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Fani Willis must cut ties with prosecutor or step down from Trump case

A judge ruled that there was not sufficient evidence to prove that Willis should be removed from the Georgia election interference case.
Georgia judge rules DA Fani Willis can remain on Trump election case
Posted at 7:41 AM, Mar 15, 2024

A Georgia judge has ruled that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis can remain on the election interference case against former President Donald Trump, but only if she removes special prosecutor Nathan Wade, with whom Willis had a romantic relationship. Otherwise, she must step aside from the case. 

The ruling from Judge Scott McAfee comes after an attorney for co-defendant Michael Roman — a former Trump White House aide — filed a challenge to have Willis removed from the case, alleging there was a conflict of interest because she hired Wade for financial benefit. The attorney claimed Willis paid Wade large sums of money for his work, and then Wade used those earnings to pay for luxurious vacations for himself and Willis.

Willis and Wade have claimed the personal relationship began after Wade was hired, that the two never lived together and that the cost of personal trips they took together was split “roughly” equally. McAfee said Friday that he determined the evidence provided to be insufficient in proving a conflict of interest.

"After receiving two and a half days of testimony, during which the Defendants were provided an opportunity to subpoena and introduce whatever relevant and material evidence they could muster, the Court finds that the Defendants failed to meet their burden of proving that the District Attorney acquired an actual conflict of interest in this case through her personal relationship and recurring travels with her lead prosecutor," McAfee wrote in his 23-page decision.

SEE MORE: House committee threatens Fani Willis with contempt in records demand

Attorneys for Trump and co-defendants said Willis and Wade had lied during testimony about when their relationship started, claiming that keeping Willis on the high-profile case threatened to damage public confidence in the outcome.

"While respecting the Court’s decision, we believe that the Court did not afford appropriate significance to the prosecutorial misconduct of Willis and Wade, including the financial benefits, testifying untruthfully about when their personal relationship began, as well as Willis’ extrajudicial MLK 'church speech,' where she played the race card and falsely accused the defendants and their counsel of racism," Trump attorney Steve Sadow said in a statement obtained by Scripps News after the ruling. "We will use all legal options available as we continue to fight to end this case, which should never have been brought in the first place."


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