Trump Election Interference Case May Extend to 2025: Fani Willis

An emergency request filed in the case by prosecutors is scheduled to be heard by the judge on Wednesday.
Trump Election Interference Case May Extend to 2025: Fani Willis
(Left) Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis speaks during a news conference at the Fulton County Government building in Atlanta on Aug. 14, 2023. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images); (Right) Former President Donald Trump leaves at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa, on Aug. 12, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)
Naveen Athrappully

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis expects the Georgia election interference case against former President Donald Trump to extend into early 2025.

“I think the case will be on appeals for years ... I believe in that case there will be a trial. I believe the trial will take many months. And I don't expect that we will conclude until the winter or the very early part of 2025,” Ms. Willis said in a Nov. 14 interview with The Washington Post.

When asked about whether this would mean that the defendants in the case, including President Trump, would be on trial during the election season, Election Day, and even the inauguration day of the new president, Ms. Willis said: “I don't, when making decisions about cases to bring, consider an election cycle or an election season, does not go into calculus. What goes into calculus is this is the law. These are the facts. And if the facts show you violated the law, then charges are brought.”

President Trump and 18 other co-defendants were charged with their alleged efforts to challenge the results of the 2020 presidential election by Ms. Willis in August. Four of the co-defendants have accepted plea deals in the case. The trial start date hasn't yet been set.
The former president has pleaded not guilty to the charges, including claims that he violated Georgia’s anti-racketeering law. President Trump insists that the Georgia charges aim to politically wound him and amount to interference in the 2024 presidential election.
Last month, several Republican state senators from Georgia filed a petition asking the Prosecuting Attorneys Qualifications Commission to sanction Ms. Willis for “improperly” filing charges against President Trump.

The commission came into effect on Oct. 1 through a law signed by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in May. The commission is empowered to sanction or remove district attorneys if they're found to have failed to follow state laws or engaged in misconduct.

In the petition, the Republican lawmakers asked the commission to look into whether Ms. Willis should be sanctioned, claiming that she “improperly cherry-picked cases to further her personal political agenda.” They asked the commission to take “appropriate measures” to sanction Ms. Willis.

“The integrity of our justice system is at stake, and the trust of the community in the District Attorney's Office has been severely eroded,” the complaint stated, according to local media reports.

Emergency Request

Ms. Willis’s statement comes as her team filed an emergency request on Nov. 14 asking the judge in the case, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee, to issue a protective order to prevent any evidence leak that the prosecution shares with the defense ahead of trial.
The request came after multiple media outlets published recorded statements given by four defendants in the case to Fulton County prosecutors. These defendants have already accepted plea deals.

Prosecutors insisted in their filing that the release of confidential videos is “clearly intended to intimidate witnesses in this case, subjecting them to harassment and threats prior to trial, constitutes indirect communication about the facts of this case with co-defendants and witnesses, and obstructs the administration of justice.”

Former Georgia Republican Party Chair David Shafer, President Trump, and four other defendants objected to Ms. Willis’s emergency request, stating that prosecutors have failed to show how their request would “allegedly serve the purpose of protecting witnesses from alleged harm,” according to Breitbart.

In a filing on Nov. 14, Mr. Shafer’s attorneys said that even if the judge intends to issue a protective order, such an order should be restricted to only evidence considered to be “sensitive materials.” A hearing on the request is scheduled for the afternoon of Nov. 15.

Trump Leads in Georgia

While Georgia prosecutors push forward with their charges against President Trump, multiple polls show the GOP candidate having a lead over his Democrat rival President Joe Biden among state voters.
An October survey from Zogby Analytics asked respondents who they would vote for out of the two candidates in the presidential election. While 49 percent chose President Biden, 51 percent opted for President Trump.
Another recent poll by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) found that President Trump had a narrow 1 percent lead over President Biden in Georgia, with 45 percent of voters supporting the former president.

Only 30 percent of independents backed President Biden. In 2020, independent voters were a critical factor in President Biden’s win in the state.

Both candidates face a slew of challenges in Georgia. Some voters told AJC that a felony conviction for President Trump could be a deal-breaker in their support for the Republican candidate.

As to President Biden, voters expressed concerns about his ability to lead.

“I absolutely worry Biden is too old. I don’t know if he knows what’s going on ... He needs to rest and enjoy his retirement. Let’s put someone there who can run the country,” Zina Mulbah, a Trump supporter, told AJC.

“Everything about President Biden concerns me. ... You name it, that’s it," said Dawn Nguyen, a Republican voter. "His age, his health, his standpoints. I’m really worried if he gets elected again.”