The Georgia district attorney prosecuting Trump has been subpoenaed over claims of inappropriate relationships

(Dennis Byron/Associated Press)

The Georgia district attorney prosecuting Trump has been subpoenaed over claims of inappropriate relationships


January 31, 2024

Fulton County Dist. Atty. Fani Willis and a special prosecutor she hired for the Georgia election interference case against former President Trump have received subpoenas from an attorney who claims Willis and the accuser had an inappropriate romantic relationship.

Ashleigh Merchant, an attorney for Trump co-defendant Michael Roman, filed a motion on Jan. 8 to dismiss the charges and remove Willis and special prosecutor Nathan Wade from the case.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee, who is presiding over the election case, ordered Willis’ team to respond to the motion by Friday. He has scheduled a hearing on the case for Feb. 15.

Merchant confirmed that she had subpoenaed Willis and Wade to testify at that hearing.

The Merchants law firm also filed a lawsuit Tuesday accusing Willis’ office of failing to comply with the Georgia Open Records Act. It says it is deliberately withholding information she requested.

Willis spokesman Jeff DiSantis declined to comment on the subpoenas but disputed Merchant’s claims about the data.

We have given her the information she is entitled to, DiSantis said, adding that some documents were still being prepared.

He provided a letter he said Willis’ office sent to Merchant last week with an update on the status of the records requests. He also provided screenshots showing that Merchant had accessed some of the data.

Neither Willis nor Wade have publicly responded to the allegations of an inappropriate relationship. Willis’ office has said it will respond to the trader’s motion in a lawsuit.

Willis, an elected Democrat, hired Wade in November 2021 to help with her investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia.

Since a Fulton County grand jury returned an indictment against Trump and 18 others in August, Wade has led the Willis team of attorneys assembled to prosecute the case.

Trump has seized on the accusations as he campaigned for the Republican nomination for president, using the claims to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the case against him.

Four of Trump’s co-defendants have pleaded guilty in the case after reaching plea deals with prosecutors. Trump and his other co-defendants have pleaded not guilty.

Roman is a former Trump campaign official and White House aide. Trump and co-defendant Robert Cheeley, a Georgia attorney, have joined his motion.

Roman’s filing alleges that Willis paid Wade large amounts of money for his work and then wrongfully benefited when Wade paid for them to go on the trip, creating a conflict of interest.

The filing also questions Wade’s qualifications for the job.

The motion does not include any evidence of the alleged relationship. Willis spoke out at a church service nearly a week after the filing, defending Wade’s qualifications without addressing the relationship allegations.

In a lawsuit to avoid appearing for a deposition in Wade’s divorce case, Willis accused his wife of obstructing the election case. Wade’s wife, in response, provided credit card statements showing that he had purchased plane tickets for Willis to travel with him to San Francisco and Miami.


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