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Court: Trump, GOP Co-Defendants Can Appeal Judge’s Retention Of Fani Willis

Fani Willis and Nathan Wade at a press conference
Image CreditCBS News/YouTube

In a surprising move, Judge Scott McAfee ruled Wednesday that Donald Trump and eight Republican co-defendants may appeal McAfee’s decision to allow Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to oversee her get-Trump prosecution despite potential conflicts of interest.

“The challenged order is not one of final judgment, and the State has informed the Court that it has complied with the order’s demands,” McAfee wrote. “Thus, unless directed otherwise by an appellate court, supersedeas shall only apply to the order being appealed.”

On Friday, McAfee had ruled that Willis could continue prosecuting the former president and other Republican co-defendants, as long as special prosecutor Nathan Wade withdrew from the case. The decision came despite McAfee finding Willis and Wade’s romantic relationship in which Willis paid Wade taxpayer dollars as part of the prosecution gives an “appearance of impropriety.”

Wade resigned from the case Friday afternoon.

In his certificate of immediate review, McAfee ruled Wednesday that defendants’ motions to dismiss and disqualify Willis “is of such importance to the case that immediate review should be had[.]” He also noted he will continue to oversee “many other unrelated pending pretrial motions” relevant to the case, “regardless of whether the petition is granted Fulton County Superior Court within 45 days of filing, and even if any subsequent appeal is expedited by the appellate court.”

pretrial motion seeking to disqualify Willis from the case was filed on Jan. 8 by co-defendant Michael Roman, one of 19 Republicans Willis’s office indicted in August for challenging Georgia’s 2020 election results. The motion sought to have the charges against Roman dismissed on several grounds, one of which alleged that Willis was involved in a romantic relationship with Wade, whom Willis appointed to assist with the prosecution.

As summarized by The Daily Caller, the filing claimed Willis “benefited from appointing Wade when he took her on vacations using funds earned from his ‘lucrative’ contract” and sought to have Willis disqualified from overseeing his case.

[RELATED: It’s Time For Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp And His AG To Indict Fani Willis For Perjury]

During court testimony last month, Willis and Wade claimed their romantic relationship did not begin until spring 2022 — months after Wade was appointed special prosecutor on Nov. 1, 2021 — and lasted until summer 2023. Cellphone data included in a February court filing, however, appears to contradict those claims about when the relationship started. As The Federalist previously reported, “the cellphone information shows Wade twice arriving at Willis’ condo late in the evening and departing ‘early the next morning in the months before [the former lovers] said their relationship became romantic.'”

The data appears to corroborate testimony from Robin Bryant-Yeartie. A former friend of Willis who also worked in the Fulton County attorney’s office, Yeartie claimed there was “no doubt” Willis and Wade’s romantic relationship began earlier than the two maintained, and that she witnessed them “hugging” and “kissing” as early as 2019.

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