Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee said Friday that it’s likely he’ll schedule a hearing for next month to hear arguments about removing District Attorney Fani Willis from prosecuting the criminal case she brought against Donald Trump and 14 remaining co-defendants, according to multiple reports.
One of those co-defendants, Mike Roman, filed allegations earlier this week accusing the DA of hiring her alleged romantic partner and outside attorney Nathan Wade as a top prosecutor in the case. Roman’s filing said the secret relationship, for which he offered no proof, should disqualify Willis from prosecuting the case.
Wade was in the courtroom on Friday and was asked by McAfee if he wanted to respond to Roman’s motion. Lead prosecutor Daysha Young answered on Wade’s behalf, saying, “not at this time, your honor,” according to The Washington Post.
McAfee said he was waiting for Willis to respond to the motion, which she has not done, before scheduling a hearing. He also wants to give some time to allow defense lawyers to independently investigate the claims filed by Roman.
“What I’m trying to avoid is dragging it out because other parties want to piggyback and do their own separate investigation, if you will,” McAfee said. “I don’t know when the state is planning to file a response, but at some point we will have to set it for a hearing.”
Roman’s attorney Ashleigh Merchant said proof of the tryst between Willis and Wade lies in sealed documents relating to Wade’s contentious divorce proceedings. She has already asked a judge to unseal those records to substantiate the claims made in the filing. Merchant told the Post that she had sources who told her about the affair, which was the basis for the filing.
Willis on Monday was subpoenaed to be deposed as part of Wade’s divorce proceedings from his wife, Joycelyn Mayfield Wade, the Post and The Wall Street Journal reported.
Trump attorney Steve Sadow, also in the courtroom on Friday, told McAfee he wants to hear from Willis and Wade before deciding whether Trump should join Roman’s motion.
“Suffice it to say that they are salacious and scandalous in nature,” Sadow said of Roman’s claims. “I’m leery of moving to adopt motions that make such allegations without having a better understanding or substantiation of the allegations.”
What is known is that Wade has been paid nearly $654,000 by Willis so far for his time working on the case, including 16 hours meeting with White House counsel in May and November. What’s being alleged is that Wade has kicked back a chunk of those payments to Willis through several romantic getaways.
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Mark Swanson, a Newsmax writer and editor, has nearly three decades of experience covering news, culture and politics.
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