- DA Fannie Willis and the attorney general in Donald Trump’s Georgia case have admitted to having an affair.
- Willis says that shouldn’t disqualify him from Trump’s job.
- The relationship started after she appointed Nathan Wade, not before.
Fanny Willis, Fulton County, Georgia, district attorney who tried the former president Donald Trump and 18 of his allies in the 2020 election meddling case, admitted to having ties to the man he appointed special prosecutor in the case.
In a new lawsuit filed Friday, Willis’ attorneys responded to requests to disqualify him. claims that he had a “proper” romantic relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade.
The much-anticipated lawsuit was in response to a January 8 filing by an attorney for one of the defendants. racketeeringFormer Trump campaign staffer Michael Roman.
The motion alleged that the relationship began on November 2, 2021, when Wade was married to Joycelyn Wade, who filed for divorce. The divorce filing comes a day after Willis appointed Wade to lead an investigation into efforts by Trump and others to overturn Trump’s loss in Georgia during the 2020 presidential election.
In a response to Willis’ motion Friday, his attorney argued that attempts to disqualify him “have no merit” and “must be unequivocally dismissed without an evidentiary hearing.”
“Although the allegations raised in the various motions are prejudicial and attract the media attention they are intended to obtain, none provide this Court with any basis for granting the relief they seek,” Willis’ attorneys said in a filing.
Willis’ attorneys wrote that she never benefited financially from her relationship with Nathan Wade and that there was no financial or personal conflict of interest that warranted disqualification.
“To be perfectly clear, the personal relationship between Special Prosecutor Wade and District Attorney Willis never directly or indirectly benefited District Attorney Willis,” he said.
Willis’ attorneys also pointed to “at least two personal relationships” between attorneys for defendants in the election interference case that “would almost certainly require disqualification under the standard required by Roman’s proposal.”
A statement from Wade was included in his filing Friday in which he admitted to having an affair with Willis.
“Although we have been professional colleagues and friends since 2019, District Attorney Willis and I have had no personal relationship prior to or at the time of the appointment of special prosecutor in 2021,” Nathan Wade said, according to the filing.
“In 2022, District Attorney Willis and I developed a personal relationship in addition to our professional association and friendship,” Nathan Wade said, according to court documents.
Roman’s attorney accused Willis of financially benefiting from hiring Willis because she paid for his extravagant vacations, but Wade said they shared all travel expenses.
“The district attorney and I are both financially independent professionals; personal travel expenses were split roughly equally between us,” he said. “At times I have traveled and bought for District Attorney Willis and myself out of my own funds.”
Roman’s proposal suggested that Willis benefited from hundreds of thousands of dollars, paid for Nathan Wade’s work on the case, as it went to pay for his trips to places such as Napa Valley, Florida and the Caribbean. The petition also alleges that Nathan Wade bought her and Willis tickets to go on cruises.
“As it becomes abundantly clear, the district attorney and the special prosecutor personally profited from this prosecution at the expense of Fulton County,” Roman’s motion, which presented no evidence, said.
The motion calls the “entire prosecution” “invalid and unconstitutional” and asks that the criminal charges against Roman be dismissed and that Willis, his office and Nathan Wade, a Democrat, be disbarred from prosecuting the case.
Trump’s lawyers, his defendant, lawyer Robert Chili, also participated in the motion filed by Roman’s lawyer Merchant.
Rushing allegations of interagency communication, Trump wrote to Truth Social Friday about Willis’ response.
“Fulton County DA Fanie Willis, in consultation with the White House and DOJ, admitted to having sex with a prosecutor appointed to ‘GET PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP,'” he said.
“By going after the highest ranking person and the Republican Candidate, he was able to get his ‘boyfriend’ almost a Million Dollars more money than any other person or individual could get for prosecution. This means that this scam is COMPLETELY OVER AND OVER!”
Meanwhile, legal expert and former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani told Business Insider that the relationship was “a terrible look and a potential ethical breach” for Willis.
“But this is not a conflict of interest with respect to Trump or the defendants,” Rahmani, president and co-founder of West Coast Trial Lawyers, told Business Insider.
Rahmani said Willis and Nathan Wade “probably should resign because of the optics and take over as career prosecutors, but there is no legal requirement that they do so, or that they should take effect if they don’t.”
Wade and Willis are expected to testify
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee scheduled a hearing on Roman’s motion for February 15.
Merchant called Willis and Nathan Wade to testify at that hearing.
Late last month, Joycelyn Wade’s attorneys subpoenaed Willis for a deposition in the divorce proceedings. In the lawsuit, Willis’ attorney, Joycelyn Wade, alleged that Willis “used the legal process to harass and embarrass” Willis and, in turn, “obstructed and interfered” with the election interference case.
Joycelyn Wade’s attorneys, in a filing in response, included credit card statements showing Wade bought plane tickets for her and Willis to Miami in October 2022 and booked tickets to San Francisco in their names.
On Tuesday, Nathan and Joycelyn Wade reached a temporary divorce settlement, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, canceling what was expected to be a heated Wednesday hearing about Nathan Wade’s relationship with Willis.