Fulton County prosecutor Nathan Wade withdraws from Trump case, allowing DA Fani Willis to continue

Fulton County special prosecutor Nathan Wade has withdrawn from the Georgia election interference case against former President Donald Trump and 18 co-defendants. Wade is out following an order by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee that said either he must go or District Attorney Fani Willis be disqualified from prosecuting Trump. Four co-defendants had accused Willis of having an “improper” affair with Wade, whom she hired to help prosecute the case. Wade offered his resignation in a letter to Willis, saying he was doing so “in the interest of democracy.””I am offering my resignation in the interest of democracy, in dedication to the American public, and to move this case forward as quickly as possible,” Wade wrote in his resignation letter to Willis. He added that he was proud of the work prosecutors had done in relation to the case. JUDGE RULES FANI WILLIS MUST STEP ASIDE FROM TRUMP CASE OR FIRE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR NATHAN WADEThe defendants alleged that Willis benefited financially by hiring Wade in 2021 because they were in a pre-existing romantic relationship and went on several trips together. Michael Roman, a Republican operative who worked on Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign, claimed Wade’s law firm billed taxpayers $650,000 at a rate of $250 an hour since his hiring — and that he used that income to pay for vacations with Willis.Both Wade and Willis had denied they were in a romantic relationship prior to his hiring. During a two-day evidentiary hearing in February, they each testified that they split the cost of their shared trips. Willis told the court she reimbursed Wade for her share of the trips in cash.Roman’s attorney, Ashleigh Merchant, sought to unearth a money trail that would prove Willis had a conflict of interest in hiring Wade and should be disqualified. She called witnesses who testified that the couple were romantically entangled at the time Wade was hired.Robin Yeartie, a former “good friend” of Willis and past employee at the DA’s office, said she had “no doubt” that Wade and Willis started a relationship in 2019, after the two met at a conference.KEY WITNESS IN FANI WILLIS CASE TESTIFIES HE MAY HAVE LIED IN TEXTS ABOUT FRIENDS’ AFFAIRYeartie testified to observing Willis and Wade “hugging” and “kissing” and showing “affection” prior to November 2021, and that she had no doubt that the two were in a “romantic” relationship starting in 2019, to when she and Willis last spoke in 2022. In a surprise move, Willis took the stand in her own defense and contradicted Yeartie’s testimony. At least one expert described Willis’ testimony as “belligerent.” She verbally sparred with lawyers for hours, at one point, prompting the judge to threaten to strike her testimony. She also raised eyebrows for appearing to be wearing her dress backwards.The star witness for the defense, Terrence Bradley, was a former law firm partner and divorce attorney for Wade. Bradley was called to the stand after McAfee determined he could not claim attorney-client privilege to avoid testifying. Bradley, when pressed under oath, said he couldn’t recall several details and timelines about conversations he had with former client Wade about Wade’s romantic relationship with Willis.SPECIAL ATTORNEY HIRED BY FANI WILLIS TO HELP PROSECUTE TRUMP DONATED BIG BUCKS TO HER CAMPAIGNMerchant at one point referenced text messages between her and Bradley in which she had asked Bradley if he thought the relationship started before Willis hired Wade in 2021. Bradley responded “absolutely” in the text exchange.But after the hearing concluded, McAfee said the defendants “failed to meet their burden of proving that the District Attorney acquired an actual conflict of interest in this case through her personal relationship and recurring travels with her lead prosecutor.””However, the established record now highlights a significant appearance of impropriety that infects the current structure of the prosecution team — an appearance that must be removed through the State’s selection of one of two options,” he wrote in an order released on March 15.McAfee is presiding over the prosecution of Trump and more than a dozen other defendants charged in an alleged illegal attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. Willis’ sprawling indictment charges Trump and more than a dozen other defendants with violating Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, known as RICO. The case uses a statute normally associated with mobsters to accuse the former president, lawyers and other aides of a “criminal enterprise” to keep him in power after he narrowly lost the 2020 election to Democrat Joe Biden.Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee for 2024, has denied any wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty.On March 13, McAfee issued a ruling that quashed six counts in the Georgia election interference case against Trump and his 18 co-defendants. McAfee said that the state failed to allege sufficient detail for “solicitation of violation of oath by public officer.” In his letter, Wade said he was sure the case against Trump “will be in good hands moving forward and justice will be served.”Fox News Digital’s Brianna Herilhy and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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