Georgia Appeals Court Sets Arguments in Donald Trump’s Bid to Boot DA Fani Willis from Case

The Georgia Court of Appeals has docketed oral arguments in former President Donald Trump’s effort to disqualify Fulton County DA Fani Willis from the continuing election interference case against him — indicating the case won’t be tried before the November 5 election.

The tentative date for the arguments was set for October 4, according to a report by Axios. The docketing was reported first by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Monday.

Axios described the timetable as a victory for former President Donald Trump, who has pressed for delays in four separate criminal indictments until after the November election when he will again face off with Democrat President Joe Biden for the White House.

Trump is attempting to remove Willis from the case because she traveled with her romantic partner, the prosecutor she hired to help manage the Trump case, Nathan Wade. 

Scott McAfee, Fulton County Superior Judge, rebuked Willis in March for a “tremendous lapse in judgment” but ruled she would remain on the case if Wade withdrew — all on the same day.

However, Trump has continued to argue that Willis had a conflict of interest when paying Wade six figures and continuing to benefit from related travel.

Willis has continually blasted allegations of conflict as being motivated politically.

Trenton Brown, Benjamin Land, and Todd Markle were the three judges who considered whether Willis should remain in the Trump case.

The court wrote that the case “will likely be the court’s most high-profile appeal in its history,” reported the outlet.

Notices were sent to defense counsel about the oral arguments on October 4

Notices were sent to defense counsel about the tentative docketing of stated oral arguments set to be heard on October 4.

On May 28, Judge Scott McAfee decided to give co-defendant Harrison Floyd’s team more time to craft his argument about the accuracy of the 2020 election results and more time to arrange for legal experts to testify. Floyd was a senior staffer on Trump’s campaign and among 19 who were indicted in Fulton County last year.

McAfee will be deciding whether Fulton County must comply with Floyd’s request for a recount of the 528,777 ballots that were in the county.

Trump, as well as 18 others, were accused of attempting to overturn Trump’s 2020 Georgia election loss, which Joe Biden won by less than 12,000 votes.

In hearings earlier in the spring, defense attorneys tried to bring forward evidence and witnesses that support their allegations against Willis, in particular, that she benefitted financially from the relationship, that it started before she hired him in late 2021, and that both of the prosecutors lied about when they began dating under oath.

Wade and Willis acknowledged the relationship but said they didn’t start dating until the spring of 2022, following Wade’s hiring in November 2021, and that their relationship ended last summer. Additionally, they testified they split travel costs evenly, with DA Willis often paying reimbursements or expenses in cash.