Trump to appeal ruling keeping Georgia DA on election case as indictment looms

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis poses for a portrait, Wednesday, April 19, 2023, in Atlanta.

Brynn Anderson | AP

Lawyers for former President Donald Trump said in a court filing Friday they will appeal a Georgia judge’s recent ruling that keeps an Atlanta prosecutor in charge of her criminal investigation into his efforts to overturn the state’s 2020 presidential election results.

Trump’s team is seeking to disqualify Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and effectively cripple her probe case by barring evidence she collected through a special grand jury.

The Georgia state Supreme Court last month denied an identical request by the former president, directly to that high court, on the grounds that he was seeking that relief too early, without lower courts ruling first.

Whether the Supreme Court will look differently on any appeal by Trump of the lower court’s recent denial remains to be seen.

Friday’s filing came as Willis’ decision on whether to indict Trump and his legal allies seemed to move even closer. Willis has said she plans to announce that decision by the beginning of September.

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On Friday, Fulton County court officials said that beginning Monday and continuing until Aug. 18., a major street next to the courthouse “will be closed to general traffic.”

The two right lanes of the road, Pryor Street, “will be parking for media,” officials said in a statement.

Willis previously asked the court’s chief judge to not schedule in-person trials or hearings over the next two weeks.

If the D.A. indicts Trump, it will be the fourth time the Republican presidential candidate has been criminally charged.

On Tuesday, a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., indicted Trump for his effort to overturn his 2020 loss nationally to President Joe Biden. Trump pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Thursday.

He separately is charged in a federal case in Florida with retaining classified documents after leaving the White House, and in New York state court with falsifying business records related to a 2016 hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.

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