Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis on Sunday defended her team, including Nathan Wade, in her first public comments after scrutiny over an alleged affair with the special prosecutor.
Speaking to the congregation at Atlanta’s Big Bethel A.M.E Church Sunday, Willis said she’d assembled a diverse team that can accomplish “extraordinary things,” and questioned those who “attacked this lawyer of impeccable credentials,” alluding to allegations made by one of Donald Trump’s co-defendants in the Georgia election case that Willis improperly hired a romantic partner to help prosecute the case and has financially benefitted from Wade’s appointment.
Noting Wade’s credentials, Willis said all three special counselors she appointed are “superstars” but asked, “Is it that some will never see a Black man as qualified – no matter his achievements? What more can one achieve? The other two have never been judges, but no one questions their credentials.”
Willis also responded to those she says would accuse her of making an argument solely based on race.
“Isn’t it them playing the race card, when they constantly think I need someone from some other jurisdiction in some other state to tell me how to do a job I’ve been doing almost thirty years?” Willis asked to the applause of the congregation.
CNN previously reported that, in a bid to get the sprawling racketeering case dismissed, attorneys for Trump co-defendant Michael Roman claimed in a court filing that Willis had a “clandestine” relationship with Wade.
The filing doesn’t include direct evidence of an improper relationship between Willis and Wade. The attorneys say in the filing that unnamed “sources close to both the special prosecutor and the district attorney have confirmed they had an ongoing, personal relationship.”
Pallavi Bailey, a spokesperson for Willis, told CNN at the time that their office will respond to Roman’s allegations “through appropriate court filings.”
CNN reached out to Wade for comment at the time. Willis has received a subpoena to appear for a deposition in Wade’s divorce case later this month, CNN previously reported.
The situation has created a political firestorm for Willis, with Trump and his co-defendant arguing Wade, Willis and the entire district attorney’s office should be taken off the case.
The allegations, if true, may not derail the prosecution, but multiple lawyers tell CNN that the appearance of a conflict of interest could hurt Willis’ chances of securing a conviction before a jury.
The judge overseeing the case said earlier this month that he planned to hold a hearing on the allegations in early February.
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