Donald Trump’s defense lawyer slammed a recent speech by Fani Willis yet again on Wednesday, insisting that the Fulton County district attorney’s “extrajudicial public comments” at a historically Black church last month should disqualify her from the former president’s Georgia election interference case.
In a Wednesday filing, defense lawyer Steve Sadow argued that Willis improperly spoke about the case at Big Bethel AME during a speech to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. While Willis didn’t directly mention the case and those involved, Sadow in the motion argued that her “racially invective comments” were clearly made in response to allegations about her “improper” relationship with a special prosecutor.
“You did not tell me, as a woman of color, it would not matter what I did—my motive, my talent, my ability, and my character would be constantly attacked,” Willis said in the speech. While she did not mention the special prosecutor, Nathan Wade, by name, she described him as a “superstar, a great friend, and a great lawyer.”
Willis came under scrutiny after a former aide for Trump, Mike Roman, alleged in a motion to disqualify Willis and dismiss the racketeering case that the DA and Wade had an “improper” relationship and went on lavish trips underwritten by his taxpayer-funded paycheck. (Trump and other co-defendants have since joined the motion to dismiss the case and Willis.)
Willis admitted in a Friday motion she had a personal relationship with Wade but denied claims the affair interfered with the Trump investigation. The DA also denied that her MLK speech referenced the case and argued that she should not be disqualified for prosecutorial misconduct.
Sadow, however, countered in the Wednesday motion that Willis’ response “is an after-the-fact futile attempt to mislead this Court.”
“The DA’s conduct was indeed egregious,” the motion argues about her speech. “It was undeniably unethical. Her MLK holiday ‘church speech’ intentionally and in bad faith injected race, religion, and politics into the case and stoked racial animus by, among other statements, asking God why defense counsel and the defendants were questioning her conduct in hiring a Black man but not his White counterparts, and why the judgment of a Black female Democrat wasn’t as good as White male Republicans.”
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee, who handles the Trump racketeering case, has set a Feb. 15 hearing to hear the misconduct allegations. Roman’s attorney said a lawsuit filed last week that Willis and Wade were subpoenaed to testify at the hearing.