Judge Moves Forward With Hearing Over Allegations Against Fani Willis

On Monday, Georgia state judge Scott McAfee announced that he would hold an evidentiary hearing on Thursday to look into allegations made against District Attorney Fani Willis.

The accusations claim that Willis engaged in an "improper" affair with special prosecutor Nathan Wade, whom she hired to assist in the prosecution of former President Donald Trump in a racketeering case related to the 2020 election. The allegations were initially brought forward by Trump co-defendant Michael Roman, who argues that Willis' alleged behavior should disqualify her and her team from the case.

Willis has admitted to a personal relationship with Wade but has denied any conflict of interest. In an attempt to avoid the evidentiary hearing, Willis requested that the court cancel it. However, Judge McAfee stated that "disqualification can occur if evidence is produced demonstrating an actual conflict or the appearance of one," and that the evidence presented so far has not been resolved as a matter of law.

According to Judge McAfee, an evidentiary hearing is necessary to establish the record on the core allegations made by Roman. These include the claim that Wade billed Fulton County for 24 hours of work on a single day in November 2021, shortly after being appointed as a special prosecutor, and that Willis financially benefited from their alleged relationship by taking lavish vacations together that were paid for by Wade. These allegations were made in legal filings submitted last month, and even though the state has admitted to the existence of a relationship, the extent of any potential financial benefit remains to be proven.

Judge McAfee clarified that the experience of Wade, who has no prior experience in RICO and felony prosecutions, is not relevant in the evidentiary hearing. This was in response to Willis' argument that any potential conflict of interest must be harmful to the defendant's case in order for a district attorney to be forcibly removed. Instead, the hearing will focus on whether a relationship existed between Willis and Wade, its nature, and whether it continued after his appointment as a special prosecutor.

In her own court filing, Willis responded to the allegations and admitted to having a "personal" relationship with Wade, but maintained that it did not result in any conflict of interest. She argued that the allegations made by Roman and his lawyers are "salacious" and have no merit. Willis also stated that while she and Wade have been "professional associates and friends" since 2019, there was no personal relationship between them in November 2021 at the time of his appointment.

Judge McAfee announced that Terrence Bradley, Wade's former law partner, will be the first witness to testify at the hearing on Thursday. The testimony of Bradley will determine if other potential witnesses will also be required to give evidence. The state has also revealed that Willis' father will be testifying remotely from California during the hearing.

The hearing is scheduled for Thursday and Friday and may continue on to additional days if necessary. This comes as a blow to Willis and her team, who have been diligently working on the racketeering case against former President Donald Trump.

The outcome of the evidentiary hearing could potentially lead to Willis being disqualified from the case and could have significant implications for the future of the prosecution. As the proceedings continue, the public eagerly awaits the outcome of the hearing.

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