Fani Willis Confirms Relationship With Special Prosecutor On Trump Case

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Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis confirmed a personal relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade in a court filing Friday, though denied the relationship provided her with any financial benefit.

A co-defendant of former President Donald Trump alleged in a Jan. 8 motion that Willis improperly benefited from awarding Wade a lucrative contract when he took her on vacations using money he earned from his position, claiming this was grounds to disqualify Willis and dismiss the case. Willis responded in a 176-page filing Friday by arguing that their relationship does not represent a conflict of interest and never provided her with any financial benefit.

“While the allegations raised in the various motions are salacious and garnered the media attention they were designed to obtain, none provide this Court with any basis upon which to order the relief they seek,” the filing states. The district attorney’s office suggested the judge deny the motion without a hearing, which is currently scheduled for Feb. 15.

Ashleigh Merchant, the attorney who filed co-defendant Michael Roman’s original motion, subpoenaed Willis and Wade to testify at the hearing.

Trump attorney Steve Sadow said in a statement that the “sole objective” of the district attorney’s response is to stop the hearing.

“While the DA admits to an intimate relationship with her employee Special Asst. DA Wade, she fails to provide full transparency and necessary financial details,” Sadow said. “Indeed, she says absolutely nothing about the so-called ‘coincidence’ of Wade filing for divorce the day after the DA hired him!”

In an affidavit attached to the filing, Wade stated that their relationship developed in 2022, and that they had no relationship other than as friends at the time of his appointment. He notes that expenses for personal travel “travel were roughly divided equally between us.”

Additionally, he stated that Willis at times “has made and purchased travel for she and I from her personal funds.” (RELATED: Business Partners Of Fani Willis’ Alleged Lover Bankrolled Her Campaign. She Gave Them Lucrative Contracts)

However, Willis’ filing only includes a receipt for one flight Willis purchased for Wade. Bank statements show Wade purchased two tickets in Willis name to Miami and San Francisco, as well as paying thousands of dollars to a cruise line on the same day he purchased the Miami ticket. It is unclear if Willis accompanied Wade on the cruise.

“Roman’s motion wildly speculates that District Attorney Willis somehow benefited financially from the investigation and prosecution of this criminal case, but provides no support to justify that conclusion,” the district attorney’s motion states. “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 motion defends Wade’s qualifications for the position, noting he “has long distinguished himself as an exceptionally talented litigator with significant trial experience.” Wade’s affidavit notes he was compensated at a rate of $550 an hour while contracted to work as outside counsel to represent the Sheriff of Cobb County.

The DCNF previously reported that Wade was earning more from the district attorney’s office, at $250 an hour, than John Floyd, known as the state’s top racketeering expert, who earned between $150 and $200 an hour, according to billing statements and contracts. Willis falsely stated during a speech made at Big Bethel AME Church that she paid all three special prosecutors the same amount.

Willis’ motion also pushed back against allegations raised in a filing by Trump’s attorney that her comments made during that speech defending herself from the Wade allegations had introduced racial bias into the case.

“Defendant Trump’s motion raising public comments made by District Attorney Willis that neither reference this case nor these defendants as a basis for disqualification is transparently meritless,” she wrote. “The motion makes no serious legal argument, establishes no violation of any ethical rule, and makes no real effort to link the public statements to the legal standard for disqualification.”

Sadow responded in his statement that Willis “believes she can make public out-of-court statements about race, this case, and the defendants whenever she wants, and the Court is powerless to punish her by disqualification.”

“Such hubris for all to see,” he said.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

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