Trump appeals Georgia court order that keeps Fani Willis on the case: ‘Should have been disqualified’

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Former President Trump and eight co-defendants have appealed a court order that kept embattled Atlanta prosecutor Fani Willis on a sweeping election interference case, arguing she “should have been disqualified” for having an “improper” affair with a subordinate whom she hired. 

In a petition to the Georgia Court of Appeals, Trump and co-defendants argued a court order demanding Willis to remove special prosecutor Nathan Wade or withdraw from the case didn’t go far enough and that she should have been disqualified. 

Shortly after Judge Scott McAfee issued his ultimatum earlier this month, Wade resigned from his post, leaving Willis to continue leading the case. 

“Defendants argued in the trial court that the indictment should have been dismissed and, at a minimum, DA Willis and her office should have been disqualified from prosecuting the case,” Steve Sadow, counsel for Trump, said in a statement Friday. 

GEORGIA ELECTION CHARGES SHOULD BE TOSSED, ACTS ARE PROTECTED BY 1ST AMENDMENT: TRUMP ATTORNEY

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis during a hearing in the case of the State of Georgia v. Donald John Trump at the Fulton County Courthouse March 1, 2024, in Atlanta. (Alex Slitz-Pool/Getty Images)

“While the trial court factually found DA Willis’s out-of-court statements were improper and Defendants proved an apparent conflict of interest, the trial court erred as a matter of law by not requiring dismissal and DA Willis’ disqualification. This legal error requires the Court’s immediate review,” the document states. 

Trump and his co-defendants accused Willis of having an “improper” affair with Wade prior to his hiring in 2021 and that she financially benefited from his position as special counsel. Willis and Wade denied both claims. 

The defendants also accused Willis of making improper and derogatory public statements about them and the case. 

JUDGE RULES FANI WILLIS MUST STEP ASIDE FROM TRUMP CASE OR FIRE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR NATHAN WADE

Trump Mar-a-Lago

Former President Trump, a Republican presidential candidate, arrives for an election night watch party at Mar-a-Lago March 5, 2024, in West Palm Beach, Fla. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

In his decision, McAfee said that “[w]ithout sufficient evidence that the District Attorney acquired a personal stake in the prosecution, or that her financial arrangements had any impact on the case, the Defendants’ claims of an actual conflict must be denied.”

But he went on to say that his finding is “by no means an indication that the Court condones this tremendous lapse in judgment or the unprofessional manner of the District Attorney’s testimony during the evidentiary hearing.

“Rather, it is the undersigned’s opinion that Georgia law does not permit the finding of an actual conflict for simply making bad choices – even repeatedly – and it is the trial court’s duty to confine itself to the relevant issues and applicable law properly brought before it.” 

TRUMP GEORGIA CASE: FIVE KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM JUDGE’S ORDER GIVING DA FANI WILLIS AN ULTIMATUM

Nathan Wade

Former Fulton County special prosecutor Nathan Wade testifies during a hearing in the case of the State of Georgia v. Donald John Trump at the Fulton County Courthouse Feb. 15, 2024, in Atlanta. (Alyssa Pointer)

“[T]he public’s faith in the integrity of the judicial system, especially the criminal justice system, is critical to its functioning,” the appeal states. “Courts have an obligation to ensure that legal proceedings appear fair to all who observe them.

“[O]ur system of law has always endeavored to prevent even the probability of unfairness. …[T]o perform its high function in the best way ‘justice must satisfy the appearance of justice.’ 

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“When the public perception of the integrity of the criminal justice system is at stake, no prejudice to defendants needs to be shown.

“Nowhere are these interests more important or on display than in a high-profile case like this one that has captured the attention of the Nation,” it adds. “Crucial to the public’s confidence is that prosecutors remain and appear to be disinterested and impartial.”

Fox News Digital reached out to Willis’ office for comment.



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