Blackwell suggests judge's 'political calculation' benefited DA Fani Willis

Blackwell suggests judge's 'political calculation' benefited DA Fani Willis

Blackwell suggests judge's 'political calculation' benefited DA Fani Willis

A former Ohio secretary of state is accusing a Georgia judge of taking the "wimp way out" in a recent court ruling that leaves the door open for a district attorney to continue what some are convinced is her "political prosecution" of former President Donald Trump.

The vendetta lives on

Steve Jordahl (AFN)

Attorney Brad Dacus of Pacific Justice Institute says Judge Scott McAfee's ruling was a mere slap on the wrist. "The overall majority of attorneys and those watching the case expected him to remove both of them [Fani Willis and Nathan Wade] from the case, but he didn't," he tells AFN.

Dacus argues Trump is ridiculously and maliciously overcharged in the case, which he says shows the trial is more a Fani Willis vendetta than a criminal trial.

Dacus, Brad (PJI) Dacus

"We have a district attorney who has a personal agenda, a political agenda, against the defendant Donald Trump. Her actions, her behavior, and her stated objectives all breached the public trust," he states.

The Georgia case is one of four that have been brought against the former president. Dacus says it's more than suspicious that all four of them are timed to culminate right around Election Day this year.

"All of these cases – all four of them – were brought forth for the purpose of attacking President Donald Trump politically and, to some degree, personally," he adds.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee ruled last week that embattled District Attorney Fani Willis (pictured above) can remain on the case against Donald Trump in spite of her alleged affair with the special prosecutor she hired. McAfee's decision that a resignation by that prosecutor, Nathan Wade, would level the playing field defied the most basic understanding of law in the United States, Ken Blackwell, Family Research Council Action's special advisor for election integrity, said on Washington Watch Friday.

While Wade quickly acquiesced, his absence doesn't make things right, Blackwell told show host Jody Hice.

"For [Fani Willis] to continue to be on the case actually violates any commonsense understanding of due process. I hope the Trump lawyers will take this up on appeal," Blackwell stated.

It looks like Blackwell, Ohio's secretary of state from 1999-2007, will get his wish. Trump attorney Steve Sadow shared some legals plans for the former president on social media after McAfee's ruling came down on Friday.

"We will use all legal options available as we continue to fight to end this case, which should never have been brought in the first place," he wrote on X.

Trump's legal team alleged that Willis benefited from hiring Wade because their relationship was beyond professional. Willis and Wade took elaborate trips with money earned after she hired him, they said.

The Trump team claimed that Wade's law firm billed taxpayers $650,000 at a rate of $250 an hour since his hiring, Fox News reported.

Trump got mobster treatment in indictment

The indictment brought by Willis charges Trump and more than a dozen co-defendants with racketeering in an alleged scheme to retain power after Trump's 2020 election loss to Joe Biden. The charges were filed under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), commonly associated with organized crime.

"While respecting the Court's decision, we believe that it did not afford appropriate significance to the prosecutorial misconduct of Willis and Wade, including the financial benefits, testifying untruthfully about when their personal relationship began, as well as Willis' extrajudicial MLK 'church speech,' where she played the race card and falsely accused the defendants and their counsel of racism," Sadow wrote.

Blackwell, Ken (FRC) Blackwell

Blackwell agreed. "Her performance at that church actually made clear that this was a political prosecution on her part," he said.

Willis spoke at Atlanta's Big Bethel AME Church on Jan. 15 the day before the observance of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. Judge McAfee ruled the speech did not prevent Trump from a fair trial, but he chastised Willis for "legally improper" judgment and suggested a gag order in the case moving ahead.

McAfee struck down six charges against Trump relating to allegations that Trump and other defendants pressured public officials to violate state laws. But the judge added that prosecutors didn't offer enough specifics to substantiate their claims. Blackwell blasted McAfee's actions.

"There was an improper relationship, and I think it soiled the whole proceedings. The trial judge took the wimp way out by giving the option of scapegoating Wade and leaving Willis on the case. Let's start there," he said.

Blackwell suggested Trump's legal team wouldn't have much trouble in an appeal of the decision.

"All of the lawyers who I worked with over 40 years called me a jake-leg lawyer, but I've hired some pretty good lawyers, and I've fired some pretty bad lawyers, and I actually understand the Constitution," he said. "And I really strongly believe that Trump's lawyers can take this up on appeal prior to a court procedure on the case. I just don't know how this stands. It's clearly a political prosecution, and we can't allow Willis to turn Georgia jurisprudence into kangaroo courts," he added.

Blackwell: Judge McAfee knows what he's done

McAfee, an appointee of Georgia's Republican governor, Brian Kemp, may be looking ahead to his first dance with voters, Blackwell said. In fact, the former gubernatorial added, McAfee likely understands that he has delivered a weak ruling.

"This judge is up for election this time around. He was appointed; now he stands for election," Blackwell explained. "There might have been some political calculation in the way he decided in this case, but I think he's smart enough to understand that Willis has cooked her own goose."

He continued: "… If Trump's lawyers take this up on appeal while we're in the pretrial proceedings, they might be able to fast forward to a Georgia Supreme Court decision to disqualify her or to throw the case out. There's just too much tangible evidence that this was a political prosecution on her part and that she not only exhibited bad judgment, I think she has violated the law."

Blackwell told Hice that claims of election interference in 2020 might be solved in 2024 with better voter turnout. "I think we need to get the vote out and make this election too big to rig," he concluded.