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Attorney in the Trump Georgia Case Recognizes Connection With Coworker

Attorney in the Trump Georgia Case Recognizes Connection With Coworker

Although she acknowledged having a “personal relationship” with one of the prosecutors she hired to handle the case, Fani T. Willis, the district attorney prosecuting the Georgia election interference case against former President Donald J. Trump, contended that this did not disqualify her or her office from handling it.

The statement was made in a motion filed by one of Mr. Trump’s co-defendants, over a month after claims of a “improper, clandestine personal relationship” between the two first arose. The motion aims to bar Ms. Willis’s office and the prosecutors from working on the case together. Should it be successful, this would probably create a mess for the first-ever state criminal prosecution of a former president.

In her filing, Ms. Willis stated that “the personal relationship between” herself and the prosecutor, Nathan J. Wade, “has never involved direct or indirect financial benefit” to her. “While the allegations raised in the various motions are salacious and garnered the media attention they were designed to obtain, none provide this Court with any basis upon which to order the relief they seek,” the filing stated.

An declaration from Mr. Wade claiming that the personal relationship began only after Mr. Wade was hired is included in Ms. Willis’s complaint.

Michael Roman, a former Trump campaign official, filed the original motion containing the accusations. It claimed that Ms. Willis had appointed her “boyfriend” as a special prosecutor, giving him lucrative contracts despite his lack of qualifications, and that he then profited from trips that Mr. Wade paid for.

In her petition, Ms. Willis stated that “financial responsibility for personal travel taken is divided roughly evenly.” Mr. Wade, in his affidavit, repeated this statement and added that Ms. Willis did not receive any monies or personal financial advantage from her role as Special Prosecutor.

The connection allegedly started prior to Mr. Wade joining the Fulton County district attorney’s office in November 2021, according to Mr. Roman’s request. However, Ms. Willis submitted an affidavit from Mr. Wade in her petition on Friday, in which he claimed to have “developed a personal relationship” with Ms. Willis in 2022.

The high-stakes prosecution has been knocked off balance by the claims and Ms. Willis’s silence about them up to this point, providing Mr. Trump a fresh line of attack and increasing the possibility of delays or more significant effects on the case. Although a date has not been determined, Ms. Willis has requested that the trial begin in August.

The case’s fundamental facts—which charge Mr. Trump and his supporters of hatching a scheme to rig Georgia’s 2020 presidential election—remain unaltered by the claims. Among the 19 initial defendants, four have entered guilty pleas. Among them are some of Mr. Trump’s fiercest supporters. During a hearing held towards the end of last year, Jenna Ellis, one of them, sobbed as she recounted her reflections on her actions. “with deep remorse.”