Trump’s Georgia Election Case Can Advance if DA Fani Willis or Prosecutor Nathan Wade Step Aside

Trump Georgia election case can proceed if DA Fani Willis or prosecutor Nathan Wade removes themselves

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee delivered a ruling on Friday, allowing the Georgia election interference case against former President Donald Trump and his co-defendants to proceed under certain conditions. The case can move forward if either Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis or prosecutor Nathan Wade recuses themselves from the proceedings, Judge McAfee stated.

This decision comes in the wake of a significant revelation that Willis and Wade had been romantically involved for over a year while the case was under investigation and prosecution. There were conflicting accounts regarding the timeline of their relationship’s commencement.

The ruling, which was eagerly awaited, arrives more than two months after one of Trump’s co-defendants initially sought to disqualify Willis from prosecuting the former president. The charges against Trump allege his attempts to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory in Georgia’s 2020 election.

Several other defendants, including Trump himself, joined the motion to dismiss the indictment and remove Willis due to conflict-of-interest concerns. Wade was also targeted for disqualification.

Fani Willis
Fani Willis (Credits: Los Angeles Times)

Responding to the ruling, Trump’s attorney, Steve Sadow, stated on Friday, “While respecting the Court’s decision, we believe that the Court did not afford appropriate significance to the prosecutorial misconduct of Willis and Wade.” Sadow added that they would explore all available legal options to end the case, asserting that it should never have been initiated.

One potential avenue for the defense is to file a certificate of review, according to Pete Skandalakis, head of the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia. Skandalakis explained that this certificate could serve as a basis for appealing the decision.

Willis and Wade acknowledged their relationship only after it was brought up in January court filings by defendant Michael Roman. These filings alleged that the district attorney and prosecutor were involved in an “improper, clandestine personal relationship” and benefited from it at taxpayers’ expense.

However, both Willis and Wade denied any personal or financial conflict arising from their relationship. Willis dismissed related claims as “fantastical theories and rank speculation.”

During their testimonies, both Willis and Wade asserted that their relationship did not become romantic until after Wade joined the election interference case in November 2021.

Willis initially filed a 98-page, 41-count indictment against Trump, including 13 criminal charges. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, entered a plea of not guilty to these charges. Several of Trump’s co-defendants have already reached plea agreements in the case.

In a separate development, McAfee dismissed six counts from Willis’ case on Wednesday, including three against Trump. McAfee ruled that the basis for these charges was inadequately explained. The dismissed counts had accused Trump and five other defendants of solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer.