Trump Co-Defendant’s Attorney Highlights Conflict In Nathan Wade’s Sworn Statements

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An attorney for one of former president Donald Trump’s co-defendants highlighted on Monday an alleged conflict in statements special prosecutor Nathan Wade submitted under oath.

Ashleigh Merchant, who represents Michael Roman, said Wade submitted an affidavit in his divorce case in May 2023 claiming he did not have relations with anyone besides his spouse during his marriage. Yet in a Feb. 1 affidavit attached to the state’s response to Roman’s motion to disqualify Fani Willis, Wade admitted that they have been romantically involved since 2022.

“We’ve got two declarations in two different courts, both sworn, both filed with the court, that say something completely different,” Merchant told Judge Scott McAfee during a Monday hearing. “So we definitely have a conflict judge.”

Roman filed a motion in January to disqualify Willis and dismiss the case, alleging that she financially benefited from awarding Wade a lucrative contract to work on the case when he took her on vacations using the money he earned. Wade updated his affidavit filed in his divorce case with the Cobb County Superior Court after Roman filed the motion, pleading privilege under the Fifth Amendment, Merchant said.

McAfee affirmed Monday that a hearing scheduled for later this week to sort out the allegations would move forward, noting that disqualification is “possible” given the evidence Roman has presented. (RELATED: Judge Delivers Setback To Fani Willis’ Attempt To Avoid Testifying)

“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.”

Merchant claimed in a Friday filing that witnesses she planned to call during the hearing would contradict Wade’s claim and testify that their relationship began earlier. She wrote in the filing that Terrence Bradley, Wade’s former law partner who represented him early on in his divorce case, had “personal knowledge” that the pair cohabitated on multiple occasions and began their relationship before Willis was sworn in as district attorney.

McAfee put off ruling Monday on Willis’ bid to quash her subpoena until the hearing begins.

Wade did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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