Mon. Jun 24th, 2024

Fulton County DA Fani Willis acknowledges personal relationship with the special prosecutor in Trump election case

By 37ci3 Feb2,2024

Fulton County District Attorney Fannie Willis on Friday admitted she had a personal relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade as former President Donald Trump and another co-defendant tried to have them removed from court. election interference case.

In a 176-page filing, Willis said Friday in response to allegations of a personal relationship with Wade that “any personal relationship between members of the prosecution team is not affected by a disqualifying conflict of interest or otherwise. criminal defendant”.

Willis and his office argued that the relationship did not impair their ability to oversee the case.

“The defendants have done nothing to create an actual conflict of interest, and they have not shown that District Attorney Willis or Special Prosecutor Wade acted with any personal or financial motivation during the prosecution of the case,” he said.

Trump’s accuser, Michael Roman, who first alleged a connection between Willis and Wade in order to drop the charges, “wildly speculates” that Willis benefited financially from the investigation and prosecution of the case, the document says. there is no support to justify this conclusion”.

Fani Willis, DA for Fulton County Georgia
Fani Willis, DA for Fulton County Georgia, on December 5, 2023 in New York City.Natalie Keyssar for NBC News

“To be absolutely clear, the personal relationship between Special Prosecutor Wade and District Attorney Willis never directly or indirectly benefited District Attorney Willis,” he said.

In an affidavit included in the filing, Wade directly acknowledged his personal relationship with Willis, which he said did not exist when he was hired.

“In 2022, District Attorney Willis and I have developed a personal relationship in addition to our professional association and friendship,” he said.

Touching on the personal trips they took together, he said they split the travel expenses roughly in half. Sometimes he booked the flights, she said, and sometimes he did.

Friday’s filing said the claims made by Roman and other motions to disqualify Willis and Wade “are humiliating and have attracted the media attention they are primed to get.” But he denied the accusations made by Trump and the co-defendant in the case.

“District Attorney Willis has no financial conflict of interest that constitutes a legal basis for disqualification,” he said. “District Attorney Willis has no personal conflict of interest that would justify disqualifying him or the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office.”

It said the attacks on Wade’s qualifications were “factually inaccurate, unsupported and prejudicial, and provide no basis for dismissing the indictment or disqualifying him.”

Willis, he added, “did not make any public statements that led to disqualification or judicial investigation.”

Reacting to the news on Friday, Trump blasted Fulton County prosecutors in a post on Truth Social, saying the case against him and others was “totally discredited and out of date!”

Friday’s presentation sets the stage for what’s to come February 15 hearing on the pleas assigned by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee, who presided over the election case. Roman issued subpoenas to Willis and Wade to testify in court, but Friday’s filing said they intend to file a motion to quash them.

Attorneys for Trump co-defendant Michael Roman, who filed a lawsuit last month seeking to dismiss the charges in the case, initially accused Willis of having an “inappropriate, confidential personal relationship” with special counsel Nathan Wade. Trump has also cited allegations of romantic involvement with his efforts cancel the charges.

Both Roman and Trump, who faces 13 criminal charges, are involved he begged not guilty in the case. Four defendants pleaded guilty.

Last month, a court filing by Wade’s estranged wife included credit card statements that indicated Wade had. bought plane tickets For trips with Willis.

Wade on Tuesday obtained a provisional agreement In his divorce proceedings with his wife Jocelyn Wade, he canceled a hearing where he was expected to testify about the allegations.

On the same day, Roman’s lawyer called Willis and Wade will testify at a Feb. 15 hearing on their motions to disqualify from prosecuting the election case, according to a lawsuit filed against Willis’ office by Roman’s attorney, Ashleigh Merchant.

The merchant’s lawsuit alleges that Willis has refused to provide many of the requested materials in violation of the Georgia Open Records Act. The lawsuit also alleges that Willis “used taxpayer money to pay Wade, with whom she was romantically involved at the time,” and as a result received “financial benefits from such payments,” including vacations, hotel stays and gifts.

Willis has faced intense scrutiny in recent weeks over the alleged affair.

Last week, the Republican-led Georgia Senate confirmed the decision Republican state representative Charlie Byrd introduced articles of impeachment against Willis in the Georgia lower house to create a committee to investigate Willis.

Fulton County Board of Commissioners Bob Ellis also said in a statement last month that he would conduct a “full investigation” into the allegations.

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By 37ci3

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