Fulton County DA Fani Willis seeks to quash subpoena amid allegations of improper relationship

Marilyn Nieves/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) — A Georgia judge is set to hear arguments on Monday over whether to enforce a subpoena issued to Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis as part of her top prosecutor’s divorce case, which she received amid allegations that she and the prosecutor were involved in an improper relationship while prosecuting the election interference case against former President Donald Trump.

Willis is seeking to quash the subpoena she received from the wife of special prosecutor Nathan Wade, in order to avoid her deposition in the case, which is set for Tuesday.

Willis claims in a court filing that her deposition would be “outside the scope of discovery” in the divorce matter and that it amounts to “attempt to harass and damage her professional reputation.”

“The sought after deposition of District Attorney Willis is not relevant to the subject matter involved in the pending action and should not be permitted,” the filing from Willis’s attorney said.

The subpoena, according to court documents, was served on Willis the same day a co-defendant in her case against Trump filed allegations that she was having an improper relationship with Wade, who she brought in to help her prosecute the case against Trump. The filing, from Trump co-defendant Michael Roman, alleges Wills “engaged in a personal, romantic relationship” with Wade, which allegedly resulted in financial gain for both of them.

Wade’s wife has asked the judge in her divorce case to enforce the subpoena in order to “determine details” surrounding Wade and Willis’ relationship. Her filing included credit card records that appear to show Wade paid for multiple trips to Miami and San Francisco for him and Willis during the election probe.

In her filing seeking to quash the subpoena, Willis claims that she “cannot provide unique personal knowledge” on matters relevant to the divorce because the marriage is ending on the grounds that it was “irretrievably broken.”

“Because the parties agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken and the concept of fault is not at issue, there is no information that District Attorney Willis could provide that might prove relevant to granting or denying the divorce,” the filing says. “Thus, any information sought from District Attorney Willis would be irrelevant to the divorce proceedings pending in this Court.”

Court filings allege the relationship between Willis and Wade began “while Wade was married” and that he filed for divorce “a day after his first contract with Willis commenced.”

The judge on Monday is also set to hear arguments from Ashleigh Merchant, the attorney for Roman who first filed the motion containing the allegations, who is seeking to have the divorce proceedings unsealed. A media coalition that includes ABC News is also set to argue for the unsealing of the case.

Since the motion containing the allegations was filed earlier this month, a spokesperson for the DA’s office has issued only one statement, saying they would respond to the allegations “through appropriate court filings.”

Speaking last week at the Big Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church during a Martin Luther King Jr. Day service, Willis appeared to address the allegations for the first time, calling herself a “flawed” and “imperfect” person and defending Wade as a “great friend and a great lawyer.” She did not deny the allegations, though she suggested they were motivated by race.

The Fulton County judge overseeing the election interference case has set an evidentiary hearing on the allegations for next month and ordered the DA’s office to respond to the allegations in court by Feb. 2.

Trump’s attorney has said he is considering adopting Roman’s motion, which is seeking to have Willis disqualified from the case and the indictment dismissed.

Roman, Trump and 17 others pleaded not guilty in August to all charges in a sweeping racketeering indictment for alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in the state of Georgia. Four co-defendants subsequently took plea deals in exchange for agreeing to testify against other defendants.

 

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *