district attorney

Trump Lawyer Urges Judge to Disqualify Fani Willis in Georgia Case

A judge in the Georgia election interference case against former President Donald J. Trump heard final arguments on Friday on a motion to disqualify the prosecutor who brought the case, Fani T. Willis, on the ground that a romantic relationship she had with a subordinate created a conflict of interest.

With a historic criminal case against a former president on the line, lawyers for Mr. Trump and his co-defendants took turns assailing Ms. Willis. John B. Merchant III, who represents the defendant Michael Roman, said that if the court finds the prosecutors’ romance did not create a conflict of interest, “public confidence in the system will be shot.”

But Adam Abbate, a prosecutor in Ms. Willis’s office, called the defense’s effort to disqualify Ms. Willis “a desperate attempt to remove a prosecutor from a case for absolutely no reason, other than harassment and embarrassment.”

Defense lawyers on Friday repeatedly asserted that the bar for disqualification should be relatively low, arguing that even the appearance of a conflict of interest should lead to Ms. Willis’s removal from the case because her actions had undermined public confidence in it. The question of whether the defense needs to show an actual conflict or just an appearance of one could prove pivotal.

“We can demonstrate an appearance of a conflict of interest, and that is sufficient,” Mr. Merchant told the judge, Scott McAfee of Fulton County Superior Court.

Mr. Trump’s lawyer, Steven H. Sadow, picked up the theme, arguing that “once you have the appearance of impropriety,” the law in Georgia is clear: “That’s enough to disqualify.”

Mr. Sadow focused on a speech Ms. Willis made in January at a Black church in Atlanta, calling her remarks a “violation of professional rules of conduct.” Her speech, at Big Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, came

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Trump lawyer raises possibility that Fani Willis lied about relationship origins

A hearing surrounding the fate of Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Fani Willis‘s prosecution of Donald Trump prompted a lawyer for the former president to raise the possibility that a star witness to Willis’s affair with special prosecutor Nathan Wade is lying about his recollections.

Presiding Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee has labeled Terrence Bradley, a former law partner and divorce attorney to Wade, a “star witness” for the bid by Trump and other co-defendants to dismiss Willis’s office from handling the sweeping racketeering case against them.

Terrence Bradley, Nathan Wade’s former business partner and former divorce attorney, enters the courtroom before meeting with Judge Scott McAfee on Monday, Feb. 26, 2024, in the Fulton County Courthouse in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart, Pool)

Nearly two hours into the hearing on Tuesday, Steve Sadow, a lawyer for Trump, pointed to Bradley’s testimony earlier in the hearing, during which Bradley said he was speculating in previous text messages with defense attorney Ashleigh Merchant, who first raised the allegations of Wade and Willis’s relationship in court when he said that the pair began dating shortly after meeting at a judges’ conference in 2019.

Bradley said repeatedly that he had been speculating when he sent text messages to Merchant about his belief that the relationship began before Willis brought the racketeering indictment.

Merchant, who represents co-defendant Mike Roman, had asked Bradley during the first hour of the hearing about where he obtained the information he relayed when he texted her that Willis and Wade’s relationship began after the 2019 judges’ conference, pointing to printouts of text messages that the pair exchanged.

Merchant asked Bradley: “Do you recall me asking you, ‘Do you think it started before she hired him?’ And you said, ‘Absolutely.’ Do you recall that?”

“I see that in the

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Lawyer Says Trump Aide Told Her After 2020 Election: ‘The Boss Is Not Going to Leave’

In the aftermath of the 2020 election, former President Donald J. Trump planned to refuse to leave the White House “under any circumstances” despite losing at the polls, a longtime Trump aide told one of the lawyers who is cooperating with prosecutors in Atlanta as part of a plea agreement.

The lawyer, Jenna Ellis, described the aide’s statement during an interview with the district attorney’s office in Fulton County, Ga., parts of which were obtained and published on Monday by ABC News.

Such interviews, known as proffer statements, have been conducted with Ms. Ellis and three other defendants who reached plea agreements in the Georgia election interference case against Mr. Trump and more than a dozen of his allies.

