Trump requests appeal in Georgia election interference case

World

Donald Trump has requested a Georgia court review a ruling allowing an attorney who had a romantic relationship with a prosecutor to remain on his election interference case.

The former president is accused of illegally trying to interfere in the 2020 election in Georgia.

Along with his fellow defendants, he had tried to get the Fulton County district attorney Fani Willis removed from the case, saying her romantic relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade created a conflict of interest.

Image:
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis speaks at a press conference next to prosecutor Nathan Wade in November 2023. Pic: Reuters

But Judge Scott McAfee earlier this month found that there was not a conflict of interest that should force Ms Willis off the case but said the prosecution was “encumbered by an appearance of impropriety”.

Judge McAfee’s ruling said Ms Willis could continue her prosecution if Mr Wade left the case, and the special prosecutor resigned hours later.

Lawyers for Trump and other defendants then asked the judge to allow them to appeal his ruling to the Georgia Court of Appeals, and he granted that request.

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The filing of an application with the appeals court is the next step in that process. That court now has 45 days to decide whether it will take up the matter.

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The allegations that Willis had improperly benefited from her romance with Wade upended the case for weeks.

Intimate details of Ms Willis and Mr Wade’s personal lives were aired in court in mid-February, overshadowing the serious allegations in one of the four criminal cases against the presumptive Republican nominee.

Image:
Fani Willis. Pic: Reuters

The pair admitted their romantic relationship, which is said to have ended last summer, but rejected the idea that Ms Willis improperly benefited from it.

Mr Wade said the pair went on trips to California, Belize and Aruba together, which he booked while being paid a $650,000 (£510,000) salary, and was later reimbursed by the district attorney.

Image:
Nathan Wade. Pic: AP

Trump and 18 others were indicted in August, accused of participating in a wide-ranging scheme to illegally try to overturn his narrow 2020 presidential election loss to Democrat Joe Biden in Georgia.

Four people charged in the case have pleaded guilty after reaching deals with prosecutors. Trump has pleaded not guilty.

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