Fulton County DA admits personal relationship with lead prosecutor in Trump case, but says it doesn't disqualify him

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Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and Nathan Wade, her lead prosecutor in the 2020 election case, both acknowledged in court papers that they had a “personal” relationship but strongly rejected claims that they were harassed at work. He got financial benefits from keeping it.

The filing by Willis, who is leading the Georgia criminal case against former President Donald Trump and his allies over efforts to overturn the 2020 election, also includes an affidavit from Wade, who says in 2022 he and Willis “further developed a personal relationship.”Our professional association and friendship.”

Wade denied that his earnings in the case were “shared with or provided to Willis.”.

“The District Attorney received no money or personal financial benefit from my position as special prosecutor,” he said.

Willis also said that his “personal relationship… has never involved any direct or indirect financial benefit to District Attorney Willis.”

Willis filed a response to allegations of conflict of interest and an inappropriate romantic relationship with Wade by one of Trump’s co-defendants.

Willis said in a court filing that the “malicious” allegations do not reach the legal basis necessary for disqualification from the Georgia election interference case.

The filing states, “Although the allegations raised in the various motions are blatant and have received the media attention they were designed to receive, none provide this Court with any basis on which to base our findings of fact.” But they can order relief.”

Willis said defense attorneys did not reach a legal basis for disqualification, writing that he has no financial or personal conflict of interest that “constitutes a legal basis for disqualification” and that he “has made no public statements that would warrant disqualification or judicial inquiry.”

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The motion defends Wade, saying the attacks on his qualifications are “factually inaccurate, unsupported, and malicious, and provide no basis for dismissing the indictment or disqualifying Special Prosecutor Wade.”

“The defendants do not point to any action taken by the District Attorney or any of his employees that is out of the character of an officer of the law appointed specifically to oversee the special purpose grand jury investigation or prosecution of these defendants. Is charged with,” reads the motion.

“Instead, these motions attempt to turn the completely impeachable circumstances of Wade’s appointment as Special Prosecutor into a conflict of interest on the part of the District Attorney by combining them with completely irrelevant allegations about his personal family life. The attempt must fail.”

Wade and Willis respond to allegations of inappropriate conduct

The judge overseeing the criminal case ordered Willis to answer, setting the stage for a February 15 hearing on the case. Willis, Wade, and some of their associates could be forced to testify at a hearing after receiving subpoenas this week.

Addressing allegations that the two took vacations together, Willis wrote that “financial responsibility for personal travel is divided almost equally between the two, with neither primarily responsible for the other’s expenses.” “, and all expenses are paid from personal funds.”

In his affidavit, Wade said: “At times, I have traveled and purchased trips for District Attorney Willis and myself with my personal funds. At other times, District Attorney Willis used his personal funds to arrange and purchase trips for me and him.”

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Willis stated that “there are no joint or shared finances or financial accounts,” that “there is no shared household now and never has been,” and that neither Willis nor Wade are financially dependent on each other. .

Citing Wade’s affidavit, Willis wrote that “Defendants provide no support for their insistence that the exercise of any prosecutorial discretion in this case (i.e., any charging decision or plea recommendation) would interfere with any personal relationship.” Was influenced by.”

“Without those additional factors, the existence of a relationship between members of the prosecution team is not, in itself, a condition that entitles a criminal defendant to any remedy,” she added.

In the spring of 2021, Willis asked Wade, along with two other attorneys, to assist in investigating efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

“Lawyers we talked to about taking on the work expressed hesitation because of concerns about violent rhetoric and potential safety issues for their families,” Wade said. Case of sabotage.

Willis argues that the February 15 hearing is not necessary and should be canceled.

“Defendants’ failure to support their demands for excessive relief with evidence supporting any remedy makes an evidentiary hearing on this matter unnecessary,” Willis wrote in a court filing Friday responding to the allegations. “”The State respectfully asks that, after considering the (Nathan) Wade affidavit and other presented exhibits, the motions be denied without a showing.”

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CNN previously reported that Willis has no plans to withdraw from the election sabotage case, a decision partly motivated by concerns that his departure could effectively end the case, as it is unclear whether Georgia or any other prosecutor is willing to take it over.

While the allegations have become a major public focus and distraction for Willis’ office, he has not directly addressed the allegations for weeks but has largely defended Wade and his team.

The alleged matter was first raised by Trump’s co-defendant, former 2020 campaign official Mike Roman, in a court filing last month, accusing Willis of taking advantage of her financially when Wade took her on lavish vacations. He had partially paid for the work with his office bills regarding the case. Willis appointed Wade as a special prosecutor in 2021.

But that initial filing included little direct evidence, leading to calls for his dismissal and an end to the case, which Trump has since joined. Since then, credit card statements revealed in Wade’s divorce case show that he paid for two air tickets to San Francisco and Miami for Willis.

Trump and the remaining 14 co-defendants were convicted by Willis last summer. No trial date has been set yet. Willis has asked for a trial date to be set in August.

Four other co-defendants have already pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors to testify.

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