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Ga. divorce case judge rejects demand for Fani Willis' immediate testimony

UPI
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis does not have to testify this week in a divorce case involving her prosecutorial colleague Nathan Wade, a Georgia judge ruled Monday. File Pool Photo by Dennis Byron/EPA-EFE

Jan. 22 (UPI) -- A Georgia state judge ruled Monday that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis does not have to immediately submit to a deposition about her personal relationship with a colleague in her prosecution of Donald Trump.

During a hearing in Marietta, Ga., Cobb County Superior Court Judge Henry Thompson delayed the enforcement of a subpoena seeking her testimony as part of a divorce case between special prosecutor Nathan Wade, whom Willis appointed to the Trump case in 2021, and his estranged wife, Jocelyn Wade, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and ABC News reported.

Thompson's ruling placed a temporary stay on a subpoena served on Willis last week by Jocelyn Wade's lawyer, who alleges Willis and Nathan Wade have been engaged in a clandestine romantic relationship for several years that has financially benefitted them both.

Willis had been scheduled to undergo the deposition on Tuesday.

Michael Roman, one of the co-defendants in Willis' election interference case against the former president, also claims the alleged relationship renders the sweeping racketeering charges against himself, Trump and the other defendants "fatally defective."

Court documents filed by Jocelyn Wade's attorney Andrea Hastings, which were made public on Friday, include credit card statements showing Nathan Wade purchased airline tickets for himself and Willis to travel San Francisco and Miami in 2022 and 2023 -- proof, she claimed, that the two were romantically linked and enjoying undisclosed financial benefits from the relationship.

Judge Thompson, however, on Monday handed Willis at least a temporary victory, accepting her attorney's arguments that any deposition of the Fulton County D.A. can wait until after Nathan Wade is similarly deposed. Willis, they said, has no "unique" personal knowledge that is not also possessed by Wade.

"Miss Willis does not share any accounts with [Wade], D.A. Willis does not determine what he spends his money on -- no matter where it comes from," Willis attorney Cinque Axam argued.

Thompson agreed but also declined to rule out the possibility of Willis being deposed at a later date.

During the same hearing, Thompson also granted a request by made by Roman and a coalition of media members that the files in the Wades' divorce case be unsealed and made available to the public.

In granting that request, the judge rejected arguments made by Nathan Wade's attorney that the explosive political aspects of the case and level of publicity surrounding it "clearly shows the harm that is done to these parties."