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Judge in Fani Willis Possible Disqualification Case Gives Timeline

via NBC
This article was originally published at StateOfUnion.org. Publications approved for syndication have permission to republish this article, such as Microsoft News, Yahoo News, Newsbreak, UltimateNewswire and others. To learn more about syndication opportunities, visit About Us.

The future of Fulton County DA Fani Willis’ prosecution of Donald Trump for election interference is in question.

A judge is deciding whether to disqualify her due to accusations of an improper relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade.

“The decision will come down to whether the judge believes Willis had a financial incentive to hire special prosecutor Nathan Wade for the case. Willis and Wade admitted to a romantic relationship, but the timeframe of that relationship was the crux of the argument about whether the relationship was improper,” AOL reported.

Willis testified under oath that their romantic relationship began after Trump’s indictment, but defense attorneys claim they can prove it started earlier using phone records and witnesses.

Several legal experts believe Willis could face perjury charges from the Republican Georgia AG if it’s shown she lied, though pursuing such a case would be politically fraught.

“Given the political climate, I would not be completely surprised if the attorney general, a Republican, acts. Attorney General Carr has shown a willingness to take on elected officials in criminal proceedings before,” attorney Eric Anderson said.

“When it comes to politics, anything is possible. Unless the alleged perjury is about a fact material to the matter at hand, perjury charges are not likely for a regular witness,” Anderson added.

“The judge should focus on the real disqualification question here. Is there any basis to find that Willis chose to pursue the case to generate income for Wade, which he would then use to take her on luxury trips?” law professor Stephen Gillers said.

“The answer is no. Willis started her investigation in February 2021 and did not hire Wade, who was not her first choice, until nine months later. She got an indictment and four guilty pleas,” Gillers said.

“Her successes so far rebut any suggestion that she brought or continued the case to generate fees for Wade. To the contrary, her successes so far tell us she did so because in fact it is a meritorious case,” Gillers added.

The judge will determine if hiring Wade improperly incentivized Willis to pursue the case for financial gain, which prosecutors deny occurred.

Experts disagree on likelihood of perjury charges but note the relationship erodes public confidence in the prosecution.

“Willis could certainly be charged with perjury if a prosecutor can prove that Willis knowingly lied under oath. The matter would have to be referred to a prosecutor, presumably from another DA office or state or federal prosecutor, to bring the charges. It is not common for people to be charged with perjury for lying under oath about a personal relationship, but it certainly has happened in high-profile cases like Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinski. So yes, a perjury prosecution is possible,” law professor Greg Germain said.

“The astonishing thing about this is that you have two prosecutors who stand accused of filing false statements in court,” law professor Jonathan Turley said. “Mr. Wade is accused of answering interrogatories falsely. And Willis is accused of making false statements in her filings. That’s what they’re prosecuting defendants in the case for.”

“My question is, will he refer these two to the bar? There are allegations of false statements being filed. Their testimony did not help in that respect. And so will [Judge Scott McAfee] say, ‘Look, I’m going to suggest that one or both of you remove yourselves or maybe even order it, but I am also going to ask the bar to look into these allegations’?”

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