Trump Lawyers Seek Oral Arguments on Fulton County DA’s Disqualification Case

The former president’s legal team submitted a motion for oral arguments in October.
Trump Lawyers Seek Oral Arguments on Fulton County DA’s Disqualification Case
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis takes the stand as a witness during a hearing in the case of the State of Georgia v. Donald J. Trump, at the Fulton County Courthouse in Atlanta on Feb. 15, 2024. (Alyssa Pointer-Pool/Getty Images)
Jack Phillips

Lawyers for former President Donald Trump have requested oral arguments in the Georgia Court of Appeals in their disqualification effort against Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and her office.

In a filing made on June 10, Trump attorney Steve Sadow wrote that oral arguments in the case “will aid the decisional process of this appeal” because of the “novel issue of first impression concerning the legal standard for ‘forensic misconduct’ to disqualify an elected District Attorney and her office.”

His attorneys noted that Fulton County’s position on oral arguments before the Georgia Court of Appeals “is unknown,” and it has not responded to their team’s notification.

The Epoch Times contacted Ms. Willis’s office for comment but didn’t receive a reply by press time.

Mr. Sadow, in a statement on X announcing the legal action, wrote, “We believe oral argument will assist the Court by highlighting and clarifying the reasons why the case should be dismissed.”

Oral arguments in the case have been tentatively scheduled for October.

A Fulton County grand jury in August indicted former President Trump and 18 others, accusing them of participating in a sprawling scheme to illegally try to overturn the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. Four defendants have pleaded guilty after reaching deals with prosecutors, but the former president and the others have pleaded not guilty.

Former President Trump and eight other defendants had tried to get Ms. Willis and her office removed from the case, arguing that she had a conflict of interest. The judge in March found that no conflict of interest existed that should force Ms. Willis off the case, but he granted a request from the group of defendants to seek an appeal of his ruling from the state Court of Appeals.

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The June 10 legal brief from former President Trump comes just days after the Georgia Court of Appeals halted Ms. Willis’s case against him and several co-defendants as it reviews a lower court ruling to keep her office on the case. The court, which is scheduled to hear oral arguments on Oct. 4, will have until mid-March 2025 to rule, and the losing side will be able to appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court.

When the Court of Appeals handed down its decisions, a spokesperson for the district attorney’s office declined to comment.

The motion also made reference to a prior complaint filed by the Trump team of attorneys that attempted to disqualify Ms. Willis over comments she made at a church in January. They claim that she had “injected race” into the case with the comments, which the district attorney’s office has denied.

Earlier this year, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee, who is overseeing the election case against the former president and the co-defendants, ruled that either Ms. Willis would have to step down or her special counsel, Nathan Wade, would have to leave. Mr. Wade tendered his resignation just hours after the order.

The judge was critical of Ms. Willis’s race-related comments at the church but did not opt to remove her from the case over the matter.

Ms. Willis, in her testimony, vehemently denied there was a conflict of interest in the case. After the judge’s ruling to keep her on the case in March, Ms. Willis told CNN: “I guess my greatest crime is I had a relationship with a man, but that’s not something I find embarrassing in any way. And I know that I have not done anything that’s illegal.”

In the June 10 filing, Mr. Sadow and his team also urged for arguments before the Court of Appeals because the “time to get it right is important” and a “failure to disqualify a prosecutor who should be disqualified is a structural error that can necessitate retrial without a showing of prejudice.”

“This error could cause an upheaval of not one, but multiple, costly jury trials if not accurately redressed beforehand,” he wrote.

Before making his conclusion, the Trump attorney wrote that the “public’s faith in the integrity of the criminal justice system is critical to its functioning,” saying that “nowhere are these interests more important or on display than in a high-profile case that involves a former president of the United States” who is also the leading Republican presidential candidate.

“Oral argument is therefore warranted,” Mr. Sadow said.

Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X: