Trump case in Georgia delayed until outcome of appeal against Fani Willis

ATLANTA — An appeals court in Georgia on Wednesday delayed the election interference case involving former President Donald Trump and eight other co-defendants until the court resolves an appeal asking to disqualify Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis from the criminal case.

The ruling by the Georgia Court of Appeals placed an indefinite hold on the case until the court hears the appeal against Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee, who ruled that Willis could stay on the case, WSB-TV reported.

The court’s order on Wednesday prevents McAfee from moving forward with other matters in the case while the appeal is pending, according to The Associated Press. That means the judge cannot handle pretrial motions in the case, almost guaranteeing that the case will be delayed further, the news organization reported.

The court was tentatively set to hear the case beginning on Oct. 4, WSB reported.

The order, which was issued by the full appeals court, means that the case against Trump and eight of his co-defendants will likely not be resumed before elections are held in November, The Washington Post reported.

It was unclear if the case against the other six co-defendants who did not sign onto the appeal will move forward, according to the newspaper.

Trump and his other co-defendants filed a motion to remove Willis from the case because of her relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade, WSB reported.

Both Willis and Wade acknowledged the relationship, which ended last summer. They have argued that their relationship did not create a conflict of interest and had no bearing on the case, according to the television station.

Trump and his attorneys later appealed, arguing the indictment should have been dismissed. They added that Willis and her team should have been disqualified from the case, WSB reported.

McAfee ruled that Willis would be allowed to stay on the case if Wade stepped aside, according to the television station. Wade resigned the same day as the ruling.

“The bottom line is the case is now stopped completely,” attorney Manny Arora told WSB. “The judge can’t do anything else on it. The appeals court was going to take its time and decide whether Fani Willis should be disqualified, and also whether the charges that were thrown out by the trial judge should be reinstated.

“Everything stopped because the Court of Appeals wants to look deeply into this issue. The disqualification issue based on the underlying facts is somewhat novel, and also the fact that the judge threw out a couple of counts. The government is going to try to get those reinstated.”

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