Trump’s Georgia Election Case in Crucial Phase: Judge Advances Evidentiary Hearing

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee has scheduled an evidentiary hearing for Thursday to consider a Trump co-defendant’s motion to disqualify Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and her office from prosecuting the 2020 election interference case in Georgia and to dismiss all charges against him.

Michael Roman, a former Republican National Committee staffer, claimed that Willis had an inappropriate relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade, paid him over $650,000 for his work for the D.A.’s office, and then profited financially from the relationship when Wade allegedly took her on cruises and trips.

Judge Scott McAfee, who presided over the Trump election meddling case, declined to quash the summons for Willis, Wade, and other witnesses to testify on Thursday, but it is unclear whether they will be called to testify. McAfee stated that he would postpone that decision until he was “deeper into the hearing” on Thursday.

Judge McAfee emphasized the importance of conducting an evidentiary hearing to establish the record on core charges that could lead to disqualification.

He outlined the issues as follows: whether a relationship existed, whether it was romantic, when it began, whether it is ongoing, and any personal gain conveyed as a result of the relationship.

However, he also stated that other of Roman’s attorney’s claims are irrelevant, such as Wade’s purported lack of experience with racketeering cases like the Trump case.

“As long as a lawyer has a heartbeat and a bar card,” McAfee said, that lawyer’s appointment is at the discretion of the district attorney.

He has also identified no violations of Fulton County’s case law code, which would be pertinent to a move to disqualify a prosecutor in an ongoing criminal case.

Anna Cross, an attorney for the Fulton County District Attorney, sought to dismiss petitions for witness testimony, including those of Willis and Wade, claiming that the defense was “not bringing you law,” but rather “bringing you gossip,” and that the court should not tolerate it. She stated that the District Attorney’s Office claimed in their brief last week that there is no justification for dismissing the charge. She stated that none of the witnesses subpoenaed had relevant information.

In August, a Fulton County grand jury accused Trump and more than a dozen of his aides of election fraud, racketeering, and other crimes stemming from alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 election. So far, four of the 19 defendants have pled guilty, including three lawyers involved in the Georgia election sabotage attempt. Trump and the remaining accused have pled not guilty.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *