Former President Trump’s lead attorney in the Georgia election interference case accused Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D) of attempting to “foment racial animus” against Trump and his co-defendants to take focus off her alleged affair with a top prosecutor she appointed to the matter.
The Thursday remark by Trump attorney Steve Sadow followed a motion to join co-defendant Michael Roman’s bid to block Willis, special prosecutor Nathan Wade and the Fulton County district attorney’s office from involvement in the sprawling racketeering case — and for the charges to be dropped against him.
“The motion filed today on behalf of President Trump seeks to hold District Attorney Willis legally accountable both for the misconduct alleged in a motion filed by Mr. Roman as well as her extrajudicial public statements falsely and intentionally injecting race into this case,” Sadow said in a statement.
Trump’s campaign also circulated Sadow’s statement shortly after the news broke.
“Her attempt to foment racial animus and prejudice against the defendants in order to divert and deflect attention away from her alleged improprieties calls out for the sanctions of dismissal and disqualification,” the statement continued.
During a church service commemorating Martin Luther King Jr., Willis insinuated race played a role in the criticism she’s facing stemming from the allegations against her and Wade. She noted that she hired three special prosecutors to the Trump case, but that only Wade, a Black man, was questioned.
“I want to be clear: All three of these special counselors are superstars,” Willis said at the time. “But I’m just asking, God, 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.”
Roman’s motion, which did not include any hard evidence of an affair, asserted that Willis and Wade’s purported relationship makes the indictment “fatally defective.” Neither Wade nor Willis have addressed the claims head-on, though a judge ordered Willis to respond to the motion in writing by Feb. 2.
Trump’s motion joining Roman’s efforts also notes the 2020 campaign employee’s accusation that, in addition to Willis and Wade’s alleged “improper intimate personal relationship,” Wade has used funds paid to him by the district attorney to finance “lavish vacations” for himself and Willis.
In court filings last week, lawyers for Wade’s estranged wife also accused Wade of purchasing personal flights for he and Willis while the district attorney’s office investigated Trump’s efforts to overturn Georgia’s election results. The documents include bank statements that appear to show flights to San Francisco and Miami in both their names.
Wade has been paid more than $650,000 since he joined the prosecution team, records show.
“The awesome power to prosecute ought never to be manipulated for personal or political profit,” Sadow wrote in Trump’s motion joining Roman’s motion.
Sadow further asked the court to dismiss the indictment and disqualify Willis and her office from prosecuting the case.
Legal experts previously told The Hill that even if the allegations of a relationship between Willis and Wade are true, it likely does not rise to the level of disqualification.
The Hill requested comment from the Fulton County district attorney’s office.
Updated at 3:37 p.m. ET