Georgia appeals court indefinitely suspends election-disruption conspiracy case against Donald Trump



CNN

A Georgia appeals court has stayed an election sabotage case against Donald Trump and several of his co-defendants — a huge victory for the former president, who is trying to push off further legal challenges until 2025 if he can’t win them outright.

The The new order was filed on Wednesday The ruling from the Georgia Court of Appeals is the latest indication that a statewide Georgia election tampering trial will not happen before the 2024 presidential election. The court said the case will be stayed until a panel of judges can rule on whether Fulton County District Attorney Fannie Willis should be disqualified.

The appeals court is expected to rule on the disqualification by March 2025, although it could issue a ruling sooner. The timeline remains highly uncertain, multiple sources close to the case told CNN.

Fulton County Superior Judge Scott McAfee initially allowed proceedings to continue in his courtroom as an appeals court weighed an appeal of his decision to allow Willis to continue in the case.

A spokeswoman for Willis’ office said it could not comment at this time on the appeals court’s order. If the DA wants to rule on the matter, it can ask the Court of Appeals.

The appeals court’s ruling underscores a series of successes in Trump’s long-standing strategy of putting prosecutors on the defensive, attacking them in public and challenging them in court.

Trump and some of his co-defendants tried to disqualify Willis from the case because of her romantic relationship with Nathan Wade, the special counsel he hired to help handle the case. Defendants argued that Willis benefited financially from her relationship with Wade, who defense attorneys say provided the couple with numerous vacations.

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In March, after a mini-trial in which lawyers for Trump and his co-defendants sought to prove their case against Willis and Wade, McAfee found there was insufficient evidence to conclusively prove that Willis benefited financially from the relationship.

Willis’ testimony in the televised proceedings drew attention to his personal life, diverting the debate from the charges facing Trump and others in Georgia.

The judge decided that if Wade recused himself, Willis would be allowed to continue the case, which he later did.

Steve Sado, Trump’s chief security adviser in Georgia, said the verdict was correct.

“The Georgia Court of Appeals has formally stayed all proceedings against President Trump in the trial court, pending its decision on our interlocutory appeal, which should dismiss the case and disqualify Fulton County DA Willis for misconduct,” Sado said in a statement. .

Meanwhile, in Trump’s classified documents case in Florida, the federal judge overseeing those proceedings has tended to devote large amounts of court time to Trump’s requests to question the authority of investigators and his lawyers.

That judge, Eileen Cannon, on Wednesday appeared ready to hold a hearing where Trump could try to get federal investigators under oath so his lawyers can question them, and said she would set aside a day and a half later this month. Heard his lawyer’s arguments about legality.

As with the Georgia case, the Florida documents do not set a trial date.

This story has been updated with additional details.

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