LIVE: Closing arguments on bid to disqualify Georgia prosecutor Fani Willis in Trump case

LIVE: Closing arguments on bid to disqualify Georgia prosecutor Fani Willis in Trump case

Defense Arguments

  • The defense requested 1.5 hours for argument, which the judge approved.
  • Both the defense and the state have requested to reopen the evidence, but the judge wants to hear legal arguments first.
  • The defense has a proper witness and oral proffer to present if the evidence is reopened.
  • The state objects to the defense's proffer because they haven't had a chance to review it.
  • The defense argues that the district attorney (Miss Willis) should be disqualified from the case due to an appearance of a conflict of interest.
  • The defense cites Georgia law and case precedents to support their argument, including Williams v. State and Amusement Sales v. State.
  • The defense argues that Miss Willis has a personal financial interest in the case due to the scheme she set up, which creates an appearance of impropriety and undermines public confidence in the system.
  • The defense also cites the seminal US Supreme Court case Young v. United States, which requires prosecutors to be disinterested and avoid injecting personal interests into the prosecution process.
  • The defense further argues that Miss Willis's close personal relationship with the victim's boyfriend creates the appearance of a prosecution based on private interest rather than public interest.
  • The defense emphasizes that prosecutors are bound by rules to avoid even the appearance of impropriety, citing ABA Criminal Justice Standards for the Prosecution Function.
  • The defense asserts that the facts of the case demonstrate a clear personal interest and appearance of unfairness, and urges the court to disqualify Miss Willis and potentially grant a new trial if the motion is denied.
  • The defense argues that the prosecution has failed to meet its burden of providing evidence and has engaged in forensic misconduct.
  • The defense points out that the prosecution made public statements about the case that were prejudicial to the defendants without responding to the defense's motion.
  • The defense alleges that the prosecution made false statements about the timing of a relationship between a witness and a defendant, which raises concerns about their truthfulness and violates professional conduct rules.
  • The defense presents evidence in the form of text messages that contradict the prosecution's claims about the timing of the relationship.
  • The defense argues that the prosecution's witness evaded answering questions and provided untruthful testimony, further supporting the concerns about their credibility.
  • The defense asserts that the untruthful statements made by Willis and Wade, if found to be credible, would raise concerns about their truthfulness in other criminal cases they are involved in.
  • The defense argues that the prosecutors' ethical violations, including making untruthful statements under oath, constitute forensic misconduct and impact the defendant's ability to get a fair trial.
  • The defense emphasizes that the pattern of forensic misconduct by the prosecutors is not an isolated incident but a calculated plan to prejudice the defendants in the minds of the jurors.
  • The defense accuses the prosecution of misconduct and fraud in the case against their clients, Fani Willis and Ralph Wade.
  • The defense argues that Willis and Wade's relationship began before November 1, 2021, and that Willis failed to disclose the gifts and benefits she received from Wade, which exceeded the $100 materiality threshold.
  • The defense highlights evidence such as phone records, text messages, and witness testimony that suggest the relationship between Willis and Wade predated November 2021.
  • The defense criticizes Willis and Wade's explanations for their interactions and financial transactions, arguing that they lack credibility and are contradicted by objective evidence.
  • The defense emphasizes the importance of documentary evidence and the presumption that arises when a party fails to produce evidence within their reach that could repel a claim.
  • The defense points out that Willis falsely certified that she had not received any gifts, and that Wade was a prohibited source of gifts due to his business dealings with Fulton County.
  • The defense argues that Willis's speech in church, where she mentioned a 95% conviction rate and implied the defendants' guilt, violated the US Supreme Court case US v. Burger and showed an appearance of conflict.
  • Willis's lavish spending, funded by Wade's contract, and the financial benefit she received from their relationship constitute a conflict of interest.
  • Willis's actions, including hosting a fundraiser for a political opponent of a defendant, create an actual conflict of interest, as per Judge McBurney's previous ruling.
  • The defense emphasizes that a conflict of interest can arise from any factor that impairs a lawyer's independent professional judgment, not just financial interests.
  • Six different actual conflicts of interest are identified, including financial conflict, political ambition, concealment of the relationship, the church speech, the motion for protective order in Wade's divorce case, and the state's conduct in defending the disqualification motion.
  • The defense argues that Willis's failure to produce evidence supporting the "Invisible Magic cash balancing Theory" allows the court to draw a negative inference, as per State v

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