100°F
weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Trump Georgia election interference case halted due to appeal

ATLANTA — An appeals court has halted the Georgia election interference case against former President Donald Trump and others while it reviews the lower court judge’s ruling allowing Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to remain on the case.

The Georgia Court of Appeals’ order on Wednesday prevents Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee from moving forward with pretrial motions as he had planned while the appeal is pending. While it was already unlikely that the case would go to trial before the November general election, when Trump is expected to be the Republican nominee for president, this makes that even more certain.

The appeals court on Monday docketed the appeals filed by Trump and eight others and said that “if oral argument is requested and granted,” it is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 4. The court would then have until mid-March to rule, and the losing side would be able to appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court.

A spokesperson for Willis declined to comment on the appeals court ruling.

A Fulton County grand jury in August indicted Trump and 18 others, accusing them of participating in a sprawling scheme to illegally try to overturn the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. Four defendants have pleaded guilty after reaching deals with prosecutors, but Trump and the others have pleaded not guilty. It is one of four criminal cases against Trump.

Trump and eight other defendants had tried to get Willis and her office removed from the case, arguing that a romantic relationship she had with special prosecutor Nathan Wade created a conflict of interest. McAfee in March found that no conflict of interest existed that should force Willis off the case, but he granted a request from Trump and the other defendants to seek an appeal of his ruling from the state Court of Appeals.

McAfee wrote that “an odor of mendacity remains.” He said “reasonable questions” over whether Willis and Wade had testified truthfully about the timing of their relationship “further underpin the finding of an appearance of impropriety and the need to make proportional efforts to cure it.” He said Willis could remain on the case only if Wade left, and the special prosecutor submitted his resignation hours later.

The allegations that Willis had improperly benefited from her romance with Wade resulted in a tumultuous couple of months in the case as intimate details of Willis and Wade’s personal lives were aired in court in mid-February.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Netanyahu makes surprise visit to Israeli troops in Gaza

Days before a speech to Congress, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel must keep control of a strip of territory Gaza’s border with Egypt.

Obama, Pelosi worried about Biden’s candidacy, sources say

Former president Barack Obama has expressed concerns about Joe Biden’s candidacy, and Nancy Pelosi has said he could cost Democrats the House, according to sources.

Israeli delegation arrives in Cairo for Gaza cease-fire talks

An Israeli delegation has arrived in Egypt to continue cease-fire talks, as Israel and Hamas consider the latest proposal, according to three Egyptian airport officials.

Israel will begin drafting ultra-Orthodox men

The Israeli military on Tuesday said it would begin sending draft notices to Jewish ultra-Orthodox men next week.