Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis was subpoenaed to testify in a divorce case involving her alleged lover, special prosecutor Nathan Wade.
The unseemly invitation occurred on the same day Donald Trump co-defendant Michael Roman sought to disqualify Willis and Wade from prosecuting the former president’s election interference case due to allegations that the two were in a romantic relationship.
A process server said he showed up at Willis’s office in Atlanta on Monday morning with a subpoena seeking her testimony in the Cobb County divorce case of Nathan Wade, a lawyer she hired as a special prosecutor in the Trump case, and his wife, Joycelyn Wade, according to a court filing reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
The process server said that he left the subpoena, which was issued by Joycelyn Wade’s attorney, with Willis’ executive assistant.
The subpoena was sent only hours before one of Trump’s co-defendants filed a court petition alleging official misconduct by Willis and Nathan Wade, including an “improper, clandestine personal relationship during the pendency of this case.”
According to the motion, which was filed by a lawyer for former Trump campaign staffer Mike Roman, the alleged relationship between Willis and Wade resulted in “the special prosecutor, and, in turn, the district attorney, profiting significantly from this prosecution at the expense of the taxpayers.”
The motion, filed by Roman’s lawyer, Ashleigh Merchant, sought a court to remove Willis from the case, as well as calling into doubt the legality of the racketeering charges she filed against Trump and other defendants last year. Roman worked for Trump’s 2020 campaign as the head of Election Day operations.
Merchant argues that sealed divorce case records, read before the court barred access to the materials, confirm her assertions. She also requested that the court in that case open the records.
The Fulton County Board of Commissioners is supposed to approve contracts like those for special prosecutors, but Merchant said in an interview Monday evening that she reviewed the minutes of every meeting the board held since Willis took office and found no record that Wade’s contract was ever discussed.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee, who is supervising the racketeering case, had not scheduled a hearing on Roman’s motion, nor had online court records in Cobb County indicated a date had been set for Willis’s deposition in the divorce case.
The subpoena paperwork did not offer information about the kind of questions Willis would face.
The filing by Roman’s attorney shook Atlanta’s legal and political communities. Legal professors and others following the case said the claims, if accurate, might change who continues the prosecution’s case or how it proceeds.
Willis accused Trump and 18 people, including former aides Rudy Giuliani and Mark Meadows, with conspiring to derail Joe Biden’s election last year. They all pled not guilty, but four co-defendants, including former Trump legal aides Sidney Powell and Jenna Ellis, have subsequently reached plea agreements with Willis’ office.