Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis was earlier removed from a case relating to the 2020 election in Georgia by a judge, citing her partisanship.
The emergence of this event aligns with the increasing attention directed towards Willis, prompted by recent disclosures in a court document. These disclosures revealed her intimate involvement with Nathan Wade, a special prosecutor whom she engaged to aid her in the case against former President Donald Trump. Willis campaigned on going after Trump and charging him.
According to NBC News, Judge Robert McBurney barred Willis from pursuing a legal lawsuit against GA state Sen. Burt Jones, who was running for lt. governor back then. The decision was made in response to Willis’ organization of a fundraising event for Charlie Bailey, the Democrat candidate for the position, amid Bailey’s runoff campaign.
McBurney’s verdict deemed Willis’ participation in the event as “detrimental” to the investigation of Jones, who allegedly collaborated with other GA Republicans in an effort to invalidate the outcome of the 2020 elections by employing an alternative group of electors.
According to NBC, McBurney expressed that Willis’ participation would raise “entirely reasonable concerns of politically motivated persecution.”
“Any decision the district attorney makes about Senator Jones in connection with the grand jury investigation is necessarily infected by it,” McBurney declared in his ruling.
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— Just Jeff From Cali (@liberty_clarion) January 25, 2024
“McBurney said that the DA’s donation to a Democrat campaign was not in and of itself disqualifying but noted the donation “added to the weight of the conflict created by the more extensive, direct, public and job-related campaign work the district attorney performed on behalf of candidate Bailey,”” according to Conservative Brief.
“This choice — which the district attorney was within her rights as an elected official to make — has consequences,” McBurney ruled, according to NBC News. “She had bestowed her office’s imprimatur upon Senator Jones’s opponent.”
Meanwhile, there is a growing movement to replace Willis in response to allegations that she had a romantic relationship with Wade, NewsNation reported.
Additionally, the news group reported:
Even if the allegations are true, no Georgia law requires Wade or Willis to remove themselves from the case.
However, Norm Eisen, who was former President Obama’s “ethics czar” and the House of Representatives special counsel during Trump’s impeachment, told The Hill he supports Willis but suggests Wade needs to step aside.
“My view is that the law does not require Mr. Wade to step down, but I think it would be the wise thing for him to voluntarily consider doing so,” Eisen stated.
According to Mercedes Colwin, a legal expert and lawyer, the accusations against Willis negatively affect her legal situation.
“When you have a prosecutor in the center in the crosshairs of this type of criminal process, who is now being called to question about her impartiality, her fairness, and the constitutional rights of the accused or not being called into question, that is very problematic for Ms. Willis,” Colwin asserted.
“She has a great reputation, she’s very well regarded in the legal community in Georgia to have this type of blemish on a record is problematic. If it is compromising the prosecution of individuals that are accused of criminal conduct, then of course, you really should step away voluntarily,” she advised.
“Over the weekend, the judge on the case she brought against former President Donald Trump on election fraud charges ordered an investigation into her alleged misconduct, that she and her lead prosecutor engaged in an improper relationship and mishandled taxpayer dollars, The Washington Post reported,” per Conservative Brief.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee said that Willis has until Feb. 2. To respond to the accusations.
This could force the district attorney to have to address the issue in televised court proceedings which could derail her case against Trump and his codefendants and could do significant damage to her political career.
A judge in Cobb County decided that the divorce proceeding of Wade needs to be made public. In addition, he ordered a halt to the deposition of Fulton County DA Fani Willis.
Superior Court Judge Henry Thomas determined that the divorce should be unsealed due to the absence of a prior hearing before the case became sealed, which constitutes a procedural violation.
Regarding Willis, the judge stated that due to the absence of underage offspring in the divorce proceedings of Nathan and Joycelyn Wade, and considering it as a mere “math problem,” it would be illogical to hear from Willis before Mr. Wade had been examined under oath regarding his financial situation and his association with Willis.
Since Willis was scheduled to be deposed on Jan. 23 and Wade is not expected to be questioned for another 9 days, the judge issued a stay on the deposition of Willis. Judge Thomas indicated that if questions remain after Wade has been deposed, he will reconsider the deposition of Willis.