A Superior Court judge in Fulton County, Ga., will allow District Attorney Fani Willis until May 15 to respond to a motion by former President Donald Trump (pictured, 2020) seeking to expel her from the investigation into alleged election interference. File Photo by Erin Schaff/UPI | License Photo
May 1 (UPI) -- A Superior Court judge in Fulton County, Ga., will allow District Attorney Fani Willis until May 15 to respond to a motion by former President Donald Trump seeking to expel her from the investigation into alleged election interference.
The motion filed by Trump more than a month ago required a response from Willis on Monday. The judge extended the deadline to allow arguments from both parties to be heard, WSB-TV in Atlanta reports.
Willis opened the investigation into potential election interference by Trump and allies in 2021. A special grand jury investigation has since heard testimony from about 75 witnesses, including Sen. Lindsey Graham, former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, and Trump's former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
Attorneys for Trump have argued that Willis should be disqualified from the case because of a political conflict of interest. They also say that any interviews conducted by Willis are tainted, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The motion also reportedly seeks to block the release of the report from the special grand jury.
The decision from the judge comes a week after Willis notified the Fulton County Sheriff's Office that it should prepare for a decision on a potential indictment to come in the summer. In a letter to Sheriff Patrick Labat, Willis said the announcement of a decision, such as one to indict the former president, may provoke a public reaction that goes beyond "public expressions of opinion that are protected by the First Amendment to engage in acts of violence that will endanger the safety of our community."
Cathy Latham, who purported herself to be an alternate elector in South Georgia following the 2020 election, reportedly filed a motion in step with Trump's on Friday. Latham is a former chair of the Coffee County GOP and is one of more than a dozen phony electors who allegedly claimed they were official electors for the state in December 2020. A criminal investigation ensued but Latham has not been charged.
"The actions of the Fulton County District Attorney's Office as set forth in the Trump motion have violated Mrs. Latham's constitutional rights, have tainted the evidence allegedly gathered by the [special grand jury], and have intruded upon the traditional independence and safeguards of the institution of the grand jury itself," attorneys for Latham wrote in the motion, reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.