Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis speaks at a press conference next to prosecutor Nathan Wade after a Grand Jury brought back indictments against former president Donald Trump and his allies in their attempt to overturn the state’s 2020 election results, in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. August 14, 2023.
Elijah Nouvelage | Reuters
A top prosecutor on Atlanta District Attorney Fani Willis’ criminal election case against Donald Trump said Friday they developed a “personal relationship” after he joined her team — but both he and Willis denied that caused a conflict of interest.
The prosecutor, Nathan Wade, in a sworn affidavit also denied allegations that he or Willis have financially benefited from the romantic relationship, as was alleged by one of Trump’s co-defendants.
Willis in the same Fulton County court filing rejected accusations that the relationship warrants dismissing the indictment or disqualifying her from the case. And she slammed the attacks on Wade as “factually inaccurate, unsupported, and malicious.”
While Willis and Wade “have been professional associates and friends since 2019,” the D.A. said they had “no personal relationship” in November 2021, when Wade was appointed special prosecutor in the case charging the former president with trying to overturn his 2020 election loss in Georgia.
Defendants in the case offer no evidence that the prosecutors’ subsequent personal relationship, which began in 2022, impacted “the exercise of any prosecutorial discretion,” Willis wrote.
Trump has pleaded not guilty to 13 criminal charges in the case in Fulton County Superior Court.
Michael Roman, one of Trump’s co-defendants, in mid-January sought to dismiss his charges on the grounds that Willis and Wade were “engaged in an improper, clandestine personal relationship” during the case that has resulted in both “profiting significantly.”
It remains to be seen if a judge finds that Willis’ relationship with Wade is a conflict that will require one or both of them to step aside from the prosecutions.
But the D.A. even before Friday was facing criticism that her suspected relationship with him risked undermining public confidence in her and her case against the former president and his alleged co-conspirators.
This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.