Georgia district attorney prosecuting Trump has been subpoenaed over claims of improper relationship

Atlanta— A defense counsel has subpoenaed Fulton County District counsel Fani Willis and a special prosecutor she recruited for the Georgia election interference case against former President Donald Trump, alleging an improper intimate relationship. Trump co-defendant Michael Roman's lawyer, Ashleigh Merchant, filed a request Jan. 8 to dismiss the indictment and remove Willis and special prosecutor Nathan Wade.

Overseeing the election case, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee ordered Willis' team to answer to the request by Friday and remove him from prosecution. A hearing has been scheduled on Feb. 15. Merchant said she subpoenaed Willis and Wade for that hearing.

On Tuesday, Merchant's legal firm sued Willis' office for violating the Georgia Open Records Act, stating they “appear to be intentionally withholding information” she sought. The complaint claims Merchant had to repeatedly make requests after they were prematurely closed and she was wrongly informed some information did not exist. Willis representative Jeff DiSantis denied Merchant's open records allegations but did not address the subpoenas.

“We’ve provided her with the information she’s entitled to,” he said, adding that certain documents are still being gathered. He presented Merchant with a letter from the office last week updating her requests and images proving she accessed certain documents.

The complaint claims the district attorney's office "failed nonetheless to provide most of the requested documents" after issuing that letter. Wade and Willis have not addressed the claims of an improper relationship. Willis' office has previously claimed a court filing will respond to Roman's request.

In November 2021, elected Democrat Willis hired Wade to assist her investigate Georgia's 2020 election overturning efforts. Wade has overseen Willis' team of lawyers since a Fulton County grand jury indicted Trump and 18 others in August.

As he seeks for the Republican presidential nomination, Trump has used the charges to cast doubt on the evidence against him. Four co-defendants have pled guilty after plea bargains with prosecutors. Trump and the remaining defendants deny wrongdoing.

Roman worked on the Trump campaign and in the White House. Roman's motion includes Trump and Georgia lawyer Robert Cheeley. Roman's complaint claims that Willis paid Wade a lot for his job and then profited when Wade paid for their excursions, creating a conflict of interest. It questioned Wade's work suitability.

The motion lacked proof of the link. Willis praised Wade's qualifications during a church service over a week later, but did not address the relationship claims. Willis accused Wade's wife of obstructing the election case in a court motion to avoid a deposition in his divorce lawsuit. Wade's wife responded by producing credit card receipts showing Wade booked Willis airline tickets to San Francisco and Miami.