Judge Says Fani Willis’ Disqualification ‘Possible’ Given Evidence Presented By Trump Co-Defendant

(Photo by CHRISTIAN MONTERROSA/AFP via Getty Images)

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Judge Scott McAfee said Monday that it is “possible” Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis could be disqualified based on evidence of alleged corruption presented by Trump co-defendant Michael Roman.

Roman filed a motion last month claiming Willis benefited from appointing her romantic partner Nathan Wade as special prosecutor on the case against former President Donald Trump when he used funds earned from his “lucrative” contract to take her on vacations. McAfee said the evidence presented by Roman to date requires maintaining the hearing scheduled for Thursday to determine whether or not Willis should be disqualified from the case, though Willis urged him to dismiss Roman’s motion without a hearing.

“The state has admitted a relationship existed,” McAfee said. “[W]hat remains to be proven is the existence and extent of any financial benefit, again, if there even was one. So because I think it’s possible that the facts alleged by the defendant could result in disqualification, I think an evidentiary hearing must occur to establish the record on those core allegations.”

“I think the issues that point here are, whether a relationship existed, whether that relationship was romantic or non-romantic in nature, when it formed and whether it continues,” he continued. “That’s only relevant because it’s in combination with the question of the existence and extent of any personal benefit.”

Bank statements contained in a filing in Wade’s divorce case revealed he purchased airline tickets to Miami and San Francisco in Willis’ name. In a Friday filing, Roman’s attorney claimed Wade’s gifts to her totaled thousands of dollars.

The filing included two additional and previously undisclosed trips: a Bahamas cruise the pair took in December 2022 and a trip to Belize in March 2023.

Wade claimed in an affidavit that expenses for personal travel were split roughly equally between he and Willis.

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)

McAfee outlined Monday other issues contained in Roman’s motion that he did not see as relevant moving forward. (RELATED: Fani Willis Tries To Quash Subpoena Requiring Her To Testify)

“I don’t think the particulars of Mr. Wade’s experience are relevant,” he said. “His alleged lack of experience handling RICO cases or any inferences regarding the intent from that can be addressed in argument. But in my mind, as long as a lawyer has a heartbeat and a bar card, that lawyer’s appointment, standing alone, is a matter within the district attorney’s discretion.”

“Similarly, I haven’t found a reason to find that the regulations or the alleged violations of Fulton County code are relevant in and of themselves,” he continued.

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