Fani Willis and top prosecutor Nathan Wade subpoenaed to testify at hearing about relationship allegations


Washington — Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and Nathan Wade, a special prosecutor working on the sprawling racketeering case in Georgia against former President Donald Trump and others, have been subpoenaed to answer questions at a hearing next month about allegations the two were involved in an improper romantic relationship.

The subpoenas were issued on behalf of Michael Roman, who was indicted alongside Trump in August and is seeking to have the charges against him dismissed. Roman served as director of election day operations for Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign and faces seven counts related to what Fulton County prosecutors alleged was a scheme to overturn the results of Georgia’s presidential election.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution was the first to report the subpoenas. The district attorney’s office declined to comment.

The subpoenas to Wade and Willis were included in a filing in Fulton County Superior Court by Roman’s attorney, which states that he intends to call them as witnesses during a hearing before Judge Scott McAfee on Feb. 15. The subpoenas to Willis and Wade were served Thursday, according to the filing. Ten others also received subpoenas, including several employees in the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis speaks during a news conference following a grand jury's indictment of former President Donald Trump and 18 allies on Aug. 14, 2023, in Atlanta.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis speaks during a news conference following a grand jury’s indictment of former President Donald Trump and 18 allies on Aug. 14, 2023, in Atlanta.

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The hearing was set to address Roman’s request to dismiss the charges against him on the grounds that the prosecution is “invalid and unconstitutional,” as well as the allegations of misconduct between Willis and Wade. Willis hired Wade to assist with the case against Trump and his co-defendants, and Roman claimed that the two prosecutors benefited financially from the arrangement. 

The allegations about the purported relationship between Wade and Willis were raised in a filing earlier this month, though it did not include any evidence of an entanglement. Roman also claimed — without putting forth evidence — that Wade had been paid more than $650,000 by the district attorney’s office and took Willis on vacation. In addition to seeking to have his charges tossed, Roman also wants Willis disqualified from the case.

Separately, Willis had been set to testify in Wade’s divorce proceedings on Wednesday, but the judge overseeing that case indicated on Tuesday that Wade and his estranged wife Jocelyn Wade had reached a temporary agreement to settle their differences. The judge said he would delay a ruling on whether Willis would have to testify eventually.

Jocelyn Wade previously introduced evidence purporting to show that Nathan Wade had booked two sets of roundtrip flights for himself and Willis.

McAfee, the judge presiding over the election case, gave Willis’ office until Feb. 2 to respond to the allegations. Neither she nor Wade have publicly commented on Roman’s claims, and the district attorney’s office said it would do so in court filings. 

But during a speech at the Big Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, a historic Black church in Atlanta, earlier this month, Willis defended hiring Wade, saying he had “impeccable credentials.” She did not directly address the allegations against them. Willis also noted she hired three outside lawyers to work on the case involving the 2020 election and paid them all the same rate.

Last week, Trump joined Roman’s effort to dismiss the indictment and disqualify Willis, the special prosecutors she hired, and her office.

Roman was initially among a group of 18 co-defendants charged alongside Trump in the case involving the alleged efforts to overturn the results of the last presidential election. Four have since accepted plea deals. Roman pleaded not guilty to all counts.

Andy Bast contributed to this report


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