Fani Willis to Appeal Judge’s Decision to Quash Charges in Trump Georgia Case

Fani T. Willis, the lead prosecutor in the Georgia election interference case against former President Donald J. Trump and 14 of his allies, said on Thursday that her office would appeal a judge’s decision earlier this year to throw out six of the dozens of counts in the sprawling indictment.

Thursday’s legal filing by Ms. Willis, the Fulton County district attorney, creates a second substantive set of issues that must now be considered by the Georgia Court of Appeals before the election case can go to trial. This month, the court agreed to hear the appeal of another ruling by the judge, Scott McAfee, that allowed Ms. Willis to remain on the case despite defense lawyers arguing that she should be disqualified.

Ms. Willis’s decision to file the appeal was yet another indication that the closely watched election interference case was unlikely to go to trial before the upcoming presidential election. “In some ways it’s an implicit concession that it’s not going to happen before November,” said Anthony Michael Kreis, a law professor at Georgia State University who has been following the case closely.

A spokesman for the district attorney’s office declined to comment on the filing on Thursday.

The original indictment, which was handed up by a grand jury in August, included 41 counts against Mr. Trump and 18 co-defendants. Four of those co-defendants have since pleaded guilty.

In March, Judge McAfee, of Fulton County Superior Court, quashed six of the charges for lacking sufficient detail. Those charges asserted that Mr. Trump and other defendants had solicited public officials to break the law by violating their oaths of office.

For example, one count against Mr. Trump said that he “unlawfully solicited, requested and importuned” the Georgia secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, to violate his oath of office by decertifying the election. Judge McAfee ruled at the time that the six charges “do not give the defendants enough information to prepare their defenses intelligently.”

Though the quashing of the six charges was a setback for prosecutors, it left intact the most important element of the indictment: the state racketeering charge that was brought against all of the defendants.

It is unclear how much more time it will take for the appellate court to handle Ms. Willis’s appeal, but legal experts have said that the appeal of the disqualification matter alone could take months.

Defense lawyers in the case had argued that Ms. Willis should be disqualified from prosecuting it on the grounds that she had created an untenable conflict of interest when she engaged in a romantic relationship with Nathan J. Wade, a lawyer she had hired to manage the prosecution team.

Judge McAfee ruled in March that Ms. Willis could keep the case if Mr. Wade stepped away from it. Mr. Wade resigned hours after the judge issued his ruling.

#Fani #Willis #Appeal #Judges #Decision #Quash #Charges #Trump #Georgia #Case

About The Author

Leave a Comment