DeSantis unlikely to testify in case of suspended county prosecutor

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) will not likely have to testify at trial in the case of the county prosecutor he suspended earlier this year for refusing to pursue abortion cases, according to reports.

DeSantis suspended elected Democrat Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren for “neglect of duty” in August after Warren signed a letter saying that he would not enforce bans or prohibitions on abortion or transgender health care for minors.

Warren then sued DeSantis to get his job back, alleging the Florida governor had suspended him from his post in violation of his First Amendment rights.

Multiple outlets now report that a U.S. District Court judge in a Wednesday pretrial conference granted a motion saying DeSantis won’t have to testify at trial, but said Warren’s legal team could ask to revisit the matter later in the trial, according to Politico.

Warren’s lawyers, however, have said they don’t plan to call DeSantis to the stand to testify, according to Law and Crime.

The state attorney’s ouster came amid controversy over Florida’s 15-week abortion ban and in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and hand the regulation of abortion over to individual states.

Warren vowed not to go down without a fight after the suspension.

“I refuse to let this man trample on your freedoms to speak your mind, to make your own health care decisions, and to have your vote count,” Warren said when he announced over the summer that he’d mount a “vigorous defense” over the matter.

Politico reported that exhibits from the case indicate the DeSantis team tried to capitalize on Warren’s suspension and planned out media coverage of the move. The governor was also in the midst of campaigning for reelection in the state’s midterms.

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