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Even If GA Prosecutor Remains In Case, Outcome Is Cloudy

Amid the uncertainty in Donald Trump’s Georgia election-interference case, it is clear that Fani Willis’s prosecution has been damaged, the Wall Street Journal reports. Willis, the Fulton County district attorney who brought the racketeering case against the former president and 18 others, might beat an effort to disqualify her. The ethics scandal that has hung over the case for two months has blunted momentum from notching early plea deals. "The cloud that’s hanging over this case—it’s a real concern and it’s certainly going to stay with Willis,” said Chris Timmons, a former racketeering prosecutor in Georgia. Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee is hearing closing arguments Friday on a motion to disqualify Willis, who several co-defendants including Trump accused of financially benefiting by hiring romantic partner Nathan Wade as her top deputy.

After a long period of silence, Willis and Wade, a private-practice lawyer, acknowledged having a romantic relationship, but denied wrongdoing. There is a good chance Trump and his co-defendants will lose their bid to remove Willis, a Democrat, over her romantic relationship with Wade. Still, the ordeal has enraged Republican lawmakers, who have renewed efforts to form a commission that could sanction or remove prosecutors. They created a panel with subpoena power to probe the Willis-Wade misconduct allegations. Those efforts won’t end even if the motion to disqualify her does. If Willis remains in the case, the allegations will make it harder to find a jury that doesn’t see the charges as tainted by Willis and Wade’s romance. The court proceedings have taken months, making it less likely that Willis could succeed in convicting Trump or other co-defendants before Election Day. If Trump wins the presidency, Willis’s case almost certainly will be put on hold until his term is finished. Disqualification of Willis would mean her entire office would also be blocked from further prosecuting the case. A state agency would decide whether to assign the matter to another district attorney.


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