Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is accused of lying about the timing of her alleged “improper” romantic relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade in a new court filing.
Michael Roman, who is a co-defendant in the Georgia election interference case against former President Trump, made the new allegation in a filing with the Superior Court of Fulton County on Friday. Roman’s attorney, Ashleigh Merchant, informed the court that Wade’s former law partner will testify that Wade and Willis began their affair before she appointed him to prosecute Trump and his 18 co-defendants.
“Willis and Wade claim they did not have a personal, romantic relationship before Willis appointed Wade as a special prosecutor, but Terrence Bradley (“Bradley”) will refute that claim,” Merchant wrote.
Georgia attorney Terrence Bradley is a friend and former business partner of Wade, according to the filing. He will testify that the romantic relationship between Wade and Willis began before Willis was sworn as the district attorney for Fulton County in January 2021, Merchant wrote.
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“Thus, Bradley can confirm that Willis contracted with Wade after Wade and Willis began a romantic relationship, thus rebutting Wade’s claim in his affidavit that they did not start dating until 2022,” the filing states.
Roman, a Republican operative who worked on Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign, has asked the court to disqualify Willis from the election case, alleging that her personal relationship with Wade created a conflict of interest.
In legal filings last month, Roman alleged that Wade billed Fulton County for 24 hours of work on a single day in November 2021, shortly after being appointed as special prosecutor, and that Willis financially benefited from her alleged lover’s padded taxpayer-funded salary by taking lavish vacations together on his dime.
According to the court documents, Wade, who has no Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act or felony prosecution experience, billed taxpayers $654,000 since January 2022.
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Willis responded to the allegations in a court filing earlier this month and admitted to having a “personal” relationship with Wade but denied any conflict of interest. She also argued that according to Georgia law, in order for a district attorney to be forcibly removed from a case, the conflict of interest has to be harmful to a defendant’s case.
In the filing, Willis denied having a personal relationship with Wade at the time of his appointment to the Trump case in November 2021.
Roman’s attorneys claim Bradley will “refute” that claim. The filing states that Bradley learned of the affair directly from Wade prior to Wade’s decision to file for divorce from his wife of 26 years.
“Bradley also has personal knowledge that Wade and Willis regularly stayed together at her home until Willis’ father moved into her home sometime in 2020,” Merchant wrote.
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Roman also added new details to his claim that Wade spent thousands of dollars on vacations he took with Willis, including a Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas cruise to the Bahamas in October 2022; a trip to Aruba in November 2022; a Norwegian New Year’s cruise from December 2022-January 2023; a trip to Belize in March 2023; and a Napa Valley getaway in May 2023.
“If, as Bradley confirms, Willis and Wade were in a romantic relationship before she even took office, Wade likely provided Willis with significant other gifts and benefits,” the filing asserts.
“Of course, the State and Wade have now filed motions to quash Mr. Roman’s lawful subpoenas in an attempt to prevent discovery of these facts.”
In her response last week, Willis claimed she and Wade split travel expenses, but she only provided receipts for one flight from Atlanta to Miami.
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The new allegations come two days after Willis’ office filed a motion seeking to block Roman’s subpoenas for Willis, Wade and others to testify at a Feb. 15 evidentiary hearing presided by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee.
Roman also claims in the filing that Willis intentionally gave statements to the media to “enhance her own public image” and “poison the jury pool” against Roman, echoing allegations made last week by fellow Trump co-defendant David Shafer, the former Georgia GOP chairman and a GOP presidential elector for the Peach State during the 2020 election.
Shafer accused Willis of a “pattern of prosecutorial, forensic misconduct” in a court filing arguing she and her entire office and staff should be disqualified from the election interference case. He claimed that Willis has a “pattern of prejudicial public statements” about the case through various media interviews and public speeches, and claimed that in making such statements, she intended to “inject and infect the jury pool.”
Roman’s attorney made similar arguments in his filing.
“When the lines get blurred between a prosecutor’s interest in her personal fame and publicity and her public duty, the system breaks down, as does the public’s confidence in the process itself, which threatens to undermine the public’s confidence in the outcome,” Merchant wrote.
Trump, represented by attorney Steve Sadow in the Georgia case, has joined Roman and two other co-defendants in calling for Willis to be disqualified.
Willis also faces a separate lawsuit from Merchant over claims she failed to turn over records in compliance with the Georgia Open Records Act and that she is “intentionally withholding information” ahead of the hearing.
Additionally, the district attorney is under investigation by both Georgia Republicans and the House Judiciary Committee over whistleblower claims that her office has misused taxpayer funds.
The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Fox News’ Brianna Herilhy and Claudia Kely-Bazan contributed to this report.