and the others have pleaded not guilty. This case is one of four criminal cases against Trump.

Trump and eight co-defendants had sought to remove Willis and her office from the case, citing a romantic relationship between Willis and special prosecutor Nathan Wade as a conflict of interest. In March, Judge McAfee ruled that no conflict of interest warranted removing Willis but allowed Trump and the others to appeal his decision to the state Court of Appeals.

Judge McAfee wrote that “an odor of mendacity remains,” adding that “reasonable questions” about whether Willis and Wade testified truthfully about the timing of their relationship “further underpin the finding of an appearance of impropriety and the need to make proportional efforts to cure it.” He allowed Willis to stay on the case only if Wade resigned, which he did hours later.

The allegations regarding Willis’s relationship with Wade led to a tumultuous period for the case, with intimate details of their personal lives being discussed in court in mid-February.

This development adds another layer of complexity to the already high-profile case, delaying its progress and increasing the uncertainty surrounding its resolution.

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