Judge calls Willis 'unprofessional,' then sets conditions for her to continue on Trump case

 March 15, 2024

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

A Georgia judge has determined that Fulton County DA Fani Willis was unprofessional and may well have benefited financially from hiring her paramour for more than $600,000 to develop an organized crime case against President Donald Trump but the Democrat can stay on the case if she severs links to her alleged lover.

Defense attorneys in the case had pointed out her longstanding relationship with Nathan Wade, whom she hired for two-thirds of a million dollars to attack Trump, and how she took trips to exotic locales with him.

However, the judge conceded that her claim to have reimbursed Wade in cash for the trips might be true, and he said she could remain on the case if she severed all ties to him.

Observers had speculated that to remove Willis entirely likely would have killed the DA's political claims against Trump and others.

Fox News explained Judge Scott McAfee, in fact, gave Willis an ultimatum: step aside from the case or fire Wade.

The case is about Willis' claims of election interference and its evidence is based largely on a telephone call between Trump and state officials following the 2020 election count that likely was recorded illegally.

McAfee claimed the defendants didn't "meet their burden of proving that the district attorney acquired an actual conflict of interest in this case through her personal relationship and recurring travels with her lead prosecutor."

Of course, the ordinary standard for legal ethics is that even the appearance of a conflict is equally a problem.

The judge warned that the record now includes "a significant appearance of impropriety that infects the current structure of the prosecution team – an appearance that must be removed through the state's selection of one of two options."

He didn't explain how the district attorney could change past events that already provide the appearance of a conflict.

The evidence shows the defendants charged Willis benefited financially by hiring Wade as they were in a relationship when he was hired, and they would vacation together.

Wade and Willis, under oath, claimed they were not in a romantic relationship before he was hired.

Just a few days earlier, McAfee threw out multiple charges in the case, saying the prosecutors failed to adequately file them.

But the damage the scandal delivered to Willis' reputation was confirmed, with the judge slamming her "tremendous lapse in judgment" and for behaving in an "unprofessional manner."

His comments skewered her actions. "This finding is by no means an indication that the court condones this tremendous lapse in judgment or the unprofessional manner of the district attorney’s testimony during the evidentiary hearing."

And the judge confirmed that despite her protestations, Willis "may well have received a net benefit of several hundred dollars" from her decision to hire Wade.

The scandal was exploded into the public when Ashleigh Merchant, representing one of Trump's codefendants, charged that Willis and Wade had an "ongoing, personal relationship" even as Wade got paid more than $600,000 serving as special prosecutor on the case.

That filing claimed the two had "a personal, romantic relationship that has ultimately yielded substantial income to the special prosecutor."

The judge's ruling admitted that Willis may have gotten some income from her hiring of Wade.

Willis' testimony about her actions was directly contradicted by a friend who explained she was familiar with what went on in Willis' relationships, and then Willis testified she no longer considered the witness a friend.

Another witness for Willis said he was "speculating" when he confirmed in writing the extent of the Willis-Wade relationship.

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