Fulton County DA Fani Willis: Her Affair with the Special Prosecutor
There are some explosive allegations aimed at Fulton County officials this evening.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who has targeted Donald Trump and 18 others with the crime of challenging the 2020 election, is alleged to have an ongoing affair with her subordinate, Fulton County Special Prosecutor Nathan Wade.
The claim comes from the attorneys for defendant Michael Roman, who today filed their motion to dismiss and disqualify DA Willis and the Special Prosecutor. Roman faces years in prison after being charged with six counts by Special Prosecutor Wade, including violation of the Georgia RICO Act. A conviction under Georgia’s RICO conspiracy statute, for example, requires a punishment of between five and 20 years of imprisonment. See Ga. Code Ann. § 16-14-5. You can read the full filing from today here.
Getting to the specifics, Roman’s attorneys allege that DA Willis and Wade:
“have traveled personally together to such places as Napa Valley, Florida, and the Caribbean and the special prosecutor has purchased tickets for both of them to travel on both the Norwegian and Royal Caribbean cruise lines.”
Further evidencing their relationship, DA Willis and Wade have been observed “in private together” in the Atlanta area and are “believed to have cohabitated in some form or fashion at a location owned by neither of them.” Sources close to both parties “have confirmed they had an ongoing, personal relationship during the pendency of the special prosecutor’s divorce proceedings.”
It is alleged that this relationship began before Wade was appointed Special Prosecutor. Reporting on this story tonight, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted that both parties have not denied the relationship:
“Pallavi Bailey, a Willis spokeswoman, said the DA’s office will respond to Roman’s allegations ‘through appropriate court filings. Wade did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The romantic relationship between DA Willis and Wade is important for a couple of important reasons.
First, the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct (the State’s guidelines for lawyer ethics) require an attorney to practice with “independent judgment.” Fulton County government officials, like Willis, are to be “in fact and in appearance, independent and impartial in the performance of their official duties. . . that there be public confidence in the integrity of the county.” Moreover, prosecutors in the State of Georgia are required to take the following oath:
“I do swear that I will faithfully and impartially and without fear, favor, or affection discharge my duties as district attorney and will take only my lawful compensation. So help me God.”
As observed by New York Law School legal and judicial expert Stephen Gillers, if the allegations are true then “Willis was conflicted in the investigation and prosecution of this case” and did not deliver the “independent professional judgment” her position as District Attorney requires.
The expert might not have gone far enough – this is a potential basis for the disqualification of Willis and Wade, as both prosecutors have a personal interest or stake in the defendants’ conviction.
Second, this is a scandal because DA Willis broke the rules governing the appointment of a Special Prosecutor to benefit her lover. According to the filing, DA Willis apparently misrepresented how she would use Fulton County funds to clear the COVID-19 legal backlog, and instead used them to appoint the Special Prosecutor without proper approval.
Getting to our third point, the violation of the appointment rules is an especially key detail here because the beneficiary was sleeping with DA Willis. As a result of this appointment and the billing approvals overseen by DA Willis, Special Prosecutor Wade has received “almost $1,000,000.00 in legal fees” from Fulton County, substantially exceeding the compensation for any other Georgia State or County prosecutor. And these funds were used, allegedly, the fund their extravagant vacations and getaways.
This prosecution has always been corrupt. It is contrary to Georgia’s RICO statute, which is intended to prosecute conspiracies involving financial gain or physical harm. It criminalizes political speech – such as including President Trump’s tweets as an “overt act” in the RICO conspiracy. It has involved the violations of law by Fulton County prosecutors, including DA Willis and Special Prosecutor Wade.
And now, we see that its origins and operation have enriched a couple who tried their best to keep their relationship secret from the public.