Fulton County DA among nearly dozen subpoenaed to testify in hearing on affair allegations

Nick Valencia, CNN | 1/31/2024, 3:45 p.m.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and her lead prosecutor in the Georgia election subversion case, Nathan Wade, have been …
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis speaks at a press conference next to prosecutor Nathan Wade after a Grand Jury brought back indictments against former president Donald Trump and his allies in their attempt to overturn the state's 2020 election results, in Atlanta, Georgia, on August 14, 2023. Mandatory Credit: Elijah Nouvelage/Reuters/File

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and her lead prosecutor in the Georgia election subversion case, Nathan Wade, have been subpoenaed to testify at a hearing next month on allegations they were engaged in an improper romantic relationship, according to documents obtained by CNN.

They are among nearly a dozen witnesses who were subpoenaed, including other Fulton County prosecutors, Willis’s assistant and bodyguard, and Wade’s current and former law partners.

Former President Donald Trump and two of his co-defendants are seeking to disqualify Willis’s office and have the criminal case thrown out, arguing the alleged romance amounts to a conflict of interest and that Wade paid for their vacations with money he earned on the case.

CNN first reported last week that Willis, Wade and others were expected to receive subpoenas to testify at the February 15 hearing.

The other prosecutors who were subpoenaed are Deputy District Attorney Sonya Allen and Executive District Attorney Daysha Young. Both are members of Willis’ executive team, according to the Fulton County website.

Michael Hill, who provides personal security for Willis, and Tia Green, Willis’ deputy executive assistant, were also subpoenaed to testify, the documents obtained by CNN show. The DA’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mike Roman, one of Trump’s co-defendants, is suing the Fulton County district attorney’s office, accusing prosecutors of withholding information that the lawsuit claims could prove allegations of an improper romantic relationship.

Lawyers for Roman said they’ve filed a civil lawsuit seeking documents and other information and accusing Willis’s office of violating Georgia’s Open Records Act, which allows the public to access certain government documents.

Willis contends her office has turned over some documents and that some of the records being sought don’t exist, according to a letter her office sent last week addressing the records requests.

“Despite consistent communication, you imply that this office has failed to meet its obligation under the Georgia’s Open Records Act – respectfully, we disagree with your disingenuous implication,” the office wrote in the letter.

Roman’s lawsuit is seeking the release of information ahead of the February 15 hearing when Fulton County Judge Scott McAfee will hear arguments over efforts to disqualify Willis and Wade because of the alleged affair and financial ties.

McAfee has ordered Willis to respond in writing to the court by the end of this week.

Roman first surfaced the allegations in a court filing earlier this month.

“Mr. Roman has asserted that Willis and Wade should be disqualified because Willis used taxpayer money to pay Wade, with whom she has had a romantic relationship at the time, and, in turn, has received financial benefits from such payments in the form of vacations, hotel stays and other personal gifts,” Roman’s lawyers wrote in the civil lawsuit seeking records.

They added that they believe the use of money budgeted to the district attorney’s office “is of utmost importance in evaluating whether Willis and Wade have an irreparable and fatal conflict of interest and whether, and to what extent, Willis has otherwise used public monies for her personal gain.”

In the new lawsuit, Roman’s lawyers claim that Willis’ office “is in in clear violation of the Act, appears to be intentionally withholding information in advance of scheduled evidentiary hearings.”

They are also asking to see “numerous categories of documents that still have not been made available,” according to the lawsuit. Their records requests had sought a range of information such as invoices, contracts and correspondence.

Georgia’s Open Records Act law requires a “response” within three business days of receipt of a request.

Willis’s office said in their letter that they have responded to the records requests and indicated the open-records matters would be closed soon.

Trump and the 14 remaining co-defendants were indicted by Willis last summer over attempts to overturn the 2020 election. No trial date has been set yet. Willis has asked for a trial date to be scheduled for August.

Four other co-defendants have already pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors to testify in the case.