ATLANTA, Georgia – Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has acknowledged a personal relationship with a special prosecutor she hired for the Georgia election interference case against former President Donald Trump. However, she argued there are no grounds to dismiss the case or to remove her from the prosecution, according to a court filing on Friday.
Willis hired special prosecutor Nathan Wade in November 2021 to assist her investigation into whether the Republican ex-president and others broke any laws as they tried to overturn his loss in the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. Since Trump and 18 others were indicted in August, Wade has led the team of lawyers Willis assembled to prosecute the case.
The filing was the first time that Willis or Wade directly addressed the allegations of a relationship that first surfaced in a filing by a defendant in the election case. In an affidavit accompanying the filing, Wade said that in 2022, he and the district attorney had developed a personal relationship in addition to their professional association and friendship.
However, he also clarified that he had never lived with Willis or shared a financial account or household expenses with her. He said that none of the funds paid to him as part of the job have been shared with Willis, an attempt to undercut defense lawyer claims of a conflict of interest.
Wade described himself and Willis as both financially independent professionals; expenses or personal travel were roughly divided equally between them.
As for the allegations made by the defense attorney that Willis personally profited from the case, Willis’ team strongly denied these claims, stating that Willis has no financial or personal conflict of interest that justifies removing her or her office from the case.
The response from the district attorney fiercely defended Wade’s qualifications to lead the prosecution team, saying he has long distinguished himself as an exceptionally talented litigator with significant trial experience.
The controversy and legal complexities surrounding the case have created a significant level of interest and speculation, with critics weaving various narratives to question the legitimacy of the case. Furthermore, Trump attorneys have accused Willis of engaging in political attacks, raising questions about the intent and motivations behind the legal proceedings.
As the case continues to unfold, it remains to be seen how the court will address the defense’s motion and the implications of the personal relationship between Willis and Wade on the outcome of the trial. An upcoming hearing scheduled in February will likely shed more light on the matter.