Law Firm Representing Trump Co-Defendant Sues Fani Willis’ Office For Alleged Failure To Disclose Records

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The law firm representing a Trump co-defendant filed a lawsuit Monday alleging Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ office failed to disclose public records as required.

The Merchant Law Firm, which represents co-defendant Michael Roman, sued the office for denying its “right to inspect” certain records under the Georgia Open Records Act, including contracts for attorneys Willis hired to work on the Trump case and analytics produced by a media monitoring company the office contracted with to track her coverage. The lawsuit, filed in the Superior Court of Fulton County, alleges the office “intentionally” sought to stall production of the records. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Fani Willis Hired Firm To Monitor Her Media ‘Coverage Value’ Just Days Before Announcing Trump Probe)

“In an apparent effort to intentionally stall Plaintiff’s inspection of various categories of documents prior to the evidentiary hearing in this matter, FCDA has refused, without adequate explanation, to provide Plaintiff with many of the requested materials that are known to exist and which are not subject to any exception in the Act and some of which have been outstanding since September of 2023,” the lawsuit states.

Roman’s attorney, Ashleigh Merchant, filed the original motion earlier this month that alleged Willis was romantically involved with Wade and awarded him a lucrative contract to work on the case against Trump, which she benefited from when he paid for her to travel with him on vacations.

Judge Scott McAfee will consider the allegations in Roman’s motion at a hearing scheduled for Feb. 15. On Friday, Willis is required to file a response to the motion with the court.

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – NOVEMBER 21: Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis appears before Judge Scott McAfee for a hearing in the 2020 Georgia election interference case at the Fulton County Courthouse on November 21, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Dennis Byron-Pool/Getty Images)

Since September 2023, the district attorney’s office has failed to produce Nathan Wade’s invoices from July 2023 to December 2023, invoices for Wade’s former law partner Terrence Bradley, invoices for Wade’s current law partner Christopher Campbell, special prosecutor Anna Cross’ current contract and invoices, as well as special prosecutor John Floyd’s current contract and invoices, according to the lawsuit.

Invoices earlier obtained by the DCNF revealed Floyd, who is known as the state’s top racketeering expert, was only being paid $200 as of May 2023. Wade, however, was brought on to work at a rate of $250 an hour. Willis falsely claimed during public remarks at Big Bethel AME Church that she paid all three special prosecutors the same hourly rate.

Other requests filed by Merchant, including copies of how CARES Act money was spent by the office and analytics from the media monitoring service the office hired, were also not fulfilled, the lawsuit alleges.

Willis’ office agreed to pay $10,000 just before announcing the Trump probe for a New York-based media monitoring service, Critical Mention, that tracks metrics like mentions and publicity value, the Daily Caller News Foundation previously reported.

Some requests were “prematurely” closed, requiring them to be refiled, which the lawsuit speculates was done “intentionally with the hope that Ms. Merchant would simply accept that the request had been ‘closed’ with all documents provided and move on.”

“Thankfully, she did not, because it is evident that numerous additional responsive documents were in the possession of Fulton County and FCDA but had not been provided,” it continues. “The Open Records process itself appears designed to deter Georgia citizens from accessing public records and flies in the face of the transparency and openness the Act dictates.”

The district attorney’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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