Spotlight Shines Hot on Trump Prosecutor in Georgia

Focus turns to Nathan Wade, who a court filing complains was improperly hired by DA Fani Willis
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2024 2:24 PM CST
Spotlight Shines Hot on Trump Prosecutor in Georgia
Fani Willis is seen during an AP interview on Dec. 12 in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

A co-defendant in the Georgia election interference case against former President Trump filed a motion this week making a "bombshell" allegation: that Fulton County DA Fani Willis hired her romantic partner as the special prosecutor in the case against Trump, and that she and Nathan Wade both benefited financially from this arrangement. Media outlets are now diving deeper into Wade, with some questioning his apparent lack of substantial experience handling criminal trials. "My understanding is that he has no felony jury trial experience," Atlanta defense attorney Chris Timmons tells the Wall Street Journal, which notes Monday's filing "stunned Atlanta's tightknit legal community and injected uncertainty into one of the highest-profile prosecutions in the country."

That newbie status "would be concerning in any complex felony case, let alone one that is a multi-defendant RICO case," Timmons adds. What Wade, a former private defense lawyer and judge, does have experience handling, per his own bio, are everything from car accidents and contract disputes to "a change in your personal life that requires representation." Fulton County financials show that Wade has received at least $650,000 in legal fees from Willis' office over the past two years or so—coming out to about $25,000 per month, the New York Times estimates. Wade filed for divorce from his wife on Nov. 2, 2021, a day after his contract with Willis' office to serve as special prosecutor in the Trump case took effect. In a 2022 interview, Willis says she hired Wade as a mentor and "trusted friend" who could handle the heat of a high-profile Trump trial, per the Times.

A romantic relationship hasn't been confirmed by Willis or Wade. A rep for Willis' office had previously said she'd respond via a court filing, but as of Wednesday, no filing had been made, per the Journal. Meanwhile, Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene filed her own complaint on Wednesday about Wade, asking for a criminal investigation into him, Willis, and what she calls an "illegal conflict of interest," reports NBC News. Greene's filing, submitted to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and the state attorney general, Chris Carr, notes that the allegations against Willis show a possible "unlawful partisan pattern ... to illegally politicize and weaponize her public office" against Trump as he once again makes a run for the Oval Office. More here and here on Wade, who's had his credentials under the microscope before. (More Fani Willis stories.)

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