Fulton County DA’s office moves to quash Fani Willis, top prosecutor subpoenas ahead of hearing

Fulton County DA’s office moves to quash Fani Willis, top prosecutor subpoenas ahead of hearing

The Fulton County district attorney’s office asked a Georgia judge Wednesday to quash subpoenas of top prosecutors in former President Trump’s 2020 election interference case that would require them to testify at a hearing next week over whether they should be booted from the case.

After accusing Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D) and special prosecutor Nathan Wade of having romantic ties, one of Trump’s co-defendants in Georgia subpoenaed the duo along with more than a half-dozen of their colleagues for the hearing, scheduled for Feb. 15.

Both Willis and Wade last week admitted to having a “personal relationship,” but the district attorney’s office had described the calls to step aside baseless and said there is no need for the hearing.

In a new 36-page motion Wednesday, the district attorney’s office described the subpoenas as “ill-conceived” and based on “reckless accusations,” urging Judge Scott McAfee to block the attempt to compel Willis, Wade and others to testify at the hearing.

“Georgia law—as well as authority from across the country—predictably frowns on a process that permits counsel for one litigant to compel the testimony of counsel and employees of the opposing party, and there is no justification to depart from that general principle here,” special prosecutor Anna Green Cross wrote on the state’s behalf.

The district attorney’s office also accused defense counsel of attempting to “disrupt and delay” the prosecution.

“The effort should be promptly brought to a close,” prosecutors wrote.

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Mike Roman, a Trump 2020 campaign staffer who is one of the former president’s co-defendants in Georgia, first accused Willis of having romantic ties with Wade in court papers filed last month.

Roman, Trump and more than a dozen others are charged in the case with racketeering over accusations they entered an unlawful conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia. It is one of four criminal cases the former president faces, and he has pleaded not guilty to all of his 91 combined charges.

After nearly a month, Willis and Wade admitted Friday to developing a “personal relationship” but insisted they were only friends when Willis hired Wade in late 2021.

The Hill requested comment from Roman’s lawyer, Ashleigh Merchant, and Trump’s lead counsel in Georgia, Steve Sadow.

Roman’s motion claims Willis and Wade’s relationship renders the sweeping racketeering indictment against himself, Trump and 17 others “fatally defective.” He’s asking the judge to dismiss his charges and stop Willis, Wade and the Fulton County district attorney’s office at large from continuing to prosecute the case.

Beyond Willis and Wade, Roman subpoenaed multiple investigatory staffers in the district attorney’s office and other prosecutors involved in Trump’s criminal case. Wade’s divorce lawyer was also sent a subpoena, and Roman is additionally seeking personal and business bank records for both Wade and his law practice.

Trump and a handful of other defendants joined the motion to boot Willis, while also drawing attention to other aspects of Willis’s conduct they say is disqualifying.

Earlier Wednesday, Sadow reiterated that the district attorney’s office should step aside, singling out comments Willis made during a church service commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. implying race played a part in the criticism she and Wade faced as evidence of prosecutorial misconduct.

“Our filing argues persuasively that, contrary to the DA’s response, Georgia law authorizes and compels the disqualification of the DA for her extrajudicial prosecutorial comments in violation of her special ethical responsibilities as a prosecutor,” he said in a statement.

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