Georgia appeals court may hear arguments on Fani Willis's role in Trump case in October

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A Georgia appeals court could hear arguments this October for former President Trump’s efforts to have Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis removed from the election interference case she brought against the former president.

The arguments are tentatively slated for Oct. 4, should an oral argument be “requested and granted,” according to a notice from the Court of Appeals of Georgia obtained by The Hill.

The October date makes it all the more likely the election interference case will not make it to trial before the November election, in which Trump is the GOP’s presumptive presidential nominee.

“We look forward to presenting argument before Judges Brown, Markle, and Land on why this case should be dismissed and Fulton County DA Willis should be disqualified for the trial court’s acknowledged ‘odor of mendacity’ misconduct in violation of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct,” Trump’s lawyer Steven Sadow said in a statement to The Hill.

Trump and eight other defendants have filed appeals to reverse a lower court ruling that allowed Willis the choice to stay on the case if special prosecutor Nathan Wade stepped down, given the two’s once-romantic relationship.

Judge Scott McAfee ruled in April that the relationship between Willis and Wade constituted an appearance of conflict of interest in Willis’s racketeering case against Trump, but Willis could remain on the case if Wade departed.

The motion to disqualify Willis from the case alleged Wade’s relationship with the district attorney allowed him to financially benefit from his employment.

The appeal will be decided by a three-judge panel, and upon their decision, the losing side could request the Georgia Supreme Court consider an appeal.

The Hill reached out to Willis’s office for comment.

Trump and 18 others were indicted in Georgia last August over allegations they were involved in a scheme to illegally attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election. Four defendants have pleaded guilty following deals with prosecutors, while Trump and others have pleaded not guilty.

It is one of four criminal cases against Trump, one of which the former president was convicted in last week in New York. He was found guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying business records in connection with reimbursements made for a hush money payment ahead of the 2016 election.

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