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The news for Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Fani Willis has gone from bad to worse this past week after a co-defendant in her case against former President Donald Trump leveled a new allegation.
In the 122-page filing submitted by Michael Roman’s attorneys, they claimed that they have a witness whose testimony challenges the denials made by Willis regarding the timeline of her relationship with prosecutor Nathan Wade after their relationship allegedly began following her appointment of him as a special prosecutor in the investigation concerning Trump’s efforts to challenge the 2020 election results in Georgia.
Willis acknowledged her relationship with Wade in a 176-page court filing on February 2 in response to a motion filed on January 8 by Roman’s attorneys, seeking her disqualification from the case.
NEW: In a new filing, Mike Roman alleges that Fulton County district attorney Fani Willis and special prosecutor Nathan Wade misrepresented details about their personal relationship and Wade’s appointment as special prosecutor.https://t.co/gA3sj1Qoz4
— Anna Bower (@AnnaBower) February 9, 2024
In their filing, Roman’s attorneys named a friend of Wade who could corroborate that the relationship began before Willis assumed the role of district attorney, contradicting claims made by Wade in an affidavit attached to Willis’s filing on February 2, wherein he asserted that the relationship did not begin prior to 2022.
“Willis and Wade claim they did not have a personal, romantic relationship before Willis appointed Wade as a special prosecutor, but Terrence Bradley (‘Bradley’) will refute that claim,” Roman’s attorney, Ashleigh Merchant, said in the filing, according to the Daily Caller.
“Bradley is an attorney and a member of the Georgia Bar. Bradley and Wade were friends and business associates. Bradley has non-privileged, personal knowledge that the romantic relationship between Wade and Willis began prior to Willis being sworn as the district attorney for Fulton County, Georgia, in January 2021,” the filing continued, per the outlet.
In Friday’s filing, Merchant also revealed two previously undisclosed trips that Wade and Willis took together: a Bahamas cruise in December 2022 and a trip to Belize in March 2023.
Last month, the judge presiding over the case she brought against Trump on election fraud charges, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee, ordered an investigation into her alleged misconduct, that she and her lead prosecutor engaged in an improper relationship and mishandled taxpayer dollars, The Washington Post reported.
The Daily Caller previously reported that Willis did not disclose an airline ticket that was purchased for her by her Wade in 2022.
“Willis did not disclose any gifts from Wade on her annual Income and Financial Disclosure Report for 2022, which requires the disclosure of any gift or favor above $100 from a ‘prohibited source’ — such as anyone ‘doing business with the county.’ Willis hired Wade as a special prosecutor in the election interference case against former President Donald Trump. Willis was recently accused of being Wade’s lover and inappropriately benefiting from lucrative contracts her office had given him,” The Daily Caller reported.
Bank statements obtained in a court filing show that Wade purchased a ticket to Miami for Willis for $477 in October 2022. On the same day as he purchased the airline ticket, he also made payments to Royal Caribbean Cruise Line in the amounts of $1,387 and $1,284.
“The bottom line is, that’s why we have these forms,” Richard Painter, former chief White House ethics lawyer during the George W. Bush administration, said to The Daily Caller News Foundation. He said that they are meant to disclose “exactly these kinds of conflicts of interest.”
“She needs to give an explanation as to why it wasn’t on the form,” he said.
“Wade’s contract with the district attorney’s office started on Nov. 1, 2021, and he filed to divorce his wife the next day. He has earned nearly $654,000 from the district attorney’s office since 2022, according to county data,” the report said.
Willis could be in a jam because of her failure to disclose these gifts, former White House Counsel Courtney Kramer said to The Daily Caller.
“If she’s found to have intentionally lied on those forms, that’s not just an ethics violation,” she said.
She said that in addition to potential monetary payments, there could also be “potential for criminal liability.”