Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee said Monday that it's "possible" the evidence that surfaced against District Attorney Fani Willis could disqualify her from the prosecuting the election interference case against Donald Trump and the remaining co-defendants.
At issue is whether Willis' admitted relationship with top prosecutor Nathan Wade "resulted in a financial benefit" to Willis by hiring him, McAfee said.
"What remains to be proven is the existence and extent of any financial benefit, again if there even was one," McAfee said regarding his decision to move forward with a hearing.
"Because I think it's possible that the facts alleged by the defendant [Mike Roman] could result in disqualification [for Fani Willis]. I think an evidentiary hearing must occur to establish the record on those core allegations," the judge said.
Willis had asked McAfee to quash the subpoenas against her, Wade, and employees in the DA's office and cancel Thursday's hearing. McAfee rejected that.
The attorney for Roman filed a motion weeks ago for Willis to be disqualified over the relationship, which Willis finally admitted to on Feb. 2. The situation took a turn Friday when Roman's attorney said Wade's former law partner will "refute" claims Willis and Wade made that their relationship started after the prosecutor was appointed to lead the case against the former president.
"(Terrance) Bradley has non-privileged, personal knowledge that the romantic relationship between Wade and Willis began prior to Willis being sworn as the district attorney for Fulton County, Georgia in January 2021," wrote Ashleigh Merchant, Roman's lawyer.
Friday's filing asserts their relationship began in 2019. Wade's firm has been paid more than $653,000 since being hired by Willis in November 2021.
Records show that Wade purchased plane tickets for Willis and himself to Aruba in October 2022 and San Francisco in April 2023. Roman alleges Wade spent more than $16,000 on cruises and trips in his filing, which accuses Willis of honest services fraud.
Mark Swanson ✉
Mark Swanson, a Newsmax writer and editor, has nearly three decades of experience covering news, culture and politics.
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