In Georgia election interference case, Trump cites alleged romantic relationship

Donald Trump's legal team said Thursday it wants charges dismissed in the Georgia election interference case because of an alleged romantic relationship involving Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (pictured in Atlanta in 2022) and special prosecutor Nathan Wade. File Photo by Erik S. Lesser/EPA-EFE
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Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Former President Donald Trump took the next step in an attempt to rebuff election interference charges against him in Georgia, pointing to an alleged romantic relationship between Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and special prosecutor Nathan Wade.

Trump's legal team said the alleged romantic relationship was improper and is reason enough for the court to dismiss the charges against the former president.

The former president's attorneys also said the alleged relationship is grounds for Wade to be dismissed from the case.

Also, Trump's team said, Willis "wrongfully inserted racial animus" into the case during a recent speech.

"Although this Court may not have the authority to disbar DA Willis, it certainly does have the power to dismiss the indictment and to disqualify her, the special prosecutors she hired and her office from any further involvement in this case or any related matter, and should do so here," Trump attorney Steve Sadow said in the court filing.

The motion to dismiss charges was originally filed by Trump co-defendant Michael Roman.

Roman's attorney filed a 39-page filing seeking a dismissal of the charges against his client, highlighting allegations that Willis and Wade have traveled together, including to Napa Valley, and said the two have been seen spending personal time together throughout Atlanta.

The document requested that Willis, Wade and the district attorney's office be barred from prosecuting the case because the two "engaged in an improper, clandestine personal relationship during the pendency of this case, which has resulted in the special prosecutor, and, in turn, the district attorney, profiting significantly from this prosecution at the expense of the taxpayers."

Sadow argued in his statement that Willis should be held accountable for both "her misconduct alleged in a motion filed by Mr. Roman as well as her extrajudicial public statements falsely and intentionally injecting race into this case."

The filing also says Willis may have tainted the pool of jury candidates while speaking at a Martin Luther King Day speech at Big Bethel AME Church and asked why the one Black special prosecutor was being targeted, but not the two white prosecutors.

"The DA's extrajudicial comments...constitute a glaring, flagrant, and calculated effort to foment racial bias into this case by publicly denouncing the defendants for somehow daring to question her decision to hire a Black man (without also mentioning that she is alleged to have had a workplace affair with the same man) to be a special prosecutor," Sadow said in the filing.

"These assertions by the DA engender a great likelihood of substantial prejudice towards the defendants in the eyes of the public in general, and prospective jurors in Fulton County in particular," he added. "Moreover, the DA's self-serving comments came with the added, sought after, benefit of garnering racially based sympathy for her self-inflicted quagmire."

Willis has not yet responded to the allegations regarding the alleged relationship. A judge has given her until Feb. 2 to file a written response with the court, which her office has said she plans to do.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee has set a hearing for Feb. 15 to address the motion to dismiss and misconduct allegations surrounding Willis and Wade.