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Judge Calls for Hearing on the Misconduct Allegations Leveled Against DA in Trump Election Case

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 District Attorney Fani Willis and Nathan Wade
Source: 11Alive.com

There have been developments in the legal proceedings involving former President Donald Trump’s alleged interference in Georgia’s elections. The presiding Judge, Scott McAfee, announced that there would be a hearing regarding the misconduct allegations against Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. 

The allegations centered on the possibility that the district attorney financially benefited from her handling of the election interference case. If proven, it could result in her disqualification. McAfee remarked during a hearing addressing Willis’s motion to toss out the subpoena for her testimony.

“Disqualification can occur if evidence is produced demonstrating an actual conflict or the appearance of one,” he said. One of Trump’s co-defendants in the election case, Michael Roman, alleged that Willis and prosecutor Nathan Wade had “a personal relationship” that was “improper.”

Subpoenas were issued to the District Attorney’s office employees, including Fani Willis and one of her top prosecutors, Jeff DeSantis. The subpoenas were filed in response to allegations brought forth by Trump co-defendant Michael Roman. Roman motioned to dismiss election charges against him and disqualify Willis from the case. 

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ALSO READ: Court Filing Accuses Fani Willis of Lying About the Timing of Her Affair With Trump Prosecutor

His claim was centered on the alleged “personal, romantic relationship” between Willis and another prosecutor, Nathan Wade. He contends the pair seems to have “enriched themselves off this case.” He referred to plane tickets for trips that the pair took.

However, Willis has countered the allegations by arguing that her relationship never affected her objectivity in handling the case. She admitted to the relationship but denied the financial conflict of interest. 

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Her filing stated, “Defendants have done nothing to establish an actual conflict of interest, nor have they shown that, in the handling of the case, District Attorney Willis or Special Prosecutor Wade have acted out of any personal or financial motivation,” it said.

Willis stated that the relationship started after Wade was appointed special counsel in 2022. But then, Roman accused Willis of lying about the timing. Roman’s lawyer–Ashleigh Merchant, informed the court that her witness would testify against the claims.

ALSO READ: Will Trump Be Criminally Convicted Before the General Elections?

Judge McAfee said during Monday’s hearing, “I think it’s clear that disqualification can occur if the evidence demonstrates an actual conflict or the appearance of one. The state has admitted a relationship existed.

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And so what remains to be proven is the existence and extent of any financial benefit, again, if there even was one. And so because I think it’s possible that the facts alleged by the defendant could result in disqualification, I believe an evidentiary hearing must occur to establish the record on those core allegations.”

Willis and Wade had attempted to have the hearing called off and their subpoenas to testify invalidated. However, after arguments presented on Monday, the judge may allow the witnesses subpoenaed by the defense to testify, including Willis. The judge commented that the defense had successfully demonstrated a “good faith basis for relevance” for their testimony.

“I don’t see how quashal can be imposed here,” McAfee mentioned concerning the subpoenas. However, the judge has refused to rule until Thursday’s evidential hearing.

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