Trump Files New Appeal Against Decision Not to Disqualify DA Fani Willis

BREAKING NEWS: Trump Files New Appeal Against Decision Not to Disqualify DA Fani Willis

Former President Donald Trump has filed an appeal challenging the ruling that upheld Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ eligibility in the Georgia Court of Appeals on June 24. The district attorney has 20 days to file a response.

“The trial court failed to accurately apply the forensic misconduct standard and thereby abused its discretion,” reads the 64-page appeal brief made public by the former president’s attorney, Steve Sadow, who argues that the trial court erred in several ways. Eight co-defendants joined the appeal.

Last August, former President Trump and 18 others were indicted under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act in a 41-count case for their efforts to contest the 2020 election results. Since then, four individuals have accepted plea deals.

In January, Michael Roman, a former GOP strategist and codefendant, filed a motion seeking to remove Ms. Willis from the case. He cited her affair with the outside attorney hired to handle the case and accused her of financial improprieties.

Additional defendants also joined the motion, claiming Ms. Willis made prejudicial statements that they argue constitute prosecutorial misconduct.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee decided that although there seemed to be a conflict of interest, there was no actual conflict.

To address the situation, the judge ruled that Ms. Willis did not need to be disqualified as long as special prosecutor Nathan Wade stepped down from the case. Mr. Wade resigned on the same day as part of the resolution.

The judge also criticized Ms. Willis’s conduct and extrajudicial statements, but stopped short of requiring her removal.

Mr. Roman has also appealed, arguing the trial court erred in the question of conflict of interest versus an appearance of impropriety.

Codefendant David Shafer, former chair of the Georgia GOP, contested the trial court’s decision regarding the criteria for forensic misconduct and the perception of wrongdoing, as well as the suitable measures to address them.

Codefendant Robert Cheeley, a former Trump campaign attorney, argued the trial court erred in failing to determine a conflict of interest and disqualifying the district attorney as a remedy to its determination of appearance of impropriety.

Codefendants Mark Meadows, Cathy Latham, Rudy Giuliani, Jeffrey Clark, and Harrison Floyd made similar arguments, and the defendants have adopted each others’ arguments in their appeals briefs.

Former President Trump’s appeal centers on a speech given by Ms. Willis in January, during which she implied that the defendants’ efforts to disqualify her were racially motivated.

Former President Trump’s appeal contends that Judge McAfee’s determinations, which criticized Ms. Willis for a “legally improper” speech and cited a significant appearance of impropriety, should have led to her disqualification rather than the remedy ordered.

The appeal focuses on allegations that Ms. Willis used her position as district attorney to unfairly prejudice public perception against the defendants, including implying racial motivations in their efforts against her.

This, according to Trump’s attorneys, violates the defendants’ due process rights and undermines the impartiality required of prosecutors.

Furthermore, the defense argues that the involvement of special prosecutor Nathan Wade, deemed improper by the trial court, taints the entire indictment process.

They contend that Ms. Willis’s conduct, as evidenced by her statements and actions, undermines the appearance of justice and justifies the dismissal of the indictment.

These arguments hinge on ensuring fairness and upholding the integrity of legal proceedings against allegations of prosecutorial misconduct and bias.