Updated Mar 20, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Judge grants Trump permission to appeal Fani Willis ruling

Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a rally at the Dayton International Airport on March 16, 2024 in Vandalia, Ohio

Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a rally on March 16 in Vandalia, Ohio. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The judge overseeing former President Trump's Georgia election subversion case granted a pathway Wednesday for Trump to appeal his decision to allow Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to remain at the helm of the prosecution.

Why it matters: By granting a "certificate of immediate review," Fulton County Judge Scott McAfee enabled Trump's lawyers to appeal the decision to the Georgia Court of Appeals before the start of a trial, Trump lawyer Steve Sadow wrote in a post on X.

Catch up quick: The defense had asked McAfee to disqualify Willis from the case over allegations of impropriety.

  • They argued that a romantic relationship between Willis and a special prosecutor whom she hired for the case, Nathan Wade, represented a conflict of interest.
  • McAfee ruled last week that Willis could remain on the prosecution as long as Wade resigned, which he did on Friday.
  • Trump and seven of his co-defendants in the case requested the "certificate of immediate review" on Monday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Driving the news: While McAfee granted the defense's request for a review, he noted in the court filing that other matters related to the case will go forward as planned, pending the review.

  • "The Court intends to continue addressing the many other unrelated pending pretrial motions regardless of whether the petition is granted within 45 days of filing, and even if any subsequent appeal is expedited by the appellate court," he wrote.

Zoom out: Last week, McAfee dismissed several counts against Trump in the Georgia case, though he still faces more than half a dozen counts.

Editor's note: This story was updated with additional details and context.

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