Donald Trump

Georgia Appeals Court Halts Trump Case While It Reconsiders Disqualifying Fani Willis

(The Epoch Times)—The Georgia Court of Appeal ordered on June 5 a stay on all proceedings in Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s case against former President Donald Trump and eight codefendants, challenging the district attorney’s ability to prosecute the case.

“The proceedings below in the Superior Court of Fulton County are hereby stayed pending the outcome of these appeals,” reads an order by the court clerk, citing a Georgia Supreme Court case ordering the stay of criminal case proceedings during an interlocutory review.

The appeals court on June 4 set a hearing in October for former President Donald Trump’s appeal of a Fulton County judge’s decision not to disqualify prosecutor Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.

The defendants were notified to file their brief by June 23, and the district attorney has 20 days after that to file a reply brief. Oral arguments are scheduled for Oct. 4 before a three-judge panel.

Ms. Willis has charged the defendants with violating the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act through their actions to challenge the 2020 presidential election results. Earlier this year, defendant Michael Roman moved to disqualify the district attorney alleging a conflict of interest and financial misconduct, and codefendants joined with additional allegations of prosecutorial misconduct.

The initial Jan. 8 motion set off a chain of investigations into the district attorney’s office, and after the February evidentiary hearing the election case was clouded by the revelation of Ms. Willis’s affair with her hired prosecutor and alleged financial misconduct.

In March, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee ruled that while there was an appearance of impropriety, disqualification was not necessary. However, he acknowledged he was in novel legal territory and allowed defendants to appeal his decision to a higher court. The appeals court agreed to review the ruling last month.

While the trial court judge had ruled that he could continue to hear motions and issue rulings in the interim, that will now come to a stop.

Whether Ms. Willis and her office remain on the case is likely the deciding factor in whether the case will be tried at all.