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Trump appeals judges decision on prosecutor disqualification

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Former President Donald Trump appealed a judge’s decision to allow Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to remain on the case after she had a romantic relationship with the lead prosecutor in the case.

“While the trial court factually found DA Willis’s out-of-court statements were improper and Defendants proved an apparent conflict of interest, the trial court erred as a matter of law by not requiring dismissal and DA Willis disqualification,” attorneys for Trump and eight other defendants wrote in the appeal. “This legal error requires the Court’s immediate review.”

Earlier this month, Judge Scott McAfee, overseeing Trump’s election interference racketeering case, said Willis could remain on the case if she removed lead prosecutor Nathan Wade. Wade resigned after that ruling.

In August 2023, a Fulton County grand jury indicted Trump and 18 others on charges they tried to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. Trump has pleaded not guilty.

In the appeal application, attorneys for the defense said the trial court error was significant.

“The erroneous failure to disqualify a prosecutor is a structural error that would not just cause substantial error at trial it would render each and every trial in this case a nullity,” they wrote.

They also said it would prove costly for Fulton County.

“It is neither prudent nor efficient to require the courts, the parties, or taxpayers to run the significant and avoidable risk of having to go through this painful, divisive, and expensive process more than once when an existing structural error can be remedied by this Court now,” the defense wrote.

The defense argued both Willis and Wade must be removed.