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Senate panel prepares drastic measure against DA in Trump’s Georgia case as Willis’ case goes down the water

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, a judge Trump appointed to the bench, canceled the May 20 trial date and postponed it indefinitely on Tuesday, giving the former president and presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump a significant victory in the Florida classified documents case. The order from the judge had been somewhat expected in light of still-unresolved issues in the case and because Trump is currently on trial in a separate case in New York charging him in connection with hush money payments during the 2016 presidential election.

Postponing the trial

Trump and his legal teams responsible for the legal cases have been trying to postpone the start of the trials in each of the cases for as long as possible. The belief behind this strategy is that Trump, if reelected in November, could pardon himself or order the Department of Justice to drop the cases against him. So far, this strategy seems to be working, at least in part, because the trials in all of the cases, except in the New York hush money case, are unlikely to start before the November general election. This applies to the Georgia case too, where DA Fani Willis is under constant pressure from state lawmakers.

Recent developments

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis made it clear on Monday that she won’t appear before a Georgia Senate committee probing her conduct in a felony racketeering case involving ex-President Donald Trump and his allies. Willis’s refusal came in response to the committee chair, Republican Bill Cowsert, who last week hinted at issuing a subpoena if she didn’t come voluntarily.

Read also: “This is a reason to elect Donald Trump”: Texas, Florida most hit by Biden admin’s ‘program designed to flood the system’ with migrants

The Senate committee’s hands are tied, but…

While the Senate committee can’t directly penalize Willis, it has the power to demand evidence and summon her to testify under oath. Former Governor Roy Barnes, who declined Willis’s invitation to act as a special prosecutor in Trump’s case in 2021, is also involved. Willis, on Monday, questioned the committee’s authority to legally compel her testimony.

“I will not appear before anything that is unlawful and I have not broken the law in any way,” she said during a press conference where she was joined by Black religious leaders endorsing her reelection bid.

District Attorney Fani Willis made it clear on Monday that she won't appear before a Georgia Senate committee, they might issue a subpoena
DA Fani Willis, Courtesy of Fani Willis X

Willis’ public picture ruined

On Friday, Fulton County Chairman Robb Pitts, Chief Financial Officer Sharon Whitmore, and County Attorney Soo Jo spent four hours testifying before a committee at the Georgia State Capitol. They discussed the extent of district attorneys’ autonomy and recent measures taken to close ethical and financial loopholes for elected officials. The county officials mentioned that in April, they revised the county code to prevent future loopholes like the one that let Fani Willis bypass county approval when she hired Nathan Wade as a special prosecutor in the 2020 presidential election interference case.

Read also: Unexpected help could flip the New York trial in Trump’s favor after surprise savoir emerges

Willis’s reputation has faced scrutiny since January after her romantic involvement with Wade, who was leading the case that brought felony racketeering charges against Trump and 18 co-defendants in August. Wade stepped down in March.

District Attorney Fani Willis made it clear on Monday that she won't appear before a Georgia Senate committee, they might issue a subpoena
DA Fani Willis, Courtesy of Fani Willis X

Another win for Trump in Georgia

On Wednesday, a Georgia appeals court decided to review a previous court’s decision that allowed Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to proceed with prosecuting the election interference case against former President Donald Trump. This step could potentially delay the trial and marks the second favorable ruling for Trump in two days, possibly pushing any trials past the November election, where he is expected to secure the Republican presidential nomination.

Read also: Rep. Jim Jordan takes aim and puts unexpected pressure on top prosecutor in Trump New York case: official investigation

Willis “should be disqualified”

The intermediate appeals court agreed to hear the case on Wednesday. Once it makes its decision, the losing side can appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court. Trump’s chief Georgia attorney, Steve Sadow, indicated via email that the former president is eager to argue before the appeals court, emphasizing the case’s dismissal and Willis’s disqualification due to her “misconduct in this unjustified, unwarranted political persecution.”

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