Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is facing allegations that have the potential to upend her prosecution of former President Donald Trump.
On Monday, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Willis was accused of improperly hiring attorney Nathan Wade, with whom allegedly she had a romantic relationship, to prosecute Trump in her investigation of the interference in the 2020 election, citing a court motion.
“The bombshell public filing alleged that special prosecutor Nathan Wade, a private attorney, paid for lavish vacations he took with Willis using the Fulton County funds his law firm received,” the paper reported.
It added, “County records show that Wade, who has played a prominent role in the election interference case, has been paid nearly $654,000 in legal fees since January 2022. The DA authorizes his compensation.”
BREAKING: Fulton DA Fani Willis improperly hired an alleged romantic partner to prosecute Donald Trump and financially benefited from their relationship, according to a bombshell new court filing that argued the indictment was unconstitutional.https://t.co/jZFnu93kHs
— Tamar Hallerman (@TamarHallerman) January 8, 2024
The motion was filed by former Trump campaign official Michael Roman, who argues the charges he is facing are unconstitutional.
Roman also sought to disqualify Willis and her whole team from being able to continue to prosecute the case.
A spokeswoman for Willis said the district attorney would respond to the allegations “through appropriate court filings.”
The Journal-Constitution reported, “The document offers no concrete proof of the romantic ties between Willis and Wade, but says ‘sources close to both the special prosecutor and the district attorney have confirmed they had an ongoing, personal relationship.”
“It is unclear if the explosive issues raised in the filing undermine the validity of the indictment against Trump and the remaining 14 co-defendants or simply muddy the waters by questioning Willis’ professional ethics,” it added.
Stephen Gillers, a professor emeritus at New York University Law School, told the paper the allegations should lead to an examination of Willis’ decision-making process before the matter of whether to dismiss the case is decided.
He argued if the allegation is true then the district attorney “was conflicted in the investigation and prosecution of this case” and could not provide “independent professional judgment.” However, he stressed, “That does not mean that her decisions were in fact improperly motivated.”
“It does mean that the public and the state, as her client, could not have the confidence in the independent judgment that her position required her to exercise,” he added.
This article appeared originally on Independent Journal Review (IJR).