Trump DA Fani Willis’ top prosecutor and former romantic interest resigns following judge’s ultimatum

In a recent ruling, a Georgia judge has allowed District Attorney Fani Willis of Fulton County to proceed with the high-profile state election-interference case involving former President Donald Trump. However, this decision comes with the condition that her top prosecutor steps aside from the case.

Hours later, Atlanta-based attorney Nathan Wade announced his resignation, according to the prosecutor.

In his resignation letter, he stated, “Despite the court’s conclusion that ‘the defendants did not prove that the District Attorney had an actual conflict of interest,’ I have decided to step down in order to prioritize democracy, serve the American public, and expedite the progress of this case.”

Willis graciously accepted Wade’s resignation, praising him for his professionalism and dignity.

In her response, Willis expressed her admiration and gratitude for the bravery exhibited by the individual who took on the responsibility of investigating and prosecuting the allegations of a conspiracy to overturn Georgia’s 2020 Presidential election. She emphasized that she will always remember and make sure others remember this act of courage.

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Willis and Wade testified that they were in a romantic relationship, which they claimed ended last summer.

In a dramatic ruling on Friday, Judge Scott McAfee delivered a bombshell verdict in the Superior Court of Fulton County. This decision came after a thorough three-day evidentiary hearing, which focused on the misconduct allegations against Willis and Wade. The two were appointed to lead the investigation into Trump and his allies’ attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in Georgia.

According to McAfee’s ruling, Wade must either step aside or Willis and her entire office must relinquish the case.

In a written statement, he suggested that the District Attorney and her entire office could opt to recuse themselves and transfer the prosecution to the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council for reassignment. Another option he proposed was for SADA Wade to voluntarily withdraw, which would allow the District Attorney, the Defendants, and the public to proceed without his involvement or any potential distractions or compromises to the case.

Willis’ office is expected to carry on with the prosecution of the former president and those associated with him now that Wade has departed.

Willis’ time under the spotlight

Ashleigh Merchant, an attorney representing Trump’s codefendant Mike Roman, contended in a motion to disqualify Willis that there existed a conflict of interest in the case due to her alleged improper benefit from a romantic relationship with Wade.

According to Merchant, Wade had paid thousands of dollars for Willis’ travel to exotic vacations, which was a significant advantage.

During the emotional hearings, McAfee listened to testimonies from various witnesses, including Willis, her former friend, her father, Wade, and Wade’s former divorce attorney. The purpose of these testimonies was to establish the timeline of their relationship and determine if she had received any financial benefits from it.

According to testimony from Willis’ former friend, it was revealed that Wade and Willis started dating not long after meeting each other in 2019. This was years before she hired him to work on the Trump case in November 2021. In addition, Wade’s former law partner and divorce attorney, Terrence Bradley, admitted in his testimony that he had previously expressed his belief in text messages to Merchant that Willis had indeed started dating Wade before she hired him for the prominent case.

During the questioning, Bradley clarified that his comments on the timing of Willis and Wade’s relationship were merely speculative.

In his statement on Friday, McAfee expressed his skepticism towards the testimony provided by Terrance Bradley.

According to McAfee, the inconsistencies, demeanor, and lack of responsiveness in Bradley’s answers were not sufficient grounds to draw any conclusions. In McAfee’s opinion, Bradley’s impeachment by text message did not provide a solid basis for his claims about Wade’s personal affairs. McAfee stated, “His inconsistencies, demeanor, and generally non-responsive answers left far too brittle a foundation upon which to build any conclusions… Bradley’s impeachment by text message did not establish the basis for which he claimed such sweeping knowledge of Wade’s personal affairs.”

Wade and Willis testified that they didn’t start dating until early 2022, which was already after they had begun working together. However, they also mentioned that they stopped dating last summer.

During a February 15 evidentiary hearing, both individuals affirmed that the district attorney has consistently maintained her strong independence and always insisted on covering her own expenses. As Wade personally paid for the travel costs on his credit card, Willis reimbursed him in cash, without keeping any record, or alternatively, she would cover other expenses of equal value, as stated by their testimonies.

According to legal experts, there was a consensus that Willis’ association with Wade was perceived as unfavorable, but it did not seem to cross the line into a conflict of interest in the election-interference case.

In his ruling on Friday, McAfee ultimately agreed, stating that there was no genuine personal gain for Willis in the prosecution, and she did not receive any kickback payments from Wade, as some defense lawyers had claimed.

According to McAfee, the District Attorney has not acted in accordance with the theory that she orchestrated a financial scheme to benefit herself or gain favor with Wade by prolonging the prosecution or engaging in unnecessary legal battles.

‘An odor of mendacity remains’

During the closing arguments in the evidentiary hearing, the defense attorneys of Roman, Trump, and other codefendants in the Georgia election-interference case presented evidence indicating that Willis had a pre-existing relationship with Wade before she hired him. They further argued that Willis benefited from Wade’s hire.

John Merchant, an attorney who is also representing Roman, expressed concern during the closing arguments. He emphasized that if this court permits such behavior and enables District Attorneys (DAs) statewide to engage in these activities, it will severely damage public confidence in the justice system and undermine its integrity.

During the hearing, Adam Abbate, a prosecutor from Willis’ office, contended that the defense attorneys were required to demonstrate an “actual” conflict of interest, which they failed to accomplish.

“It’s absolutely unfounded, your honor, an utterly desperate ploy to oust a prosecutor from a case without any valid justification,” Abbate argued.

The prosecutor argued against the motion, stating that it should be denied as the necessary legal requirements for disqualifying the district attorney have not been met.

According to him, the defendants have not presented any legal or factual arguments that meet the standard for disqualification.

According to McAfee, Willis demonstrated a significant lapse in judgment and acted unprofessionally while testifying during his hearings.

He mentioned that although he did not discover any actual conflict of interest, there still lingers a sense of dishonesty.

According to the author, the case necessitated the removal of either Wade or Willis due to the significant conflict that arose.

The author expressed concern that the District Attorney may not be completely independent and free from any influences that could compromise her professional judgment. He suggested that as long as Wade is involved in the case, this perception will continue to exist.

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