Trump, Co-defendants Seek Dismissal of Charges in Georgia Election Case

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Published By: Aditi Ray Chowdhury

Last Updated: February 16, 2024, 00:34 IST

Washington D.C., United States of America (USA)

The allegations of misconduct against Willis have threatened to disrupt the Georgia case against Trump, who is also facing federal charges of conspiring to overturn the results of the November 2020 election won by Democrat Joe Biden.(File Image: Reuters)

The allegations of misconduct against Willis have threatened to disrupt the Georgia case against Trump, who is also facing federal charges of conspiring to overturn the results of the November 2020 election won by Democrat Joe Biden.(File Image: Reuters)

Trump, in a court filing, alleged that Willis and Wade had an “improper intimate personal relationship” and that some of the $650,000 Wade was paid to work on the case was used to take Willis on “lavish vacations” including a Caribbean cruise

A Georgia judge began hearing a defense motion on Thursday seeking the dismissal of election interference charges against former president Donald Trump because of alleged “misconduct” by the chief prosecutor.

Trump and several other co-defendants have asked Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee to disqualify District Attorney Fani Willis and throw out the case following revelations she had a romantic relationship with the man she hired to work as the special prosecutor on the case, Nathan Wade.

Trump, in a court filing, alleged that Willis and Wade had an “improper intimate personal relationship” and that some of the $650,000 Wade was paid to work on the case was used to take Willis on “lavish vacations” including a Caribbean cruise.

Willis acknowledged earlier this month that she had a “personal relationship” with Wade but she said it began after November 2021, when he was hired to work on the case, and they had each paid their own share for the vacations.

McAfee has set aside two days for an evidentiary hearing which may feature testimony from both Willis and Wade.

“The state has admitted a relationship existed, and so what remains to be proven is the existence and extent of any financial benefit, if there even was one,” McAfee said.

The 77-year-old Trump, the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, is not attending the hearing.

He is in New York for a pretrial hearing in a case in which he is accused of paying pre-election hush money to hide extramarital affairs.

The allegations of misconduct against Willis have threatened to disrupt the Georgia case against Trump, who is also facing federal charges of conspiring to overturn the results of the November 2020 election won by Democrat Joe Biden.

That case had been scheduled to start on March 4 but has been frozen as the Supreme Court mulls whether to hear a challenge by Trump to a lower court ruling that he does not enjoy immunity from prosecution as a former president.

‘No funds or personal financial gain’

Wade, who is going through a contentious divorce, said in a sworn affidavit that he and Willis began a personal relationship in 2022 and she has “received no funds or personal financial gain from my position as Special Prosecutor.”

Trump has pleaded not guilty to charges of involvement in a criminal conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election result in Georgia, where Biden won by some 12,000 votes.

Willis has asked for the trial of the former president and his 14 co-defendants to begin on August 5, three months before the November presidential election.

Four co-defendants, including three former Trump campaign lawyers, have pleaded guilty already to lesser charges in deals that spared them any prison time.

Others indicted in Georgia include former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, John Eastman, a constitutional lawyer, and Jeffrey Clark, a mid-level Justice Department official.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – AFP)

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