By Jack Phillips
A former U.S. attorney said that Fulton County district attorney Fani Willis should step down from the case targeting former President Donald Trump, should new allegations of her engaging in an improper relationship with her top prosecutor prove true.
Court documents filed last week revealed that Ms. Willis, the Fulton County district attorney, hired Nathan Wade, her alleged romantic partner, as a special prosecutor in the case against President Trump. The filing alleges that she financially benefited from this relationship, including going on lavish vacations with Mr. Wade using funds his law firm received for the case.
Although Ms. Willis, a Democrat, recently claimed that the court motion calling for her dismissal is motivated by racial animus against her because she’s a black woman, she hasn’t yet denied the allegations of her involvement in a relationship with Mr. Wade. A spokesperson for Fulton County told a local news outlet over the past weekend that her office would respond to the new allegations in court, adding that he never heard of an alleged relationship between the two.
Speaking to CNN, former U.S attorney Michael Moore, who isn’t involved in the case, said that if the allegations are confirmed, the Fulton County district attorney committed a major “unforced error” that would compromise the election-related case against President Trump and more than a dozen others.
“Cases are not lost because of some ‘Matlock’ moment, some moment like you see in ‘My Cousin Vinny,’ where suddenly somebody finds the evidence. Cases die by the death of 1,000 cuts. This is a cut on the case,” Mr. Moore, who was appointed by then-President Barack Obama in 2010, said Sunday.
‘Get Out of the Case’
Mr. Moore, a Democrat, added that Ms. Willis should step aside if need be, and also revealed what he would have advised her.
“I’d tell her to get out of the case. I really think that in this type of case, with these allegations, this case is bigger than any one prosecutor,” he said. “And I think, probably, to preserve the case and to show that what’s of most importance to her is the facts of the Trump case, as opposed to her political career.”
The filing against Ms. Willis and Mr. Wade, submitted by former Trump campaign staffer Michael Roman, provided few details and little evidence. Mr. Roman’s lawyer, Ashleigh Merchant, told a local Atlanta station that she has witnesses who are willing to testify to corroborate the relationship.
“I would never have filed something like this if I didn’t have multiple sources to corroborate,” Ms. Merchant said. “We look forward to litigating this motion in court, where we can bring forward all of our evidence,” the lawyer said, adding that eyewitness testimony about the alleged Wade-Willis relationship will be provided soon.
But she did provide a hint about a possible witness, saying that she spoke with a former employee at the Fulton district attorney’s office who said they believed it was well-known that the pair were romantically involved. Media outlets have reported that Ms. Willis was subpoenaed in a divorce case involving Mr. Wade and his ex-wife, too, although those court records are still sealed.
Over the past weekend, Ms. Willis mounted a vigorous defense of her leadership in office and countered criticism of her appointment of Mr. Wade.
“I hope for y’all this week I don’t look like what I’ve been through,” she told a church in Atlanta before suggesting that racial animus was the reason behind the court filing.
“You did not tell me as a woman of color, it would not matter what I did, my motive, my talent, my ability, and my character would be constantly attacked,” the district attorney told the church congregation on Jan. 14. She did not provide evidence for her claim that Mr. Roman’s accusation was motivated by racism or because she is a woman.
In the motion, Mr. Roman accused Ms. Willis of having potentially committed “an act to defraud the public of honest services” because of what he called an “intentional failure” to disclose her alleged relationship with Mr. Wade, which she “personally benefitted from.”
“Accordingly, the district attorney and the special prosecutor have violated laws regulating the use of public monies, suffer from irreparable conflicts of interest, and have violated their oaths of office under the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct and should be disqualified from prosecuting this matter,” the motion said.
“Willis has benefitted substantially and directly, and continues to benefit, from this litigation because Wade is being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to prosecute this case on her behalf,” it added. “In turn, Wade is taking Willis on, and paying for vacations across the world with money he is being paid by the Fulton County taxpayers and authorized solely by Willis.”
The Epoch Times contacted the district attorney’s office and Mr. Wade’s law firm for comment last week. Mr. Wade has not issued a public response.