Fani Willis Won’t Back Down from Trump Prosecution As She Faces Hearing for Allegations of Misconduct. What’s Next for the Georgia DA?

Threats Against Fani Willis Were So Severe She Had to Leave Courthouse In Disguise, Use a Body Double, Authors of New Book Say

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Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis just admitted that she’s in a romantic relationship with an attorney she assigned to the Georgia election interference case. Still, she’s not caving into calls to step down from the case.

Willis had until Friday to respond to allegations of an improper relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade that were laid out in court filings by attorneys for Michael Roman, one of Trump’s former campaign aides and a co-defendant in the election subversion case.

His attorneys filed a motion to disqualify Willis from the case because they alleged the pair “profited significantly” from their work prosecuting the case “at the expense of taxpayers” and broke the law by going on lavish vacations around the world together while working on the case. They brought no evidence forward to prove these claims, which Willis called “complete conjecture” in court documents she filed Friday.

Threats Against Fani Willis Were So Severe She Had to Leave Courthouse In Disguise, Use a Body Double, Authors of New Book SayThreats Against Fani Willis Were So Severe She Had to Leave Courthouse In Disguise, Use a Body Double, Authors of New Book Say
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis speaks during a news conference at the Fulton County Government building on August 14, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. A grand jury today handed up an indictment naming former President Donald Trump and his Republican allies over an alleged attempt to overturn the 2020 election results in the state. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Donald Trump recited those allegations in a post on his social platform, Truth Social, while responding to Friday’s news of Willis’ admission:

“Fani Willis, the D.A. of Fulton County, just admitted to having a sexual relationship with the Prosecutor she, in consultation with the White House and DOJ, appointed to ‘GET PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP.’ By going after the most high-level person and the Republican nominee, she was able to get her ‘lover’ much more money, almost a Million Dollars, than she would be able to get for the prosecution of any other person or individual. THAT MEANS THAT THIS SCAM IS TOTALLY DISCREDITED & OVER!”

In Willis’ court filing, she stated that the allegations claiming her relationship with Wade tarnished court proceedings are “meritless” and “salacious,” adding that the attacks on Wade’s qualifications are “inaccurate,” “unsupported,” and “malicious.”

The district attorney’s office has paid Wade’s firm more than $650,000 since he was appointed to prosecute Trump, and Wade himself has earned close to $1 million in taxpayer money. Claims of fraud arose after news spread about the money he was making, but Willis has indicated that Wade receives the same pay as two other special prosecutors who are also handling the case.

Credit card records released during Wade’s divorce proceedings also reveal that Wade purchased airline tickets for trips to San Francisco, Miami, and Aruba in 2022 and 2023 for himself and Willis.

In her court filing, Willis stated that she “has no financial conflict of interest that constitutes a legal basis for disqualification” and “no personal conflict of interest that justifies her disqualification personally or that of the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office.”

Even before her confession dropped, sources told CNN that she had no plans to quit the case due to concerns that her recusal might jeopardize the indictment and put an end to the proceedings.

Attacks against Willis have grown increasingly inflammatory since she began her work on the racketeering indictment against Trump and more than a dozen of his allies who are accused of trying to overturn Georgia’s 2020 presidential election results. Trump’s legal team has filed several motions and court filings alleging bias and racial animosity to undermine the case and attack Willis’ credibility.

Trump’s attorneys also signed onto the motion Roman’s lawyers filed that alleged misconduct stemmed from Willis’s and Wade’s secret romance. Willis has remained quiet on that matter up until she submitted her court filing admitting to the relationship.

What Does This Mean for the Case and Willis’ Team Moving Forward?

Willis’ recent admission about her relationship with Wade will be part of an evidentiary hearing on Feb. 15 that Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee scheduled. McAfee, who is presiding over the election interference case, will consider Roman’s motion at that hearing.

Willis and Wade have already been subpoenaed to testify in that hearing. Roman’s lawyers have gone to some lengths to prepare, subpoenaing nearly a dozen staffers and associates of the district attorney’s office to testify. They also attempted to subpoena Wade’s personal bank records and a lawyer who represented him in his divorce proceedings at one time, efforts that Willis called “incredibly inappropriate” and carry “little to no evidentiary value.”

Not only is Roman’s motion imperiling Willis’ work prosecuting the case, but state and federal lawmakers are also beginning to call her conduct into question. Georgia Republicans passed a resolution to create a special panel to investigate Willis’s conduct and her romance with Wade.

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee also just subpoenaed Willis to turn over any documents on her office’s use of federal funds following a whistleblower complaint alleging she “misused federal grant dollars to buy computers, ‘swag’ and travel.”

A trial date has yet to be set for the election interference case. The window to start the proceeding is swiftly closing as the nation inches closer to the 2024 presidential election.

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