Headline RoundupFebruary 15th, 2024

Witness Claims Willis' Relationship with Special Counsel Began in 2019

Summary from the AllSides News Team

A former friend of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis claimed during a hearing Thursday that Willis’ relationship with special counsel Nathan Wade started in 2019.

For Context: Last month, one of Donald Trump’s co-defendants in his Georgia election interference case alleged that Willis engaged in a romantic relationship with Wade prior to him being hired for the case. The defense argued that the relationship amounts to a conflict of interest and is grounds for Willis’ disqualification from the case. In early February, Willis acknowledged having a personal relationship with the special prosecutor but denied accusations of a conflict of interest.

Details: During Thursday’s hearing, a former friend of Willis alleged that Willis and Wade’s relationship began in 2019, contradicting the claim made by Wade that the relationship began in 2022 after he was hired onto the case.

Key Quotes: Judge Scott McAfee, who is overseeing the case, stated Thursday that Willis could be disqualified from the case “if evidence is produced demonstrating an actual conflict or the appearance of one.” McAfee said the goal of the hearing is to determine “whether a relationship existed, whether that relationship was romantic or nonromantic in nature, when it formed and whether it continues” and determine the “existence and extent of any personal benefit conveyed as a result of the relationship.”

How the Media Covered It: Outlets across the spectrum prominently covered developments in the hearing, often noting how a delay would most likely push the case to after the November presidential election. 

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