Why DA Fani Willis Remaining on the Georgia Election Interference Case Is Good for Donald Trump

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Two weeks after hearing closing arguments on the motion to disqualify District Attorney Fani Willis and special prosecutor Nathan Wade from the election interference case against Donald Trump and 14 remaining co-defendants in Georgia, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee issued his ruling.

He determined that Willis and her office can stay on the case, but Wade has to go. While the former president’s legal team has already indicated an appeal is likely, the decision may not actually be as much of a setback as it appears.

On Friday’s show, Megyn was joined by National Review’s Andy McCarthy, to discuss why Willis staying on the case is actually a good thing for Trump and his fellow defendants.

Reputational Hazards

Judge McAfee may have ultimately decided that Willis could stay on the case so long as Wade was removed (something he made official Friday afternoon with his letter of resignation), but his 23-page opinion was scathing in terms of his critiques of their conduct and credibility. 

While McAfee said the defense did not provide “sufficient evidence that the District Attorney acquired a personal stake in the prosecution, or that her financial arrangements had any impact on the case,” he added that the finding “is by no means an indication that the Court condones this tremendous lapse in judgment or the unprofessional manner of the District Attorney’s testimony during the evidentiary hearing.”

He also called her speech at Big Bethel AME Church in Atlanta in January “legally improper” and said “providing this type of public comment creates dangerous waters for the District Attorney to wade further into.”

In McCarthy’s view, the damning observations are a net-positive for the defense. “As a practical matter, I think it’s the best thing that could have happened to Trump and the co-defendants because she’s just destroyed in terms of her reputation, which she deserves by the way she conducted herself,” he explained. “But she’s still on the case.”

A ‘Triple Play’ for Trump

In addition to the issues of character, McCarthy said he has been making the case that Willis’ case against Trump in and of itself is problematic. “I’ve tried to explain to people on the basis of this sprawling blunderbuss indictment, that she is incompetent,” he said. 

After a nearly two and a half year probe, Willis indicted Trump last summer on 13 criminal counts related to alleged efforts to overturn the result of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. The investigation was triggered by a phone call then-President Trump made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and others on January 2, 2021, in which he said he wanted to “find” the 11,780 votes he needed to win the state. 

Earlier this week, McAfee actually tossed the charges related to that call due to a lack of specificity. But 10 criminal counts – including the violation of the Georgia Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) – remain.

RICO statutes are complicated and typically used to go after the mafia and organized crime. “She indicted a RICO case that is not a RICO case, and she is trying to do an overarching conspiracy that is not a conspiracy,” McCarthy said. “And then we see this situation where you get an up close view on how these guys operate and you have to ask yourself after watching this performance: Do you really think these guys can run a RICO case, which is a sophisticated criminal prosecution?“

That is why he believes the former president is in a good position. “From Trump’s perspective, it seems to me it’s like a triple play for him because she’s a tainted prosecutor and this is an issue that I believe you can appeal under Georgia law so he also gets the delay that he’s looking for,” he concluded. “[Regardless,] he gets to keep her on the case, and she’ll screw the case up.”

You can check out Megyn’s full interview with McCarthy by tuning in to episode 747 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.