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Judge Orders District Attorney to Respond to Allegations of Impropriety in Trump’s Georgia Case

Judge in Trump’s Georgia case orders DA to respond to allegations of impropriety

The response to allegations of impropriety in the case against former President Donald Trump and several co-defendants has been ordered by Judge Scott McAfee.

District Attorney Fani Willis is instructed to submit a written response by Feb. 2, with a hearing scheduled for Feb. 15.

The accusations, made by Mike Roman, a former Trump campaign official and a defendant in the case, claim that Willis is engaged in a romantic relationship with Nathan Wade, a special prosecutor hired on a contract basis to assist in managing the case, thereby violating ethics rules.

The court papers were filed by Roman’s lawyer, Ashleigh Merchant.


Judge in Trump Georgia case orders hearing on Fani Willis misconduct claims

The claim was made by Merchant, without providing evidence, suggesting that Willis and Wade participated in costly vacations funded by Wade’s earnings from his involvement in the case. Merchant argued that this arrangement violates conflict of interest rules and provides grounds for the judge to disqualify Willis and her team from the prosecution.

Wade, before joining the Trump investigation, does not seem to have a background in prosecuting complex cases. His biography on his law firm’s website highlights his experience in personal injury issues, family law, contract disputes, and other civil matters.

Willis’ office stated that they would address the allegations in court filings. In an order issued on Thursday, McAfee directed Willis to respond to these claims.

Wade’s qualifications were recently defended by Willis during remarks at a church service honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. She refrained from addressing the allegations of impropriety.

In November 2021, just a day after joining the district attorney’s team, Wade initiated divorce proceedings with his wife of over two decades. This divorce process has now become entangled with the Trump case, as Wade’s wife, Joycelyn Wade, recently subpoenaed Willis to testify in the divorce proceedings.


District attorney defends the qualifications of a prosecutor hired in Trump's Georgia election case | WSAV-TV

The Wade divorce proceedings are currently sealed. A hearing on Jan. 31, two days before McAfee’s new deadline, will determine whether to unseal the case. Merchant has requested the case be unsealed, and earlier this week, a coalition of media outlets expressed support for unsealing the proceedings.

“No other relevant basis for questioning or seeking discovery from District Attorney Willis has been identified by Joycelyn Wade,” stated Willis’ attorney, Cinque Axam.

The filing by Willis did not address the personal relationship allegations made by Roman regarding Willis and Nathan Wade.

In response to Willis’ claim of coordination, Roman’s attorney, Ashleigh Merchant, stated, “As she did in Fulton County, Willis attempts to create a conspiracy where none exists. We filed Mr. Roman’s motion on the day it was due, January 8th. We believe her filing in Cobb County is just another attempt to avoid having to directly answer the important questions Mr. Roman has raised.”

“It would likely result in the appointment of another prosecutor from a different county, meaning the case wouldn’t be dismissed,” stated Jerry Froelich, a Georgia criminal defense attorney not involved in the case.

Trump faces separate indictments in Washington for attempts to overturn his election loss, in Florida for mishandling classified documents after leaving office, and in New York for hush money payments to a porn star. He has entered a not guilty plea in all these cases.

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