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CNN’s Elie Honig Says Fani Willis’ Trump Case ‘May Not Get Tried Ever’ After ‘Surprising’ Decision

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CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig said on Thursday that a Georgia appeals court order to pause the racketeering case against former President Donald Trump might lead to the trial never taking place.

The appeals court on Wednesday ordered Judge Scott McAfee to halt all proceedings pending its coming ruling on the defendants’ effort to disqualify Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis from the case due to her romantic relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade and allegedly receiving financial benefits from appointing him. Honig on “CNN News Central” said there is zero chance the trial will take place before 2025 and that it may never take place if defendants are successful in getting Willis disqualified.

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“What was surprising was yesterday’s announcement when the court of appeals said, ‘okay, trial court, while we’re taking this case over the next several months, everything stops down there and .. this is an important point, when the trial judge issued his ruling, he said, ‘okay, defendants, Donald Trump and others, you can try to take this up to the appeals court, but while that‘s all happening, we’re going to carry on here with our normal pretrial business.’ Now that’s all paused,” Honig said. “Now there’s no way this case gets tried before the end of 2024, may not get tried ever if Donald Trump and the other defendants win on this appeal.”

The appeals court consented to take up the matter in May and will hear oral arguments on Oct. 4. McAfee previously enabled Willis to remain on the case although he found “a significant appearance of impropriety” in her relationship with Wade.

McAfee compelled Wade to resign from the case as a condition of permitting Willis to remain on it. His ruling found “reasonable questions” regarding whether the pair testified honestly about the timing of their relationship, which they asserted commenced following Wade’s appointment.

Defendants argued in their appeal that removing Wade was “insufficient to cure the appearance of impropriety the Court has determined exists.” Wade covered expenses during multiple vacations he and Willis took together, bank statements revealed.

Both asserted during a hearing that Willis reimbursed Wade using cash she kept in her home. Wade pointed to cash reimbursements as a justification for why he only had a single receipt for a flight showing she covered any expenses during their travels together, which they claim was “roughly divided equally.”

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