DA Willis and special prosecutor Wade admit to romantic affair in court filings, insist nothing improper occurred

 February 3, 2024

The future of the Georgia election interference and racketeering case brought by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis against former President Donald Trump and others is up the air right now amid allegations of prosecutorial impropriety and misconduct by Willis and a special prosecutor she hired for the case.

Both DA Willis and special prosecutor Nathan Wade have now admitted in court filings that the allegations of a romantic "personal relationship" between them are true, CBS News reported.

However, both Willis and Wade asserted that the previously undisclosed romantic affair was not improper, has no bearing on the case at hand, and should not result in the disqualification and removal of them or the Fulton County DA's office from the criminal prosecution of the former president and his several co-defendants.

The allegations against Willis and Wade

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Trump co-defendant Michael Romans filed a motion on Jan. 8 alleging an "improper, clandestine personal relationship" between DA Willis and private attorney Wade, who was ostensibly improperly hired because of that relationship despite lacking experience and qualifications for the complex felony racketeering case against the former president.

Romans further alleged that Willis improperly benefited financially from the arrangement in that Wade, using some of the roughly $650,000 in taxpayer funds he's been paid thus far, paid for multiple romantic getaways for the secretive couple, and that their continued prosecution of the case -- and presumably their continued financial benefits -- represented a conflict of interest that should result in their disqualification and removal as well as the dismissal of all charges.

AJC seemingly confirmed some of the circumstantial evidence supporting the allegations, including that Wade filed for a divorce from his wife the day after he was hired by Willis, that he led the effort to obtain the grand jury indictments, and that receipts appear to show that he did pay for trips taken by the pair, including flights to California and Florida and cruises in the Caribbean.

Willis and Wade acknowledge affair, insist nothing was improper

CBS News reported that Willis filed a lengthy response to the allegations, which was accompanied by an affidavit from Wade, in which both appeared to acknowledge that they had been involved in an undisclosed romantic relationship, though both disavowed any "conflict of interest" and insisted that their affair had no impact on the case while they quibbled with some of the alleged details put forward by Romans.

They claimed their relationship didn't become personal until months after Wade was first hired and that Willis had also paid for some of their trips together, as well as that nothing improper occurred that would justify their removal from the case or the dropping of charges against Romans or the other co-defendants.

Separately, in response to the mounting calls for an independent investigation of the matter and for Willis to step aside, an unnamed source in Willis' camp told CBS News that "there is zero chance that will happen" and that "Fani is going to stick it out" despite the criticism and pressure.

Trump's attorney maintains that Willis should be dismissed and disqualified

In reaction to the response filed by DA Willis, local Fox affiliate WAGA reported that Trump's defense attorney Steve Sadow said in a statement that the prosecutor "asks the Court to turn a blind eye to her alleged personal and financial misconduct. Her sole objective is to try and stop the Court from holding the evidentiary hearing that is set for February 15."

"While the DA admits to an intimate relationship with her employee Special Asst. DA Wade, she fails to provide full transparency and necessary financial details," he continued. "Indeed, she says absolutely nothing about the so-called 'coincidence' of Wade filing for divorce the day after the DA hired him!"

The attorney ultimately concluded, "Nothing has changed. Our requested remedy remains clear: dismiss the case and disqualify the DA, together with her team and office, from any related matters."

Legal experts split on the issue

USA Today reported that in light of DA Willis' response to the allegations of impropriety and misconduct, questions remain about what sort of impact the whole affair will have on her ongoing effort to criminally prosecute former President Trump and others for their efforts to challenge and overturn the disputed results of the 2020 election.

In the end, the jury is still out on the matter, so to speak, as legal experts have come down on both sides of the issue, with some defending her admitted affair as no big deal and not worthy of her disqualification and removal, while others have observed the terrible optics and potential wrongdoing for Willis that should result in her stepping aside at the very least so as not to endanger the underlying ongoing prosecution of Trump.

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