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Trump case could go off rails as Fani Willis love triangle, corruption investigation heats up

ATLANTA, Ga — A messy love triangle between the high-powered district attorney in charge of the 2020 election-fraud case involving former President Donald Trump, the married lover she chose to be special prosecutor and his estranged wife is imploding in Fulton County.

Nobody on either side of the political aisle understands what Fulton County DA Fani Willis was thinking when she hired her reported boyfriend, a personal injury lawyer with zero high-profile felony trial experience, to be the lead special prosecutor in what is likely the biggest case of her career.

Nor do people understand why she’d blur her personal and professional life by jetting off for a $2,600 cruise and romantic trip to California’s Napa Valley with still legally married Wade while working on the sprawling and complex racketeering case against former President Donald Trump and his allies.

But Willis’ decision to hire Nathan Wade, 51, a sharp dresser who operates out of a basement office 20 miles north of Atlanta, and allegedly pay him thousands more than two much more qualified lawyers on her team, has backfired and threatens to derail her career — if not put the planned trial against Trump on state election interference charges in jeopardy.

Bank records released Friday in a new filing by Wade’s estranged wife’s lawyers in Cobb County were the first proof of Wade and Willis’ relationship, showing him purchase tickets for San Francisco and Miami in his personal credit card in 2022 and 2023, after Wade had been named special prosecutor.

Shortly after, the Fulton County Board of Commissioner’s audit committee announced it was investigating Willis over potential “misuse” of taxpayer funds over her appointment of Wade.

Willis, 44, the daughter of Black Panther turned savvy criminal defense lawyer John C. Floyd III, has chosen to dig in her heels since a bombshell motion was filed Jan. 8 by one of the defendants in the Trump case, Michael Roman, alleging that she had an “improper” and “clandestine” affair with Wade and asking that the charges against him be dropped.

She also overpaid him to the tune of at least $675,000 since Jan. 2022 with taxpayer monies that the two then used for their lavish vacations, the motion alleges.

During their alleged romance, the pair have also regularly been seen out and about all over town, with a manager at the pricey Chops steakhouse in Atlanta telling The Post the two were regulars.

Willis gave an impassioned speech at the Big Bethel AME Church in Atlanta last week calling the allegations against her and Wade a racially-motivated attack and is trying to avoid being deposed in court about it.

Neither she nor Wade have denied they are in a romantic relationship. When asked outside his office last week about the accusations by a Post reporter, Wade refused comment, walked into his office then returning holding a handgun.

“If the romantic relationship is true, all I can say is that love can make you do strange things,” Dwight Thomas, 72, one of Atlanta’s most prominent criminal defense lawyers, told the Post.

Thomas, who is black and worked cases against Willis for years as well as briefly consulting for Trump’s defense team in Georgia, added: “Fani is an excellent lawyer. But she’s new to politics and this would not have happened if serious political thinking had been done. As it stands now, it looks very bad. But this is not about race.”

“If the romantic relationship is true, all I can say is that love can make you do strange things,” Dwight Thomas, 72, one of Atlanta’s most prominent criminal defense lawyers, told the Post.

Roman and his lawyer, Ashleigh Merchant, made a number of allegations in the motion which came from now-sealed documents in the messy, ongoing divorce between Wade and his estranged wife of 26 years, Joycelyn.

Joycelyn, who has since moved to Odessa, Texas, claims she is nearly destitute while Wade remains in their 7-bedroom manor on Honey Pot Way in Marietta.

Numerous media outlets have requested the divorce filings be unsealed as the scandal has begun spiraling.

On Thursday, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee scheduled a hearing for Feb. 15 – and set a deadline for Willis to respond to allegations she had an inappropriate relationship with Wade by Feb. 2.

On the same day, her legal team also made a filing in the Wade divorce case in which she attempted to get out of sitting for a grilling by his ex-wife, who has been seeking to depose Willis.

Joycelyn’s bid to depose Willis — which was filed the same day Roman filed the affair allegations as part of his effort to get out of criminal charges — is only meant to harass Willis and “damage her professional reputation,” Willis’ lawyer Cinque Axam wrote.

Axam also alleged that Joycelyn had “conspired with interested parties in the criminal election interference case” to “coordinate” filing court papers in the two cases, all to try to embarrass Willis.

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