Georgia’s Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis admitted in a court filing Friday that she had a “personal relationship” with a prosecutor she appointed to oversee her office’s election interference case against former President Donald Trump.
Willis denies in the 176-page filing that her relationship with the prosecutor, Nathan Wade, had any impact on the case’s proceedings.
The admission comes weeks after one of Trump’s co-defendants in the case, Mike Roman, alleged in a court filing that Willis and Wade had a romantic relationship she personally benefitted from, claiming he used his salary from working on the case to bring Willis on expensive vacations.
Willis’ filing dismisses that suggestion.
“Roman’s motion wildly speculates that District Attorney Willis somehow benefitted financially from the investigation and prosecution of this criminal case, but provides no support to justify that conclusion,” it said. “To be absolutely clear, the personal relationship between Special Prosecutor Wade and District Attorney Willis has never involved direct or indirect financial benefit to District Attorney Willis.”
The filing states that the two have never shared any joint finances, financial accounts or household and have not merged their expenses in any way. All travel costs were divided between the two, it continued, as both have “substantial income” and “neither is financially reliant on the other.”
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis attends a Black pride event in August. She recently admitted to having a “personal relationship” with a prosecutor she appointed to oversee her office’s election interference case against the former president.
The filing suggests that Roman’s allegations, which Trump and his supporters have backed as proof of corruption in the case, are an attempt to have someone more sympathetic to Trump take over the case.
“One may question whether the intent is to disqualify the prosecutor who has taken on all of the abuse to pursued justice in this case at great personal cost, only to be substituted with someone less committed to do so,” the filing states.
In the event that Willis is removed or recuses herself from the case, it would fall on Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, a Republican, to appoint another district attorney in the state to take over the proceedings. Last month, Carr was one of more than two dozen GOP attorney generals to sign a “friend of the court” filing saying that the Colorado Supreme Court was wrong to remove Trump from its ballot over his alleged 14th Amendment violations.
Much of Roman’s filing focuses on the more than $650,000 Wade has collected in legal fees for his work on the case. That salary, he alleges, is inappropriately high for a lawyer whose firm handles car accidents and family law disputes.
In her filing, Willis explained, “Special Prosecutor Wade made much more money than the other special prosecutors only because Wade did much more work.” To take on the role, he had to resign from three judicial appointments and largely step away from his private practice. “There is simply no honest argument that Special Prosecutor Wade unduly benefitted financially from his appointment,” the filing says.
Trump quickly attacked Willis ― a frequent target of his ― after her admission Friday.
“By going after the most high level person, and the Republican Nominee, she was able to get her ‘lover’ much more money, almost a Million Dollars, than she would be able to get for the prosecution of any other person or individual,” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “THAT MEANS THAT THIS SCAM IS TOTALLY DISCREDITED & OVER!”
While Trump is largely favored to be the GOP’s choice for president, he has not yet secured the nomination.
Trump had been indicted on 91 felony charges across four cases, including the one brought by Willis’ office. His trial in one of them, a federal case concerning his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, is scheduled to start March 4.