This week’s special prosecutor testimony about Nathan Wade’s purported intimate involvement with Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis will not take place due to a temporary settlement in the divorce dispute.
However, this does not absolve Fani Willis from explaining the circumstances and responding to requests that she not be permitted to prosecute former President Donald Trump and other individuals in the election meddling case as a result.
In a petition submitted on Tuesday, Michael Roman’s lawyer Ashleigh Merchant’s law company claimed that Fani Willis and special prosecutor Nathan Wade had been summoned to an evidentiary hearing on February 15 to have his indictment dismissed and to have them and the district attorney’s office removed from the case.
As Wade was compensated with taxpayer funds from Willis’ office, Roman has previously argued that the two should be disqualified due to claims that Fani Willis had an affair with Wade, whom she appointed to the Trump case, creating a conflict of interest and possibly utilizing public funds for her benefit.
To be prepared for the hearing in two weeks, Ashleigh Merchant, Roman’s attorney, filed a lawsuit against the DA’s office on Tuesday. She claims the office has been refusing to provide the material Ashleigh Merchant requested through the Open Records Act.
Merchant expressed disappointment to the AJC on Wednesday about having to pursue litigation to get the public access to records that they were legally entitled to.
Merchant went on to say that they hoped this could be settled swiftly so they could obtain the public records they were legally entitled to, adding that they thought transparency was essential to an accountable and transparent government.
According to a letter her office wrote last week responding to the records requests, Fani Willis claims her office has turned over certain papers and that some of the data being requested are not even in existence.
The office respectfully disagreed with his deceptive inference that, despite constant communication, this office had failed to fulfill its obligations under Georgia’s Open Records Act.
Nonetheless, four people who were charged but later entered guilty pleas promised to assist the prosecution. The remaining defendants, including Trump, the front-runner in the 2024 GOP presidential race, have entered not-guilty pleas.
Furthermore, according to the bank accounts that Wade’s wife Joycelyn Wade presented in the divorce case, the special prosecutor bought tickets for Willis and himself twice while Trump was conducting his probe.
Wade, the special prosecutor, will not have to testify this week regarding his alleged intimate involvement with Willis, his boss, because of a recent settlement between Wade and his separated wife.
Response From Fani Willis
Willis hasn’t talked about her connection with Wade in detail. She recently defended Wade’s credentials at a speech at a church in Atlanta, saying the queries about them are racially motivated because Wade and Willis are both Black.
Judge Scott McAfee of Fulton County Superior Court has mandated that Willis reply to the charges in court filings by Friday.
One problem: Fulton County’s technological infrastructure, including the judicial system, is completely down due to a cyberattack. New documents in the Trump case haven’t been made available online as a result.
It’s unclear how it might impact when Willis’ response is released.
Willis filed a complaint against Roman, Trump, and seventeen other people last year for allegedly breaking Georgia’s racketeering and corrupt organizations (RICO) act, among other offenses, in an attempt to obstruct President Joe Biden’s certification process.
Wade was designated by Willis as the case’s special attorney.
Despite not naming their sources at the time, Roman and Merchant filed paperwork in early January claiming the two had an improper, covert personal relationship before the prosecution and should be excluded from the case for breaking conflict of interest laws and misusing public funds.