‘Certainly Looks Bad’: Bank Statements Make It Increasingly Likely Fani Willis Allegations Are True, Legal Experts Say

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Bank statements showing Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ alleged lover Nathan Wade, who she appointed as special prosecutor in the case against former President Donald Trump, purchased airline tickets in her name make it increasingly likely allegations about their relationship and potential kickbacks are true, legal experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation on Friday.

Wade purchased airline tickets to Miami and San Francisco in Willis’ name, bank statements contained in a Friday court filing by his wife, Joycelyn Wade, revealed. A motion filed by Trump co-defendant Michael Roman to disqualify Willis and dismiss the case previously alleged she benefited from approving Wade’s “lucrative” contract when he took her on vacations, which legal experts said makes it more likely the allegations contained within are accurate. (RELATED: Fani Willis’ Alleged Lover Paid For Plane Tickets In Her Name, Bank Statements Show)

Atlanta-based criminal defense attorney and legal analyst Philip Holloway told the DCNF that the bank statements show “that the money that was paid to him benefited her in the form of lifestyle purchases.” (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Fulton County Commissioner Requests Fani Willis Produce Info On Alleged ‘Misuse’ Of County Funds)

“I think it supports the allegations made by Roman,” he said. “It connects the dots and follows the money from the coffers of the Fulton DA’s office back to Willis in the form of costs of personal travel.”

The bank statements contained in Friday’s court filing also feature payments for Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines, which Roman’s motion alleged the two traveled on together. Wade made two $1,387 and $1,284 payments for the Royal Caribbean cruise on Oct. 4, 2022, the same day he purchased the pair of airline tickets to Miami, including one in Willis’ name, according to the statements.

“I think that [the bank statements], along with Fulton county’s delayed response, makes it much more likely that the factual allegations are true,” Atlanta-based criminal defense attorney Andrew Fleischman told the DCNF.

“It certainly looks bad,” John Malcolm, vice president for the Heritage Foundation’s Institute for Constitutional Government and former deputy assistant attorney general in the DOJ’s Criminal Division, told the DCNF. “I would want to see how the two of them respond before saying definitively that this is all disqualifying. But, if these were County funds that were paid to him (and which were authorized by her) for case-related work, and it turns out that the funds were used to pay for romantic getaways by the two of them, that would certainly be disqualifying.”

Wade’s firm has received close to $654,000 from the Fulton County District Attorney’s office since 2022, according to county data. He filed for divorce on Nov. 2, 2021, the day after his contract with Willis began.

“This certainly magnifies concerns and further justifies calls for Willis and Wade to recuse themselves from the case,” George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley told the DCNF. “Willis can argue that this was simply a relationship where Wade paid for flights as he did meals and other expenses. Yet, that still raises serious questions over Willis’ professional separation from Wade’s interests in appointing him and setting his salary.”

Willis approved a contract for Wade to work at $250 an hour, while the attorney known as Georgia’s top racketeering expert, John Floyd, was only initially contracted to work at $150 an hour and later paid $200 an hour, according to contracts and bank statements obtained by the DCNF. Willis falsely stated Sunday that she paid all three special counsels on the case the same hourly rate.

Turley noted that the Department of Justice has previously indicted corporate officials “for using tickets and vacations for kickback schemes.”

“That does not mean that that is what occurred here, but such payments magnify concerns,” he told the DCNF.

Fulton County Commissioner Bob Ellis requested on Friday that Willis produce information relating to allegations that she misused county funds by Feb. 2, 2024, according to a letter obtained by the DCNF. A response to the motion filed by Roman is also due by Feb. 2, and a hearing on the matter is scheduled before Judge Scott McAffee on Feb. 15.

The District Attorney’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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