ABC obtained excerpts from the interviews with Ms. Ellis and Sidney Powell, another lawyer indicted in the case.

The snippets from the videotaped interviews offer the first public glimpse of the conversations that Ms. Ellis and Ms. Powell have had with prosecutors since their guilty pleas last month. It is not clear what effect the information they are sharing with prosecutors may have at trial.

Ms. Ellis was one of 19 people, including Mr. Trump, who were indicted by a Fulton County grand jury in August on charges of conspiring to overturn the former president’s 2020 election loss. All of the defendants were charged under the state’s racketeering law; each was indicted on other felony counts as well.

As part of a deal that she struck with prosecutors on Oct. 24, Ms. Ellis, a former Trump campaign lawyer, pleaded to lesser charges, avoiding jail time and pledging to cooperate with the investigation. Scott Hall, a bail bondsman in the Atlanta area, and another Trump-aligned lawyer, Kenneth Chesebro, have also pleaded guilty.

Their proffers, and Ms. Powell’s, were recently turned over

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Council, Cooper at odds over lawyer in developer lawsuit | One Tammany

First the St. Tammany Parish Council launched an investigation of the parish president. Then the council hired a lawyer. Now, the north shore district attorney is seeking to force the council to fire the lawyer it hired to investigate Parish President Mike Cooper. 

In a motion filed in the 22nd Judicial District Court in Covington, District Attorney Warren Montgomery’s office is asking Judge William Burris to declare the parish’s contract with Ross Lagarde null and void. The council tapped Lagarde to represent the parish in a developer’s lawsuit seeking to force the parish to allow construction to begin on a 100-unit apartment complex, the Covington Trace Ridge Apartments, off Military Road, just outside the Covington city limits.

That’s the proposed apartment building that spurred the council’s unprecedented vote to investigate the Cooper administration’s handling of the permitting process for the complex. Council members were angered over what they said was a lack of communication from the Cooper administration about the apartment complex, which has run into a buzzsaw of opposition from area residents.







Ross Lagarde.jpg

Ross F. Lagarde, Metairie Bank and Trust


Montgomery isn’t weighing in on the apartment complex or the simmering tension between the council and Cooper. His position is that it’s the DA’s job to represent the parish in this, and any, litigation.

“The District Attorney’s Office has been selected by the voters of this Parish as legal counsel for Parish Government,” his filing reads. “Mr. Lagarde has not been retained by a written contract executed by the Parish President, and the Parish Council does not have the legal authority to act unilaterally on behalf of St. Tammany Parish Government.”

The motion asks the judge to “disqualify Ross F. Lagarde from any further involvement in this litigation.”

The district attorney is challenging the council’s ability to hire an outside

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New Jersey lawyer pleads not guilty to a second series of sexual assaults in Boston

BOSTON — A New Jersey lawyer already charged in connection with a series of sexual assaults in Boston’s Charlestown neighborhood about 15 years ago pleaded not guilty on Thursday to new charges stemming from sexual assaults in another area of the city that occurred at roughly the same time.

Matthew Nilo, 35, was released on $50,000 bail at his arraignment in Suffolk Superior Court after entering pleas to a total of seven new charges, including rape, aggravated rape and assault to rape.

The new charges stem from five attacks on four women — one woman was attacked twice — in Boston’s North End between January 2007 and July 2008, prosecutors said. Nilo lived in the neighborhood at the time, Suffolk District Attorney Kevin Hayden said, and the attacks followed a similar pattern to the Charlestown cases.

Nilo was previously freed on $500,000 bail after pleading not guilty in June in connection with the Charlestown attacks. He worked for a New-York-based cybersecurity company, was hired in January after passing a background check, and was suspended following his arrest.

Advances in DNA testing and genealogical testing led to identifying Nilo, who now lives in Weehawken, New Jersey, as a suspect, Hayden said.

“Nothing can eliminate the terror experienced by these survivors,” Hayden said after the arraignment. “But at least now they have the knowledge that Mr. Nilo must answer to the horrible charges he’s alleged to have committed. We hope this provides some solace to survivors of these attacks.”

Nilo’s attorney, Joseph Cataldo, said his client denies the charges and the district attorney’s office was “piling on.”

