The judge overseeing the Donald Trump Georgia election subversion case has set a February 15 hearing to consider the motion to disqualify Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis due to allegations of an “improper” relationship with her special prosecutor.
The allegations against Willis and Wade came in a 127-page court filing earlier this month by Mike Roman, a former Trump 2020 campaign official who was indicted over his role in the fake electors plot in Georgia. Roman alleges that special prosecutor Nathan Wade is romantically involved with Willis and used money he billed the district attorney’s office for his work on the case to take her on lavish vacations.
Judge Scott McAfee also instructed Fulton County prosecutors to file a written response to Roman’s allegations by February 2.
Ashleigh Merchant, the attorney who levied the allegations, has not yet produced direct evidence of an improper romantic relationship between Willis and Wade. Merchant indicated in her court filing that the divorce records, once unsealed, will support her claim that Willis and Wade had a romantic relationship and travelled together to resort destinations with money Wade earned on the election subversion case.
Merchant has since filed a separate motion to unseal Wade’s divorce records, as has a media coalition including CNN.
At the evidentary hearing, witness testimony and possible exhibits are allowed, in addition to oral arguments.
According to a court document obtained by CNN, Willis has received a witness subpoena to appear at a court deposition as part of Wade’s divorce proceedings on January 23. And on January 31, there is a hearing at Cobb County Superior Court regarding whether to unseal the records in the divorce case.
Wade was selected on November 1, 2021, as the Anti-Corruption Special Prosecutor in the case against Trump and some of his closest allies in Fulton County, Georgia. The next day, Wade filed for divorce, according to court records.
In her first public comments last weekend about Wade, Willis defended her staff and decision-making to the congregation at Atlanta’s Big Bethel A.M.E Church during Sunday service.
Willis said that she assembled a diverse team that can accomplish “extraordinary things,” and questioned those who “attacked this lawyer of impeccable credentials.”
Willis seeks to quash subpoena in Wade’s divorce case
Separately, Willis suggested in a court filing Thursday that Wade’s wife is using their divorce to harass and damage Willis’ reputation and is “obstructing and interfering with an ongoing criminal prosecution.”
Willis says in the filing that Joycelyn Wade has been separated from her husband for more than two years and “has conspired with interested parties in the criminal election interference case to use the civil discovery process to annoy, embarrass and oppress District Attorney Willis.”
Willis has received a witness subpoena to appear at a court deposition as part of Wade’s divorce proceedings on January 23. In Thursday’s filing, the Fulton County district attorney asked for her subpoena to be quashed.
Andrea Dyer Hastings, an attorney for Wade in her divorce proceedings, said in a Thursday statement that any response to Willis’ emergency motion “will come in writing through the Court.”
“We aim to help Ms. Wade resolve her divorce fairly and privately, but apparently Fulton County D.A. Fani Willis would prefer to use her public platform. Clearly, this matter is personal for her,” Hastings said.
This story has been updated with additional developments.
CNN’s Piper Hudspeth Blackburn contributed to this report.
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