Legal Experts Don’t Believe Judge Will Remove DA Willis From Trump Case

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.


A judge will decide in the next few weeks if Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis can continue her prosecution of former President Donald Trump or if she will be removed from the case due to allegations of impropriety, including potentially lying under oath about when a relationship between her and her lead prosecutor, Nathan Wade, began.

But legal experts who spoke with Forbes believe Judge Scott McAfee will rule that she’ll be allowed to stay on the case.

Willis “faces allegations from a group of Trump’s co-defendants claiming she violated state conflict of interest and public money laws by engaging in a romantic relationship with Wade,” Forbes reported, though the outlet didn’t mention that she has also been accused of lying in a sworn document filed with the court regarding the start date of that relationship.

New York University law professor Stephen Gillers told Business Insider that he doesn’t believe the case should have been brought in the first place, claiming that the hearing itself “sounds like an opportunity for voyeurism or the plot for a modern-day ‘Scarlet Letter.’” He further speculated that the defense’s arguments did not support having Willis removed.

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Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, who was appointed by Barack Obama, agreed, writing, “It’s hard to see any basis” for it “unless the Judge wants to bend over backward out of an abundance of caution.”

Forbes added:

Anthony Kreis, an assistant law professor at Georgia State University, had a similar take, arguing Georgia has a “very high” bar for disqualification, though he acknowledged that scenario is “not implausible.”

Several attorneys and law experts believe Willis could be in as much legal trouble as Trump and his remaining co-defendants in the RICO case she brought against them regarding the 2020 election.

In comments to Newsweek, the experts believe that her sworn testimony to a court regarding the start date of her relationship with Hale could result in perjury charges.

Willis testified under oath last month that she and Wade only started dating following Trump’s indictment, a claim the former president’s attorneys claim they can refute with phone records. Also, some witnesses have said that Willis and Wade began seeing each other romantically much sooner.

According to Eric Anderson, an attorney at Early Sullivan Wright Gizer & McRae in Los Angeles, California, Georgia Attorney General Christopher Carr may charge her with perjury.

“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,” 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.

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One law professor at Syracuse University in New York, Greg Germain, believes perjury charges are definitely possible.

“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,” Germain said.

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