“I think they’re trying to solve some unresolved cases, and I’m afraid that the government might be piling on, just trying to claim that Mr. Nilo committed these crimes,” Cataldo said outside the courtroom.

Nilo

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DA tweaks Jonathan Majors’ charge, lawyer says he’s innocent

NEW YORK — Actor Jonathan Majors was confronted Tuesday with a revised domestic violence charge stemming from a woman’s allegations that the Marvel star twisted her arm, struck her head and shoved her into a vehicle in New York City in March.

Majors, appearing by video, did not enter a plea to the misdemeanor assault charge and said little else at the arraignment, which lasted all of three minutes.

Prosecutors say the charge was rewritten to reflect the perspective of Majors’ 30-year-old accuser, rather than the police officer whose account was used in the original version — an indication she is cooperating with authorities.

Majors, 33, still faces other misdemeanor charges in connection with his March 25 arrest in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, some of which are punishable by up to a year in jail.

His lawyer, Priya Chaudhry, says Majors is innocent. She blasted prosecutors after Tuesday’s hearing for pursuing what she called a “witch hunt” against the actor.

Chaudhry said she provided the Manhattan district attorney’s office with “irrefutable evidence that the woman is lying, including video proof showing nothing happened, especially not where she claimed.” The woman, she said, assaulted Majors.

“Instead of dismissing the allegations in the face of the woman’s clear lies, the DA has adjusted the charges to match the woman’s new lies,” Chaudhry said.

Majors had been a fast-rising Hollywood star with major roles in recent hits like “Creed III” and “Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania.” But in the wake of his arrest, the U.S. Army pulled TV commercials narrated by Majors, saying it was “deeply concerned” by the allegations.

Majors’ face was beamed Tuesday onto a flat-screen monitor in front of the judge’s bench in Manhattan’s domestic violence courtroom. The room was crowded with reporters straining to catch a glimpse of the celebrity

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Fani Willis wants lawyer for Trump fake electors off the case, says there’s conflict

What has Georgia’s Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis been up to? We’ve all been wondering since she said months ago that decisions from her office about its 2020 election interference probe were “imminent.” Well, we got an update this week.

Specifically, there may be some flipping among the so-called fake electors — the people who signed false slates of electors for then-President Donald Trump during the 2020 election — and it’s leading Willis to try and get a state GOP-paid lawyer kicked off the matter.

That lawyer is Kimberly Bourroughs Debrow, who’s been representing 10 of the Georgia Republicans who sought to push Trump into office despite him losing to Joe Biden. According to a filing from Willis on Tuesday, some of them have implicated another in criminal activity (though the filing didn’t specify which elector or what alleged crime or crimes). That led Willis to seek Debrow’s disqualification because, per Willis, her office interviewed some of those electors last week, which revealed not only that some of them are implicating another, but that the defense never conveyed immunity offers to the electors that were broached last year. (Debrow has denied Willis’ allegation.)

But wait. Why is Willis, the prosecutor, getting involved with defense representation? Don’t people have a right to their chosen lawyer if they’re informed about any potential conflict (and if they can afford the lawyer)?

Yes, but not without exception. A lawyer needs to keep their client’s best interests in mind, which can be complicated when a lawyer represents multiple clients. When clients’ interests conflict, that can make it close to impossible for a lawyer to act on one client’s interests without negatively impacting another’s. As Willis has framed the situation in her filing — which, again, Debrow contests — such a conflict appears to be

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No charges in the fatal death of 19-year-old Buffalo State freshman

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — District Attorney John Flynn announced no charges in the fatal death of 19-year-old Buffalo State freshman, Tyler Lewis, Friday afternoon.

This comes days after his mother, Roquishia Lewis, held her own news conference.

The DA is saying the murder of Tyler Lewis is closed, but there was no arrests made when Tyler was killed.

“I put every piece of evidence in the grand jury,” he says. “I put enough evidence in the grand jury to give a proper picture of what happened here and the grand jury no billed it.”

Tyler’s mom, Roquishia Lewis, says she believes the DA only held the news conference because she sent an email to his office pledging to hold Flynn and investigators accountable with the evidence her private investigator gathered.

