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Georgia Court Will Hear Appeal of Ruling That Kept Prosecutor on Trump Case

U.S.Georgia Court Will Hear Appeal of Ruling That Kept Prosecutor on Trump Case

The Georgia Court of Appeals will hear an appeal of a ruling that allowed Fani T. Willis, the district attorney in Fulton County, to continue leading the prosecution of former President Donald J. Trump on charges related to election interference, the court announced on Wednesday.

The decision to hear the appeal, issued by a three-judge panel, is all but certain to delay the Georgia criminal case against Mr. Trump and 14 of his allies, making it less likely to go to trial before the November election. Legal experts said it may take months for the appellate court to hear the case and issue a ruling.

The court’s terse three-sentence announcement reopened the possibility that Ms. Willis could be disqualified from the biggest case of her career, and one of the most significant state criminal cases in the nation’s history.

At issue is a romantic relationship she had with Nathan J. Wade, a lawyer she hired to handle the prosecution of Mr. Trump. Defense lawyers argued that the relationship amounted to an untenable conflict of interest, and that Ms. Willis and her entire office should be removed from the case.

But on March 15, Judge Scott McAfee of Fulton County Superior Court ruled that Ms. Willis could keep the case if Mr. Wade stepped away from it. Mr. Wade resigned a few hours after the judge issued his ruling.

Steven H. Sadow, the lead counsel for Mr. Trump in Georgia, said in a statement Wednesday that his client “looks forward to presenting interlocutory arguments to the Georgia Court of Appeals as to why the case should be dismissed and Fulton County D.A. Willis should be disqualified for her misconduct in this unjustified, unwarranted political persecution.”

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