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Fani Willis may still be in danger.

Top StoriesFani Willis may still be in danger.

Legal experts said that Fani could help her prosecution against Trump by taking a back seat, since a ruling described an "odor of mendacity" surrounding her testimony about a relationship with Nathan Wade. The judge didn't conclude that she got a financial benefit from hiring or dating Wade, or that she perjured herself. Wade resigned later on Friday. Four of the 18 co-conspirators who have taken plea deals have been accused of being involved in a conspiracy to steal the 2020 presidential election. She may face challenges to her law license at the State Bar of Georgia even if experts don't expect those challenges to succeed based on existing evidence. The State Bar was asked to openDisciplinary proceedings against both of them before the decision. "She survived today, she survived this opinion, but this is not going away," said Prep for the polls: See who is running for president and compare where they stand on key issues.

George said that the scrutiny is going to build because her presentation and Mr. Wade's presentation were not convincing.

In his Friday decision, which criticized Willis' "tremendous lapse in judgment" and "unprofessional manner", McAfee mentioned the possibility of further repercussions. The General Assembly, the Georgia State Ethics Commission, the State Bar of Georgia, the Fulton County Board of Commissioners and the voters of Fulton County can offer feedback on unanswered questions. "I can't imagine that someone won't take up that invitation because it just takes a group of lawyers to file an ethics complaint," he said. "It's such a politically charged case, I don't think they're going to leave any stone unturned," Summer said. Glenn Beck posted on X, "For Fani Willis to keep her job on the Trump case, or even keep her law license after the data clearly showed she lied is INSANE."

George said that if it was proven that she lied under oath, she would face disbarment. "That would probably require more proof than currently exists." The data from Wade's cell phone was introduced by Trump's legal team and it showed that Wade was in the vicinity of the condo for 35 years. The data from Wade's cell phone wasn't conclusive when the relationship started. "Neither side was able to prove the relationship was a romantic one after considering all the evidence, including the proffered cellphone testimony from Trump," he wrote. The State Bar was supposed to rely on the opinion of McAfee, which found the appearance of impropriety in the case, but not a conflict of interest. The State Bar won't be involved in the case unless they can prove that the relationship existed prior to Nathan Wade's hiring and that he lied about it.

George noted that the State Bar could hit her with a lesser punishment if it were to find her guilty of perjury and receiving financial kickbacks from Wade after she hired him for a lucrative position. George said that it could be a citation or a listing on a naughty list. If she were to face any kind of negative consequence from the State Bar, it would be very damaging to her. They both said that she repaid him in cash for his share of expenses for shared vacations that were shown on his credit card. The defense teams argued financial kickbacks could be an incentive for Willis to prolong the case. The Georgia State University law professor was not sure if the State Bar would take action against the man. "That's something that's so subjective and so beholden in the eye of the beholder that you can't really prove that with a degree of accuracy," he said. There are other investigations and an election coming.

There are threats of unpleasantness from other authorities in Georgia beyond any potential issues with the State Bar. She is currently under investigation by the Georgia Senate for her role in the Georgia election case. Georgia's governor signed a law to give legislative fixes to a new commission with the power to sanction and remove state prosecutors. Although the investigations could bring more political baggage for her, she was not expected to take a big hit from them. "I don't see anything coming out from that because of the lack of incriminating evidence to suggest that she received some kind of kickback," he said. If she survives the primary election in May, she will go to a general election in November. The election case could be appealed before the case is fully resolved at the trial level. The judge could grant a certificate of immediate review, but the appellate court was not likely to take up the issue. There is a minuscule likelihood that this will be taken up on appeal because the findings of fact are sufficiently in the favor of the district attorney. Andrew Weissmann, a former Justice Department prosecutor, said on MSNBC that the way forward was for Willis to remove herself so that ethics don't taint the case. He thinks that she needs to say, "I'm going to appoint a chief assistant who's going to oversee this case." "She clearly has no credibility with this judge and these issues are going to be taken up by all sorts of other Georgia regulators." Several of the defendants, including Trump and Rudy Giuliani, are charged with making false statements and writings. George noted that the prosecuting team isn't well suited to lead the charges. George said that it is hard to avoid an appearance of impropriety where the prosecution team is led by someone whose honesty before a court was found to be questionable. If she were to recusing herself, there would be more legal problems for the Georgia case than it would solve. She needed to step away from a conflict that had ruined her office's power. She said she could informally delegate responsibility to someone else to handle the day-to-day decisions while still being behind the case. "That might be a middle ground that she could achieve without running the risk of additional questions about the legal authority for her to reassign," she said.

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