“Basically I called them out on it,” the mother says. “ I let them know that I know exactly all the information and evidence I have and their only concern was how I got the information and it’s sad.”

District Attorney John Flynn replies to the mother’s actions.

“The mother of the victim sent an email basically admitting she taped recorded conversations in our office,” Flynn says. “So my instincts are usually right not to get in the weeds with the family was for a good reason.”

The Buff State freshman that majored in business administration was stabbed on October 14th on the grounds of the University at Buffalo’s North Campus.

He went to UB with what he thought were his friends that night.

DA John Flynn says Tyler and the others had a drug deal that went wrong.

The suspect who is said to be a White man between the age of 19 and 22 stabbed Tyler in the chest, in a car.

Flynn says this happened after Tyler

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Uvalde DA fights release of records against families’ wishes

Uvalde’s district attorney has joined the Texas Department of Public Safety in fighting the release of public records related to last year’s mass shooting at Robb Elementary School, arguing that all of the families who lost children want them withheld. But attorneys for a vast majority of the families are refuting that claim, saying that the information should be made public.

“These Uvalde families fundamentally deserve the opportunity to gain the most complete factual picture possible of what happened to their children,” wrote Brent Ryan Walker, one of the attorneys who represents the parents of 16 deceased children and one who survived, in a court affidavit filed Tuesday evening.

Numerous news organizations, including The Texas Tribune and ProPublica, are suing DPS for records that could provide a more complete picture of law enforcement’s response to the shooting, which left 19 students and two teachers dead in the border community.

The state’s top police agency has refused to release records, including incident reports, internal communications, ballistic reports and body-camera footage.

Last week, Uvalde District Attorney Christina Mitchell supported DPS’ position in a court filing. Disclosing such records could jeopardize any criminal charges Mitchell may seek in response to an investigation by the Texas Rangers, her office wrote.

Mitchell did not respond to multiple requests for comment. She previously told the Tribune that “every adult that was in that building is going to be looked at,” including law enforcement officials. She has not clarified whether she plans to pursue prosecutions.

Attorneys for the coalition of news organizations argued that DPS is required to show how releasing records could harm its investigation. The agency, attorneys wrote, has not provided that explanation but instead asserted that Mitchell has “unlimited power” to unilaterally decide what information should be withheld. DPS officials did not respond to

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Alec Baldwin ‘wants his day in court’ as district attorney disputes claim ‘Rust’ firearm has been destroyed

Alec Baldwin’s lawyer told a judge Thursday the former “30 Rock” star “wants his day in court,” and claimed the gun used in the fatal “Rust” shooting was destroyed by the state.

However, Heather Brewer, spokesperson for the office of the New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney, confirmed with Fox News Digital that the gun has “not been destroyed by the state.”

“The gun Alec Baldwin used in the shooting that killed Halyna Hutchins has not been destroyed by the state. The gun is in evidence and is available for the defense for review,” Brewer said.

“The defense’s unexpected statement in the status hearing today that the gun had been destroyed by the state may be a reference to a statement in the FBI’s July 2022 firearms testing report that said damage was done to internal components of the gun during the FBI’s functionality testing . However, the gun still exists and can be used as evidence.”

Baldwin previously pleaded not guilty to two counts of involuntary manslaughter in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. He was charged in January, more than a year after the fatal shooting on the “Rust” film set.

Alec Baldwin's lawyer revealed the "Rust" gun used in the <a href=fatal shooting of Halyna Hutchins was destroyed by the state of New Mexico.”/

Alec Baldwin’s lawyer revealed the “Rust” gun used in the fatal shooting of Halyna Hutchins was destroyed by the state of New Mexico. (Mark Sagliocco)

Alex Spiro, who represents Baldwin, and Jason Bowles, who represents armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, appeared Thursday before a judge for a status hearing in the case.

ALEC BALDWIN’S INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER CASE INTENSIFIES AS ‘RUST’ PROSECUTOR FIRES BACK

The actor’s lawyer informed the judge that the gun used by Baldwin had been destroyed, but didn’t give any details as to why or how. The gun had been sent for testing by

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