Trump Appeals Ruling Allowing Fani Willis on Georgia Election Case

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The legal team for former President Donald Trump and eight of his co-defendants in the Georgia election subversion investigation asked an appeals court on Friday to review a ruling that allowed Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to remain on the case. 

The appeal is the latest in the legal saga surrounding Trump’s attempt to subvert the results of the 2020 presidential election in the Peach State, where he was indicted with 13 charges by a grand jury, including violating the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. 

In January of this year, Michael Roman, a former top Trump campaign official who is one of the co-defendants in the Georgia indictment, filed a motion to disqualify Willis alleging that her romantic affair with Nathan Wade, the special prosecutor she appointed to the case, created a conflict-of-interest. 

A Fulton County Superior Court judge ruled on March 15 that Willis could remain on the case, so long as Wade stepped down. He subsequently resigned from his position “in the interest of democracy, in dedication to the American public, and to move this case forward as quickly as possible,” according to his resignation letter. But the judge also said that Trump and his co-defendants could appeal his decision to allow Willis on the case. 

In a 40-page filing on Friday, Trump’s lawyers wrote that “providing DA Willis with the option to simply remove Wade confounds logic and is contrary to Georgia law.” The filing adds that disqualifying Willis is “the minimum that must be done to remove the stain of her legally improper and plainly unethical conduct from the remainder of the case.”

On Feb. 15, during a hearing over the allegations of misconduct raised by Trump’s legal team, Willis fervently defended herself on the witness stand. “You’ve been intrusive into people’s personal lives,” Willis said. “You’re confused. You think I’m on trial. These people are on trial for trying to steal an election in 2020. I’m not on trial. No matter how hard you try to put me on trial.”

The Georgia Court of Appeals has 45 days to decide whether or not to take up Trump’s request for an appeal. In the meantime, Trump’s criminal case in Georgia is ongoing; the superior court judge hearing the case held a hearing on March 28, the day before Trump’s team filed the appeal. 

Read the appeal application here.

Learn more about the case here.