On Wednesday, March 20, 2024, the Daily Beast reported that a judge in Fulton County, Georgia had permitted former President Donald Trump and his co-defendants to appeal a previous ruling related to the district attorney’s involvement in their election interference case.

Fulton County Judge Scott McAfee issued a certificate of immediate review, allowing Trump and his co-defendants to challenge his decision that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis could remain on the case. In February, Judge McAfee found that while Willis’ relationship with former special prosecutor Nathan Wade created an “appearance of impropriety,” removing her was not justified as long as Wade stepped aside, which he did.

The defendants argued that appellate courts should weigh in on key issues regarding conflicts of interest and the district attorney’s authority. While permitting the appeal, Judge McAfee said the criminal proceedings would continue during the appellate review process. No trial date has been set. Steve Sadow, an attorney for Trump, expressed optimism the appeals process could lead to the dismissal of charges and Willis being removed.

The appeal centers around Judge McAfee’s February conclusion there was no “actual conflict of interest,” even though he acknowledged Willis and Wade’s relationship showed a “tremendous lapse in judgment.” He criticized their testimony downplaying the romance and financial dealings but said Georgia law did not allow removing Willis solely due to “bad choices.” Defendants countered, stating that the relationship created an appearance of “impropriety and an ‘odor of mendacity.’”

Source: Thedailybeast