Georgia lawmakers react to judge's ruling allowing Fani Willis to stay on Trump case: 'Wholly insufficient'


Reactions from Georgia lawmakers poured in on Friday after a judge ruled that embattled Fulton County DA Fani Willis could remain on the case investigating alleged election interference by former President Donald Trump.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee issued a ruling Friday that Willis, who was accused of an improper romantic relationship that she attempted to cover up with special counsel Nathan Wade, could remain on the case if she fired Wade which prompted pushback from Georgia Republicans.

“The ruling by Judge McAfee seems to clearly identify impropriety between the DA and Mr. Wade,” Georgia Republican State Rep. Josh Bonner told Fox News Digital.  “Unfortunately, it does not address the purely partisan nature of the case brought by a rogue District Attorney more interested in scoring political points than prosecuting criminals in Fulton County.”

“Judge McAfee clearly found significant impropriety between Fani Willis and Nathan Wade,” Georgia Republican Lt. Gov Burt Jones told Fox News Digital. “If Fani Willis acted in the best interest of her constituents, she would resign immediately, but we know her inflated sense of self won’t allow that to happen. Regardless, the Georgia Senate investigatory committee will continue its work on behalf of the Georgia taxpayer to hold her accountable.” 

JUDGE IN GEORGIA SLAMS FANI WILLIS’ ‘IMPROPER’ CHURCH SPEECH, ‘PLAYING THE RACE CARD’

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis looks on during a hearing in the case of the State of Georgia v. Donald John Trump at the Fulton County Courthouse on March 1, 2024, in Atlanta. (Alex Slitz-Pool/Getty Images)

Georgia Republican State Senator Jason Anavitarte told Fox News Digital it is “indisputable” that Willis “willfully concealed” her relationship with Wade.

“Rather than owning up to the relationship, admitting poor judgement and removing SADA Wade from this case as soon as it was revealed, DA Willis doubled down and spent the better part of 3 months continuing to obfuscate if not downright lie to the court,” Anavitarte said.

“Judge McAfee openly acknowledged that there is an ‘odor of mendacity’ and “reasonable questions about whether the DA and…SADA testified untruthfully.’ Despite all this, Judge McAfee chose to offer DA Willis an escape hatch that should have been voluntarily activated as soon as the relationship was uncovered, firing Nathan Wade,” he continued. “To me, that is wholly insufficient. Prosecutors should be held to the highest ethical standard. Clearly Judge McAfee failed in this account. Now it is incumbent on the nearly created Prosecuting Attorney Qualification Commission to determine whether DA Willis committed perjury. I suspect complaints to that end are forthcoming.”

REPUBLICANS HAMMER JUDGE MCAFEE’S RULING IN FANI WILLIS CASE, CALLING IT ‘ELECTION INTERFERENCE’

Trump victory speech

Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump gestures to supporters during an election night watch party at the State Fairgrounds on February 24, 2024 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Georgia Republican State Sen. Bill Cowsert, who is leading a special Georgia Senate committee probe on Willis, told Fox News Anchor Martha MacCallum on Friday afternoon that he is “not surprised” by the judge’s move but agreed that Willis would be best served to recuse herself from the case.

“I feel confident that’s what she’ll do,” Cowsert said. “There’s just no way a jury will give any credibility to her further involvement, it will undermine her own mission of prosecuting these individuals if she stays personally involved. It’s just been a series of really poor choices.”

Some Democrats have backed Judge McAfee’s decision including Georgia State Sen. Derek Mallow who told Fox News Digital that the judge “clearly exercised jurisprudence” by reviewing the case and finding the “best process to move forward” to “remove any presence of impropriety in this case.”

“I think that is a good direction to head into, as this case does have merits and it needs to go before a jury,” Mallow explained.  “And I think that the judge has done his due diligence in his ruling. That’s why you have judges, to make those type of rulings. I still fundamentally believe my role and opinion in all of this is that there’s a separation between the judicial and the legislative branches.”

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Nathan Wade

Special prosecutor Nathan Wade sits in court during a hearing in the case of the State of Georgia v. Donald John Trump at the Fulton County Courthouse on March 1, 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Alex Slitz-Pool/Getty Images)

“Of course, I support the judge’s ruling for the case to move forward. I hope that the district attorney will make the needed separation there so that the case can move forward, and that the evidence and facts will come out, and a jury, the peers of all those involved, will make a determination and find guilt or innocence.”

McAfee said in his ruling that the defendants “failed to meet their burden of proving that the District Attorney acquired an actual conflict of interest in this case through her personal relationship and recurring travels with her lead prosecutor.”

“However, the established record now highlights a significant appearance of impropriety that infects the current structure of the prosecution team – an appearance that must be removed through the State’s selection of one of two options,” he wrote, adding that Willis and her whole office can choose to step aside, or Wade can withdraw from the case.

On Friday afternoon, Wade announced that he is stepping down from the case in the interest of “democracy.” 



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