After weeks of speculation, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D) confirmed in a new court filing that she had a “personal relationship” with attorney Nathan Wade, a special prosecutor in former President Donald Trump’s election interference case in Georgia. She does not, however, believe there is any reason to recuse herself.
The filing came on the same day House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) subpoenaed Willis to produce documents related to her office’s use and spending of federal funds as part of a larger investigation.
Last month, Michael Roman, one of co-defendants in the Trump Georgia case, claimed in a bombshell court filing that Willis engaged in an “improper” romantic relationship with Wade that makes the indictment “fatally defective.” The motion sought to have Roman’s seven criminal charges dismissed and Willis and her staff disqualified from the case.
Willis responded to the allegations in a 176-page court filing on Friday, admitting to the relationship with Wade but called the claims against her “meritless,” “salacious,” and “designed to obtain” media attention.
In an attached affidavit from Wade, the attorney insisted his romantic relationship with Willis did not begin until after he was hired as a special prosecutor in November 2021. “In 2022, District Attorney Willis and I developed a personal relationship in addition to our professional association and friendship,” he stated.
Wade’s pay and qualifications have been called into question in the aftermath of the allegations, as it appears he was paid more than at least one fellow prosecutor and lacks experience trying racketeering cases. Willis defended Wade in the court documents, calling him “a leader more than capable of managing the complexity of this case.”
As it relates to impropriety, Willis claimed she did not personally benefit from her relationship despite reports of several trips the couple took together in recent years. “To be absolutely clear, the personal relationship between Special Prosecutor Wade and District Attorney Willis has never involved direct or indirect financial benefit to District Attorney Willis,” the filing noted.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee previously scheduled an evidentiary hearing on Roman’s allegations for February 15. His attorney, Ashleigh Merchant, said in a lawsuit this week that she has subpoenaed Willis and Wade to testify.
But that is not the only subpoena Willis is facing. The House Judiciary Committee, which is looking into her use of federal funds, has requested she produce documents related to the spending of government money.
In a statement, Willis did not explicitly say whether or not she will comply with the House subpoena. “These false allegations are included in baseless litigation filed by a holdover employee from the previous administration who was terminated for cause,” Willis stated on Friday. “The courts that have ruled found no merit in these claims. We expect the same result in any pending litigation.”
What Comes Next
In Megyn’s view, the mounting legal action against Willis means she is going to be forced to answer questions about much of this sooner than later. “She’s been subpoenaed by a couple of different entities, so she’s going to give testimony about this and she’s not going to be able to dodge,” she explained. “We’re gonna get the full enchilada at some point soon.”
In the meantime, Aidala and Eiglarsh did not agree on what Willis’ “biggest problem” is going to be as she fights to remain on the case. While Aidala, whose law firm is representing former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani in the Georgia trial, said “it’s the lack of credentials of her lover in this particular case,” Eiglarsh wasn’t so sure. “The judge doesn’t make that determination of saying, ‘Well, he shouldn’t be on the case,’” he said. “That’s not for a judge to decide. That’s for her to use.”
Given the specificity of the charges, Aidala maintained that Wade’s experience matters. “If he is a former federal prosecutor and he’s… done five RICO cases, then it passes the smell test,” he explained. “But of all the lawyers in her office… all the lawyers in Georgia, he’s the one who has no experience in RICO and she picks him… [and], in pretrial hearings, he’s made almost three quarters of a million dollars.”
While Eiglarsh acknowledged that it “gives the image of impropriety,” he’s not sure it will matter legally. “It’s good for the court of public opinion but fails in a court of law,” he concluded. “The judge is not going to take the extraordinary step of removing [Willis from the case], even though there is the image of impropriety.”
You can check out Megyn’s full Kelly’s Court with Aidala and Eiglarsh by tuning in to episode 716 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.