The judge in the case against Donald Trump in Georgia pointed out that he could "disqualify" the Fulton County district attorney, Fani Willis, in light of the accusations brought against her for having an "improper relationship" with the special investigator of the case, Nathan Wade, hired by her. During a hearing last Monday, Scott McAfee rejected the Prosecutor's request to suspend Willis' statement, considering that "an evidentiary hearing should be held to establish the record on those main allegations" presented by the defense of the former president and co-defendant Michael Roman.
Willis asks that the hearing be canceled
Despite acknowledging the relationship, Willis said there is no reason to remove her from the case, since, according to her, it began after the hiring. Something that the defendants' lawyers deny, adding the lie to the accusations against the prosecutor. The judge himself noted:
It’s clear that disqualification can occur if evidence is produced demonstrating an actual conflict or the appearance of one. I think it's possible that the facts alleged by the defendant could result in disqualification, I think an evidentiary hearing must occur to establish the record on those core allegations.
Officials "in fact and in appearance, independent and impartial"
McAfee recalled that County code requires officials to be "in fact and in appearance, independent and impartial in the performance of their official duties." In the case of the prosecutor, they are required to "avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest." In the current case, the judge stressed that Willis "has admitted that there was a relationship. So what remains to be proven is the existence and extent of any financial benefit."
According to the defense brief, Wade pocketed more than $650,000 for his work on the case. Additionally, Merchant included in the file several invoices that suggest the couple took several trips together.
Fanni Willis' team attempting by all means to avoid the prosecutor's summons following the complaint from Ashleigh Merchant, Roman's lawyer. The prosecutor and Wade were already on the verge of having to appear in court in his divorce case, although the lawyer finally reached an out-of-court agreement with his ex-wife that prevented either of them from having to give public explanations.