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Ga. appeals court grants Trump's request to consider Fani Willis' disqualification from his criminal case

Judge Scott McAfee had ruled that Fani Willis wouldn't be disqualified from the election interference case against Trump and other co-defendants.
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Georgia's state Court of Appeals said Wednesday that it will consider an appeal from former President Donald Trump challenging the decision not to disqualify Fani Willis as the district attorney overseeing the 2020 election interference charges against him.

The order said Trump can file a notice of appeal within the next 10 days.

A lawyer for Trump, Steve Sadow, said in a statement that Trump "looks forward" to arguing before the appeals court that the case should be dismissed and that Willis should be disqualified "for her misconduct in this unjustified, unwarranted political persecution."

The DA’s office declined to comment.

The Superior Court judge presiding over the case, Scott McAfee, ruled in mid-March that Willis shouldn't be disqualified from prosecuting Trump and his co-defendants despite their allegation that she had a conflict of interest in the case. They accused Willis of misconduct, alleging she financially benefited from her relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade, which led to days of testimony in court about their romance.

McAfee ultimately found the “appearance of impropriety” created by their personal relationship should result in either Willis' or Wade's leaving the case. Hours later, Willis’ office confirmed that Wade had resigned and that she had accepted his resignation. 

Days later, McAfee granted a certificate of immediate review, giving Trump and eight of his co-defendants permission to appeal his decision to keep Willis on the case. That gave the court of appeals 45 days to decide whether to hear an appeal. Lawyers for Trump and the other defendants then asked the appeals court to allow them to challenge the ruling.

Trump continues to sit for trial in the criminal case he faces in New York. It's the only one of the four criminal cases against him that has made it to trial.

A trial date hadn’t yet been set for the election interference case in Georgia.

CORRECTION (May 8, 2024, 2:05 p.m. ET): Because of an editing error, a previous version of this article misstated the year of the election under investigation. It was 2020, not 2016.