A Fulton County judge has been accused of favoring prosecutors from Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s office. On Tuesday, the defendant’s attorney filed a motion accusing the judge of “sabotage,” which one court observer likened to full-on nuclear war.

Willis has filed a RICO case against rapper Young Thug and his alleged gang, Young Slime Life. However, Thug’s attorney, Brian Steel, has filed a motion accusing Judge Ural Glanville of favoritism of an “attempt to sabotage the defense,” Newsweek reported. “Judge Glanville must cease from any further contact with this case and another judge shall be assigned to hear this Motion to disqualify/recuse Judge Glanville,” the filing read. “Judge Glanville cannot, in any way, oppose this Motion.”

The move follows a week after the judge held Steel in contempt of court for persisting in questioning why Glanville conducted a secret meeting with prosecutors, a star witness, and the witness’s attorney about the case without notifying him. Judge Glanville declined to disclose the meeting’s content and ordered Steel to jail, a decision currently pending appeal before the state Supreme Court. According to Georgia-based criminal defense lawyer Andrew Fleischman, Tuesday’s motion highlights the evident bad blood between the two. “This would be an angry filing from anyone. From Steel, it’s nuclear,” he wrote on X.

Anthony Michael Kreis, an assistant professor of law at Georgia State University, also responded: “This is a motion you file from which there is no return. It’s blistering.” Legal analyst Tracy Pearson added that Steel’s motion will be hugely distracting for prosecutors. “This is not only a ‘noisy’ motion, but a ‘bullhorn in your face’ motion,” she wrote online.

“This court has falsely and wrongly accused Affiant, specifically Brian Steel, of being unprofessional and unprepared in front of the jury. Neither claim was close to the truth or was accurate,” Steel said in a sworn affidavit Monday. “The prosecutor sat silent as Affiant was wrongly and falsely accused of improper conduct. This court has violated every neutrality, impartiality that it was sworn to undertake.”

Defense attorneys stated in the filing that they believe Judge Glanville and prosecutors in Willis’s office tried to intimidate the witness, Kenneth Copeland, into testifying against the defendants.“This court was a participant and was present during these admonitions/threats to Mr. Copeland. This is witness intimidation, coercion and the court has become a member of the prosecution team in assisting the prosecution to induce a material witness to testify,” the sworn affidavit says.

So far, Glanville’s only response has been a brief and chilly one he delivered last week after Doug Weinstein, another defense attorney in the case, asked him, “Aren’t you interested in removing the cloud that’s hanging over the case right now?” The judge responded: “I’d be very careful if I were you.”

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