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Georgia DA Fani Willis can remain on Trump election fraud case —if ex-lover Nathan Wade steps aside, judge rules


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District Attorney Fani Willis can stay on and prosecute the Georgia election interference case against former President Donald Trump and his co-defendants for allegedly trying to overturn the results of the 2020 election — if special prosecutor Nathan Wade steps aside, a judge ruled Friday.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee issued the decision after deliberating for two weeks following testimony from Willis, Wade and others close to them.

In the decision, he noted that the defense had produced evidence of “a significant appearance of impropriety that infects the current structure of the prosecution team.”

However, he offered a choice, allowing Willis to continue if she drops Wade, with whom she has admitted being romantically involved, from her team.

“The District Attorney may choose to step aside, along with the whole of her office … Alternatively, [special attorney] Wade can withdraw, allowing the District Attorney, the Defendants, and the public to move forward without his presence or remuneration distracting from and potentially compromising the merits of this case,” McAfee wrote.

The allegations charged Willis had become romantically involved with Wade before 2021, when she appointed him special prosecutor in the election interference case, and claimed she benefited financially from his lucrative special prosecutor post when he treated her to luxurious vacations.

The relationship was first revealed by Trump co-defendant Mike Roman in a bombshell court filing that said the situation presented a conflict of interest and asked for Willis to be removed from the case.

Both Willis and Wade — who only reached a divorce agreement with his wife in January — admitted to the affair, but maintained under oath that the relationship only became official in 2022, after they had already brought the case against the former president and 18 others.

Trump, Roman and 13 co-defendants remain actively involved in the case. Four other co-defendants reached plea deals.

However, at the hearings into Willis’ conduct, witnesses presented testimony which contradicted the former lovers’ claims.

McAfee’s ruling was particularly damning of Willis and Wade’s conduct, calling it a “tremendous lapse in judgment” and adding that the defense raised “reasonable questions” about whether the pair had testified truthfully as to the timeline of their relationship.

However, at the hearings into Willis’ conduct, witnesses presented testimony which contradicted the former lovers’ claims.

Explaining his decision, McAfee wrote: “The court finds the allegations and evidence legally insufficient to support a finding of an actual conflict of interest” over Willis and Wade’s relationship.

However, he also noted that “the appearance of impropriety remains,” making his decision a split ruling, with some of the motions put forward by Trump and his co-defendants “granted in part and denied in part.”

Trump’s lawyer Steve Sadow was quick to respond: “While respecting the Court’s decision, we believe that the Court did not afford appropriate significance to the prosecutorial misconduct of Willis and Wade, including the financial benefits, testifying untruthfully about when their personal relationship began … We will use all legal options available as we continue to fight to end this case, which should never have been brought in the first place.”

In mid-February, Robin Yeartie — a former DA’s office employee who also claimed to be one of Willis’ longtime friends — testified that she had “no doubt” Willis and Wade were romantically linked as early as 2019.

Yeartie said she saw the pair “kissing” and “hugging” at the time.

Wade’s former law partner and one-time divorce attorney Terrence Bradley also told Roman’s attorney Ashleigh Merchant in January that the affair “absolutely” started before Wade was appointed to the Trump case.

“It started when she left the DA’s office and was judge in South Fulton,” Bradley texted Merchant on Jan. 5, according to records that were referenced in court and later revealed in full on Megyn Kelly’s podcast.

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