Fani Willis confirms relationship with fellow Trump prosecutor but denies impropriety
In 2022, the two prosecutors “developed a personal relationship in addition to our professional association and friendship,” the filing said.
Willis, however, argued that the relationship did not violate any ethics rules and that there was no reason it should derail the case. She also defended Wade’s credentials and billing practices.
Willis called the effort to disqualify her office “malicious” and urged Judge Scott McAfee to cancel a hearing, scheduled for Feb. 15, on the allegations of misconduct.
“This is not an example of zealous advocacy, nor is it a good faith effort to develop a record on a disputed legal issue — it is a ticket to the circus,” the filing says.
The filing comes nearly a month after Mike Roman, one of the 19 people Willis charged under the state’s organized crime statute, alleged that Willis personally benefited from her relationship with Wade. Roman, a former Trump campaign official, also argued that Willis did not have the legal power to make Wade a special prosecutor and that therefore his role in Roman’s indictment should invalidate the charges altogether.
“Spurious allegations of publicity-seeking aside, it must be made clear that District Attorney Willis did not go looking for this case,” reads Willis’ filing. “These Defendants centered their racketeering conspiracy to disrupt and overturn the 2020 Georgia election in Fulton County, committing crimes that provided a venue in this jurisdiction. The motions are based on guesswork and public relations strategy, not legal argument.”
Willis seeded the filing with swipes at other attorneys in the case, writing that two of the defense lawyers involved were also known to be romantically involved and that another pair of attorneys were married. Neither of those relationships, she added, were grounds for controversy.
“Until Roman’s motion was filed, the private lives of the attorney participants in this trial was not a topic of discussion,” she argued.