Georgia court of appeals indefinitely pauses the election subversion conspiracy case against Donald Trump

A Georgia appeals court has halted the election subversion conspiracy case against Donald Trump and several of his co-defendants – a massive victory for the former president seeking to push further legal issues until 2025 if he can’t beat them altogether.

The new order filed on Wednesday from the Georgia Court of Appeals is the latest indication that a trial in the state-level Georgia election subversion case will not occur before the 2024 presidential election. The court said the case will be on hold until a panel of judges rules on whether Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis should be disqualified.

The appeals court is expected to rule on the disqualification issue by March 2025, though it could issue a ruling sooner. Several sources close to the case have told CNN that the timeline remains very uncertain.

Fulton County Superior Judge Scott McAfee had initially allowed proceedings in his courtroom to continue as the appeals court weighed an appeal of his decision to allow Willis to remain on the case.

A spokesperson for Willis’ office said they can’t comment on the appeals court’s order at this point. The DA can ask the appeals court to fast track a decision in this matter if it chooses.

The appeals court’s decision underscores Trump’s series of successes in his long-running strategy to put prosecutors on the defensive, attack them in the public sphere and challenge them in court.

Trump and some of his co-defendants in the sprawling racketeering case have been trying to get Willis disqualified from the case because of a romantic relationship she had with Nathan Wade, the special prosecutor she hired to help handle the case. The defendants argued that Willis financially benefited from the relationship with Wade, who defense attorneys say covered several vacations for the pair.

In March, after what amounted to a mini-trial where attorneys for Trump and his co-defendants sought to prove their case against Willis and Wade, McAfee found there was not enough evidence to firmly prove Willis financially benefited from the relationship.

Willis’ testimony in televised proceedings put her personal life in the spotlight, turning discussion away from the charges Trump and others face in Georgia.

The judge ultimately decided Willis would be allowed to continue to helm the case if Wade stepped down, which he later did.

Steve Sadow, Trump’s lead defense counsel in Georgia, said the ruling was proper.

“The Georgia Court of Appeals has properly stayed all proceedings against President Trump in the trial court pending its decision on our interlocutory appeal which argues the case should be dismissed and Fulton County DA Willis should be disqualified for her misconduct,” Sadow said in a statement.

Speaking briefly to pool reporters Wednesday night, Trump was asked if he’d lost confidence in his legal team after the guilty verdict in his criminal hush money trial in New York. “No, it’s a rigged system and it’s a terrible system actually,” Trump said.

“I think we’re doing very well. We had a big thing happen in Georgia today,” the former president said.

Florida delays help Trump as well

Meanwhile, in Trump’s classified documents case in Florida, the federal judge overseeing those proceedings has shown propensity to devote large amounts of in-court time to Trump’s requests to question investigators and his prosecutors’ authority.

That judge, Aileen Cannon, indicated on Wednesday she still appears to be willing to hold a hearing where Trump could attempt to put federal investigators under oath so his attorneys could question them, and said she’ll dedicate a day and a half this month to hearing arguments about the legality of his prosecutor.

Like the Georgia case, the Florida documents case has no set trial date.

This story has been updated with additional details.

CNN’s Devan Cole and Katelyn Polantz contributed to this report.

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