Feb 23, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Judge schedules March 1 hearing on disqualification of Georgia DA prosecuting Trump

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis testifies during a hearing in the case of the State of Georgia v. Donald John Trump at the Fulton County Courthouse on February 15, 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis testifies on Feb. 15 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo: Alyssa Pointer-Pool/Getty Images

A Fulton County judge will hear arguments on March 1 over efforts to disqualify District Attorney Fani Willis from Georgia's 2020 election interference case against former President Trump.

Why it matters: A ruling by Judge Scott McAfee to remove Willis from the case or adjust charges, as Trump and other co-defendants have sought, would have massive implications for the case — even potentially derailing it altogether.

  • If McAfee eventually rules that Willis' personal relationship with lead prosecutor Nathan Wade, who she hired, created a conflict of interest, the case would be assigned to a different prosecutor.
  • A new prosecutor could change the case significantly, including by adding or dropping charges, or decide to throw out the case completely. The sheer appointment would also delay proceedings likely until after the 2024 election.

The big picture: Willis testified last week and she refuted allegations that her relationship with Wade created any financial or ethics conflict.

  • Surrounding the case are also questions of when their personal relationship began and how money was exchanged between them. Various reports published this week have corroborated or challenged elements of her testimony.
  • Both Willis and Wade testified that their romantic relationship ended last summer.

Reality check: The allegations around Willis do not change the current facts of the case she brought against Trump.

Go deeper: The stakes of Georgia's case against Trump

Go deeper