Trump appeals ruling that let Fulton County DA Fani Willis remain on Georgia election subversion case

Former President Donald Trump and several of his co-defendants in the Georgia election subversion case are appealing a judge’s ruling that let Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis remain on the election subversion case.

The defense attorneys on Friday asked the Georgia Court of Appeals to overturn Judge Scott McAfee’s initial decision that allowed Willis and her office continue to pursue the case but only if Nathan Wade, the special prosecutor with whom she had a romantic relationship, resigned.

While Wade has since left the case, defense attorneys still want the appellate court to disqualify the entire Fulton County DA’s office.

The move underscores how Willis’s potential disqualification over her relationship with Wade still hangs over the DA’s office, even as prosecutors are attempting to shift focus back to the criminal charges against Trump and his fellow co-defendants in the sprawling RICO case.

“DA Willis has covered herself and her office in scandal and disrepute, as she has squandered her credibility and repeatedly and flagrantly violated the heightened ethical standards demanded of her position,” the appeal states.

In his ruling earlier this month, McAfee was highly critical of Willis and Wade’s relationship, describing it as being the result of “bad choices.”

“This finding is by no means an indication that the Court condones this tremendous lapse in judgment or the unprofessional manner of the District Attorney’s testimony during the evidentiary hearing,” McAfee wrote.

However, the judge added, “Georgia law does not permit the finding of an actual conflict for simply making bad choices – even repeatedly.”

The district attorney’s office declined to comment.

Trump and 14 allies are charged in relation to their efforts to reverse Georgia’s 2020 presidential election result — including charges of racketeering, conspiracy and soliciting a public official to violate their oath of office. They have pleaded not guilty.

This story has been updated with additional details.

CNN’s Devan Cole contributed to this report.

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