Trump co-defendant Michael Roman made new allegations against DA Fani Willis in a court filing on Friday, Feb 9, 2024
In a recent court filing, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is accused of lying about the timing of her alleged “improper” romantic involvement with special prosecutor Nathan Wade.
Michael Roman, a co-defendant in the Georgia election interference case against former President Trump, made this new claim in a filing with the Superior Court of Fulton County on Friday. Roman’s attorney, Ashleigh Merchant, informed the court that Wade’s former law partner will testify that Wade and Willis started their relationship before she appointed him to prosecute Trump and his 18 co-defendants.
“Willis and Wade deny having a personal, romantic relationship before Willis appointed Wade as a special prosecutor, but Terrence Bradley (“Bradley”) will challenge that assertion,” Merchant wrote.
Georgia attorney Terrence Bradley, a friend and former business partner of Wade, is mentioned in the filing. He will testify that the romantic involvement between Wade and Willis began before Willis took office as the district attorney for Fulton County in January 2021, Merchant noted.
“Thus, Bradley can confirm that Willis contracted with Wade after they began a romantic relationship, contradicting Wade’s claim in his affidavit that they didn’t start dating until 2022,” the filing states.
Roman, a Republican operative who worked on Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign, has requested the court to disqualify Willis from the election case, alleging that her relationship with Wade created a conflict of interest.
In legal filings last month, Roman alleged that Wade billed Fulton County for 24 hours of work on a single day in November 2021, shortly after being appointed as special prosecutor, and that Willis financially benefited from her alleged lover’s inflated taxpayer-funded salary by taking extravagant vacations together, paid for by him.
According to court documents, Wade, who lacks experience in Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act or felony prosecutions, billed taxpayers $654,000 since January 2022.
In a court filing earlier this month, Willis responded to the allegations and acknowledged having a “personal” relationship with Wade but denied any conflict of interest. She argued that, according to Georgia law, for a district attorney to be removed from a case, the conflict of interest must be detrimental to a defendant’s case.
In the filing, Willis denied having a personal relationship with Wade at the time of his appointment to the Trump case in November 2021.
Roman’s attorneys assert that Bradley will “contradict” that assertion. The filing states that Bradley was informed about the affair directly by Wade before Wade filed for divorce from his wife of 26 years.
“Bradley also has firsthand knowledge that Wade and Willis frequently stayed together at her home until Willis’ father moved in with her sometime in 2020,” Merchant wrote.
Roman also provided additional details to support his claim that Wade spent thousands of dollars on vacations he took with Willis. These include a Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas cruise to the Bahamas in October 2022, a trip to Aruba in November 2022, a Norwegian New Year’s cruise from December 2022 to January 2023, a trip to Belize in March 2023, and a Napa Valley getaway in May 2023.
“If, as Bradley confirms, Willis and Wade were in a romantic relationship before she even took office, Wade likely provided Willis with significant gifts and benefits,” the filing asserts.
“However, the State and Wade have now filed motions to quash Mr. Roman’s lawful subpoenas in an attempt to prevent discovery of these facts.”
In her response last week, Willis claimed she and Wade split travel expenses, but she only provided receipts for one flight from Atlanta to Miami.
The new allegations surfaced just two days after Willis’ office filed a motion aiming to block Roman’s subpoenas for Willis, Wade, and others to testify at a February 15 evidentiary hearing presided over by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee.
In the filing, Roman also alleges that Willis deliberately provided statements to the media to “boost her public image” and “taint the jury pool” against Roman. These claims echo similar allegations made last week by fellow Trump co-defendant David Shafer, the former Georgia GOP chairman and a GOP presidential elector for the Peach State during the 2020 election.
Shafer accused Willis of engaging in a “pattern of prosecutorial and forensic misconduct” in a court filing, arguing that she, along with her entire office and staff, should be disqualified from the election interference case. He asserted that Willis has a “pattern of biased public statements” about the case through various media interviews and public speeches, and alleged that by making such statements, she aimed to “influence and contaminate the jury pool.”
Roman’s attorney echoed similar arguments in their filing.
“When a prosecutor’s focus shifts towards personal fame and publicity at the expense of their public duty, it undermines the integrity of the legal process and erodes public trust in the system,” Merchant wrote.
Trump, represented by attorney Steve Sadow in the Georgia case, has joined Roman and two other co-defendants in calling for Willis to be disqualified.
Willis also faces a separate lawsuit from Merchant over allegations that she failed to comply with the Georgia Open Records Act by withholding records and information ahead of the hearing.
Additionally, the district attorney is under investigation by both Georgia Republicans and the House Judiciary Committee over whistleblower claims alleging misuse of taxpayer funds within her office.
The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.