Thursday, July 25, 2024

Effort To Disqualify Fani Willis Fails, But Wade Has To Go

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Judge McAfee ruled that the Trump defendants didn’t meet the legal burden to disqualify Fani Willis, but due to appearances of impropriety, either Willis, or  Nathan Wade has to go.

What Did The Judge Rule On Fani Willis Disqualification?

Judge Scott McAfee ruled that the defendants did not meet their burden of proof to disqualify Fani Willis but that Willis’s hiring of Nathan Wade was a tremendous lapse in judgment that could create the appearance of impropriety, so Willis could either step down from the case or get rid of Wade.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported:

In a 23-page order, McAfee said he by no means condones Willis’ “tremendous lapse in judgment” for having the relationship with Wade, who has billed more than $728,000 in legal fees that he used to help pay for cruises and vacations he took with the district attorney in 2022 and 2023.

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However, in a major finding, the judge said the defense had “failed to meet their burden of proving that the district attorney acquired an actual conflict of interest in this case through her personal relationship and recurring travels with her lead prosecutor.” If McAfee had found otherwise, he would have had to disqualify Willis and her office from the case.

Is Fani Willis Disqualified?

Fani Willis is not disqualified. She will likely remain on the case because legal experts have suggested that if she withdraws, it is unlikely that another district attorney’s office would pick up the case. Her stepping down would end the years-long investigation of Trump and his allies in Georgia.

The practical result of this ruling is that Nathan Wade will leave as special prosecutor, and the case will move forward.

What Happens Next In The Trump RICO Case?

The disqualification motion has been an unnecessary circus. It was an error that Fani Willis could have easily avoided. Willis has a decision to make on whether or not to amend and refile six of the charges that Judge McAfee tossed out against the Trump defendants due to technical errors, but the trial should be expected to keep moving forward, and defendant Donald J. Trump is expected to stand trial in Georgia.

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