Fulton County judge says Fani Willis disqualification ruling 'should be out tomorrow'


Judge Scott McAfee said his long-awaited ruling on the effort to disqualify Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis “should” come out Friday.

“I made a promise to everybody. These kind of orders take time to write. I need to make sure I say exactly what I want to, and I plan to stick to the timeline I gave everyone,” McAfee said, according to ABC affiliate WSB who spoke to him Thursday evening.

“Should be out tomorrow,” he continued.

PHOTO: Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis looks on during a hearing on the Georgia election interference case, March, 1, 2024, in Atlanta.  (Alex Slitz/AP, FILE)

PHOTO: Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis looks on during a hearing on the Georgia election interference case, March, 1, 2024, in Atlanta. (Alex Slitz/AP, FILE)

MORE: Timeline: Criminal probe into Trump’s efforts to overturn Georgia election results

Attorneys for several defendants have been pushing for the disqualification of Willis from the Georgia election interference case against former President Donald Trump and 18 others.

McAfee has been weighing motions to disqualify Willis, primarily over accusations from Ashley Merchant’s client, Trump co-defendant Michael Roman, that Willis benefited financially from a “personal, romantic relationship” with Nathan Wade, who she hired for the case, through Wade’s “paying for vacations across the world with money he is being paid by the Fulton County taxpayers and authorized solely by Willis.”

Friday’s ruling comes as McAfee is in the midst of an election for a full four-year term on the bench. He has denied that politics would play a part in his ruling.

“The message I want to convey is no ruling of mine is ever going to be based on politics,” McAfee said. “I’m going to be following the law as best I understand it.”

MORE: Attorney leading effort to disqualify DA Fani Willis tells legislators how she uncovered allegations of misconduct

Willis has pushed back on any allegations of misconduct. In a filing this week, she urged the judge to reject the motion to disqualify her, saying that in order to disqualify an elected district attorney, “an actual conflict of interest must be proven” — which she says the defendants have not done.

On Thursday night, a reporter asked the judge how he balances campaigning to keep his seat while presiding over “one of the most watched cases in America.”

“So I just focus on the job I’m doing. I’m incredibly grateful for the last year I’ve been able to do this. I took this job not because I wanted to score partisan political points. I didn’t go looking for the spotlight. I did it because I love the law and giving people their day in court and being efficient about it,” he said.

Trump and 18 others pleaded not guilty last August to all charges in a sweeping racketeering indictment for alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in the state of Georgia. Defendants Kenneth Chesebro, Sidney Powell, Jenna Ellis and Scott Hall subsequently took plea deals in exchange for agreeing to testify against other defendants.

Fulton County judge says Fani Willis disqualification ruling ‘should be out tomorrow’ originally appeared on abcnews.go.com



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