Judge Rules That Fani Willis Or Nathan Wade Has To Leave The Georgia Trump Case
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - NOVEMBER 21: Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis appears before Judge Scott McAfee for a hearing in the 2020 Georgia election interference case at the Fulton County Courthouse on November 21, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. Judge McAfee heard arguments as to whether co-defendant Harrison Floyd should be sent to jail for social media posts and comments that potentially targeted witnesses in the trial. McAfee declined to revoke Floyd's bond. Floyd was charged along with former US President Donald Trump and 17 others in an indictment that accuses them of illegally conspiring to subvert the will of Georgia voters in the 2020 presidential election.
Credit: Photo by Dennis Byron-Pool/Getty Images.

Judge Scott McAfee said on Friday that either Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis or Special Prosecutor Nathan Wade must leave the 2020 Georgia election case against former President Donald Trump for the prosecution to continue. 

The decision came after Willis was accused by co-defendant Mike Roman of being romantically involved with Wade at the time she hired him for the Trump case. A witness testified last month that the romantic relationship between Willis and Wade began before the case started, while Willis maintains that the relationship didn’t take place until later.

McAfee said that “the District Attorney may choose to step aside, along with the whole of her office” or “Wade can withdraw” from the case. The judge added that he found an appearance of “impropriety” but that the defendants had “failed to meet their burden” of proving a conflict of interest based on Willis and Wade’s relationship. 

“The established record now highlights a significant appearance of impropriety that infects the current structure of the prosecution team — an appearance that must be removed,” the judge said.

Wade has reportedly received more than $650,000 since January of 2022 from the Willis’ office. Wade also reportedly paid for Willis to accompany him on multiple trips in 2022 and 2023. Willis has claimed that she paid Wade back in cash for the trips they took together.

Trump and his co-defendants might choose to appeal the ruling to keep either Wade or Willis and her team on the case.


The decision comes after McAfee dismissed six charges in the case brought by Willis, including three against Trump. McAfee dismissed counts 2, 5, 6, 23, 28, and 38. Each count deals with allegations that Trump and his allies asked Georgia officials to break their oaths of office. The defendants challenged the charges, saying their Sixth Amendment rights and due process rights had been violated. 

McAfee said that the prosecutors were not specific enough about the legal violations that Trump and his co-defendants are accused of. 

“The Court’s concern is less that the State has failed to allege sufficient conduct of the Defendants – in fact it has alleged an abundance,” he wrote. “However, the lack of detail concerning an essential legal element is, in the undersigned’s opinion, fatal.”

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