Judge allows hearing over Willis affair allegation to go forward for later this week

ATLANTA — A Fulton County Superior Court judge heard arguments on Monday over whether or not Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis will have to testify later this week in a hearing to figure out if she and her office should be disqualified from the Georgia election interference case over allegations she had an improper relationship with the special prosecutor she named to the case.

Willis and her office filed last week to have several subpoenas quashed against her and others in her office.

In a motion filed last month by codefendant Michael Roman, he accused Willis of having a romantic relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade, and that he spent public money on extravagant trips and other things that benefitted Willis.

During a hearing Monday over those subpoenas, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee heard arguments from both sides.

“We have a right to make a record on these allegations and as long as we keep our evidence and our questions narrowly tailored to that inquiry, that is our right,” defense attorney Ashleigh Merchant said. “We have a right to explore whether or not there was a personal or financial benefit to Ms. Wills.”

“In response to the allegations that were made, the state presented the court with the law that establishes that even if all of the allegations were true, and they’re not, that is not a basis to either dismiss the indictment or disqualify the district attorney’s office,” special prosecutor Anna Cross told the court.

“I think Ms. Merchant has established a good-faith basis for relevance and I don’t see how quash can be imposed here,” McAfee said.

Inside the courtroom, the impression was that McAfee left the door open, depending on how the hearing progresses on Thursday, to potentially revisit some of the issues quashing subpoenas or limiting testimony.

At Monday’s hearing, attorneys representing subpoenaed parties accused Merchant of going on a “fishing expedition” and improperly using subpoenas to try and dig up dirt.





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