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Tags: donald trump | fani willis | nathan wade | georgia

Trump Case Hangs in Balance of Georgia Hearing

By    |   Thursday, 15 February 2024 11:49 AM EST

A hearing in Fulton County, Georgia, on Thursday that will examine allegations of prosecutorial misconduct in the election inference case against former President Donald Trump and his allies could push the trial start date beyond the November presidential election — or even cancel the trial.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is accused of having an improper relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade, whom she appointed to the case in November 2021. While the two have admitted to being in a relationship, they maintain it hasn't tainted the investigation.

Willis and Wade are accused of benefiting financially from the Trump prosecution, and the district attorney's office has paid Wade's firm more than $653,000 since his appointment. Willis and Wade also allegedly took "lavish" trips together that were not related to their work.

On Monday, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee, who is overseeing the case, said he is holding the evidentiary hearing because an actual conflict of interest or the appearance of one is grounds for removing Willis from the case. The focus of the hearing will be on when the relationship began, if it is ongoing and whether Willis benefited financially from hiring Wade, McAfee said.

Wade, in the midst of a contentious divorce, has said in a sworn affidavit that his personal relationship with Willis began in 2022 and she has "received no funds or personal financial gain from my position as special prosecutor."

McAfee has reportedly devoted two days to the hearing, which may include testimony from Willis and Wade.

"The state has admitted a relationship existed, and so what remains to be proven is the existence and extent of any financial benefit, if there even was one," the judge said.

Trump and several other co-defendants in the sprawling racketeering case have asked the judge to disqualify Willis and dismiss the charges against them in light of the relationship between the district attorney and the prosecutor.

According to The New York Times, the 77-year-old former president, who is the likely 2024 GOP presidential nominee, is not attending the hearing. He is in New York, where he is attending a pretrial hearing in the case where is accused of paying porn star Stormy Daniels hush money to conceal an extramarital affair.

Willis has requested that the trial of Trump and his 14 co-defendants begin on Aug. 5, three months before the presidential election in November. The outcome of the evidentiary hearing could push that trial schedule beyond the election or cancel it altogether if the judge disqualifies Willis from the case.

According to the Times, if McAfee disqualifies Willis from the case, it would then be reassigned to another Georgia prosecutor who could choose to continue with the case as is, make major changes, or even drop the matter entirely, which would end the prosecution of Trump.

Former prosecutor Pete Skandalakis told the Times the decision would fall to the Prosecuting Attorneys' Council of Georgia to find someone else to try the case.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election in Georgia and has denied any wrongdoing.

Nicole Wells

Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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A hearing in Fulton County, Georgia, that will examine allegations of prosecutorial misconduct in the election inference case against former President Donald Trump and his allies could push the trial start date beyond the November presidential election – or even cancel it.
donald trump, fani willis, nathan wade, georgia
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2024-49-15
Thursday, 15 February 2024 11:49 AM
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