An attorney in the case for a defendant in the Donald Trump interference case has now accused the Fulton County district attorney’s office of misrepresenting facts about the personal relationship between Fani Willis and special prosecutor Nathan Wade.
The new claims by attorney Ashleigh Merchant question the truthfulness of a recent motion filed by the DA’s office and an affidavit from Wade. Merchant, who represents Michael Roman, is seeking to disqualify Willis and her team from the consequential case, as well as getting the charges against her client dropped.
Six other codefendants, including Donald Trump, have also alleged misconduct by Willis, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Last week, the DA’s office responded to the allegations but did acknowledge Willis and Wade had a personal relationship. But say they did nothing wrong.
In a Friday court filing, Merchant claims that Wade’s one-time friend, who is also a lawyer can testify that Wade and Willis began a romantic relationship two years prior than they acknowledged and says it happened before he was hired to run the Trump investigation.
The filing references bank records that allegedly show that Wade paid for additional trips the prosecutors took together, which undercuts the claims that the pair had roughly split costs for their travel.
The court documents claim that Willis and Wade, who have billed for more than $728,000 in legal fees for his work, have enriched themselves on the case.
“This enrichment is a form of self-dealing, which creates a personal interest in this case,” the filing said.
“In other words, the more work that is done on the case (regardless of what justice calls for) the more they get paid,” the motion said. “The more they fight Mr. Roman’s motions, the more they get paid. The more they refuse to dismiss defendants who should not be indicted, the more money they make. And, of course, the more money the special prosecutor makes, the more the district attorney gets to reap the financial benefits.”
Attorneys for defendants have made travel the focus of their claims against the two prosecutors, saying the trips allegedly prove Wade used taxpayer money on Willis, who is his boss and makes hiring decisions.
It was credit card receipts for airline tickets, which were uncovered as part of Wade’s divorce, that first raised questions about the nature of their relationship.
They mentioned in their filing trips to Napa Valley, Miami, and Aruba, paid for by Wade.
In his affidavit, Wade said the financial responsibility for his and Willis’ trips was “divided roughly evenly. He also attached receipts showing she had bought two $697 plane tickets for a trip to Miami.
However, Friday’s filing indicates Wade spent thousands more dollars and included two destinations not made public before — trips to the Bahamas and Belize.
The filing also honed in on whether the two have been honest about when their relationship began.
Wade said he and Willis had been friends since 2019 and developed a personal relationship in 2022, which would be after he was hired.
But the new court filing said Atlanta attorney Terrence Bradley, who was once a business associate of Wade and briefly represented him in his divorce, “can confirm that Willis contracted with Wade after Wade and Willis began a romantic relationship.”