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Fulton County Judge Scott McAfee, the judge overseeing Donald Trump’s Georgia election interference case, said it’s possible allegations against Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis “could result in disqualification.”
“Specifically, looking at defendant Roman’s motion, it alleges a relationship that resulted in a financial benefit to the district attorney. And that is no longer a matter of complete speculation. The state has admitted a relationship existed,” McAfee said.
“And so what remains to be proven is the existence and extent of any financial benefit. Again, if there is, if there was one. So. Because I think it’s possible that the facts alleged by the defendant could result in disqualification, I think an evidentiary hearing must occur to establish the record on those core allegations,” he continued.
NEW: Judge in the Georgia criminal case against President Trump says “I think it’s possible that the facts alleged could result in disqualification [for Fani Willis]. I think an evidentiary hearing must occur to establish the record on those core allegations” pic.twitter.com/TkP2nDQAxX
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) February 12, 2024
ABC News reports:
Fulton County Judge Scott McAfee made the remarks during a hearing Monday to determine whether Willis, prosecutor Nathan Wade, and others will have to testify Thursday during a hearing the judge had scheduled to hear arguments on the matter.
Wills and Wade, along with a number of employees in the DA’s office, have been subpoenaed to testify Thursday by Trump co-defendant Michael Roman, who last month filed a motion seeking to dismiss the election charges against him and disqualify Willis on the grounds that she allegedly engaged in a “personal, romantic relationship” with Wade, one of her top prosecutors in the election case, which allegedly resulted in financial gain for both of them.
A subsequent court filing from Willis admitted to the relationship but denied that there was any financial conflict of interest that would disqualify her from the case. Roman then accused the DA of misrepresenting in that filing aspects of the relationship, including when it began.
“I think it’s clear that disqualification can occur if evidence is produced demonstrating an actual conflict or the appearance of one,” McAfee said, according to ABC News.
“The lawyer attempting to subpoena Trump prosecutors Fani Willis and Nathan Wade highlights that Wade submitted two different sworn statements in separate courts regarding his inappropriate relationship with Willis,” Kanekoa The Great reports.
BREAKING: The lawyer attempting to subpoena Trump prosecutors Fani Willis and Nathan Wade highlights that Wade submitted two different sworn statements in separate courts regarding his inappropriate relationship with Willis.
In May 2023, Wade filed in divorce court… pic.twitter.com/RDEv2qyAT2
— KanekoaTheGreat (@KanekoaTheGreat) February 12, 2024
Kanekoa The Great writes:
In May 2023, Wade filed in divorce court that he didn’t have any other relationships.
However, in a recent sworn affidavit filed in the Trump case, both Willis and Wade stated they had been in a relationship since 2022.
When accusations about their improper relationship surfaced, Wade amended his divorce court filing, citing the Fifth Amendment.
“We’ve got two declarations in two different courts, both sworn and filed with the court, that say something completely different,” the lawyer stated.
“We’ve got a 2023 filing under oath by Mr. Wade, stating he didn’t have a relationship.”
“Then we’ve got a filing stating he did have one starting in 2022.”
“And then, once that came about, he fixed the incorrect affidavit that was filed back in 2023.”
“So, we definitely have a conflict judge.”
“An evidentiary hearing on the affair allegations against Fani Willis are scheduled for Feb. 15,” Fox News noted.
BREAKING: Fani Willis may be disqualified from Trump RICO case over affair with prosecutor, ‘evidentiary hearing must occur’: judgehttps://t.co/K5wNihGPOM
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) February 12, 2024
Per Fox News:
In legal filings last month, Roman alleged that Wade billed Fulton County for 24 hours of work on a single day in November 2021, shortly after being appointed as a special prosecutor, and that Willis financially benefited from her alleged lover’s padded taxpayer-funded salary by taking lavish vacations together on his dime.
According to the court documents, Wade, who has no RICO and felony prosecution experience, billed taxpayers $654,000 since January 2022.
Judge McAfee said Monday that “the particulars” of Wade’s experience will not be relevant in the evidentiary hearing, which will take place on Thursday, Feb. 15, adding, “in my mind as long as a lawyer has a heartbeat and a bar card that lawyer’s appointment standing alone is a matter within the District Attorney’s discretion.”
McAfee said the issues “at point” here are “whether a relationship existed, whether that relationship was romantic or non-romantic in nature, when it formed and whether it continues. And that’s only relevant because it’s in combination with the question of the existence and extent of any personal benefit conveyed as a result of their relationship.”
Willis responded to the allegations in a court filing and admitted to having a “personal” relationship with Wade but denied any conflict of interest. She also argued that, according to Georgia law, in order for a district attorney to be forcibly removed from a case, the conflict of interest has to be harmful to a defendant’s case.