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Judge Could Make Career-Ending Move Against DA Fani Willis: Turley

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Noted constitutional law expert and Georgetown University Law School Prof. Jonathan Turley delivered some bad news to Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis last week after a rowdy court session in which she may have perjured herself on the stand over testimony she gave regarding when her relationship with special counsel Nathan Wade began.

During a Fox News segment, Turley addressed allegations that the two of them may have made false statements to the court about the beginning of their relationship, as well as allegations that the two of them used public funds to take opulent vacations together.

“The astonishing thing about this is that you have two prosecutors who stand accused of filing false statements in court,” said Turley. “Mr. Wade is accused of answering interrogatories falsely. And Willis is accused of making false statements in her filings. That’s what they’re prosecuting defendants in the case for.”

“My question is, will he refer these two to the bar? There are allegations of false statements being filed. Their testimony did not help in that respect. And so will [Judge Scott McAfee] say, ‘Look, I’m going to suggest that one or both of you remove yourselves or maybe even order it, but I am also going to ask the bar to look into these allegations’?”

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Co-defendant Michael Roman’s attorneys claimed in a 122-page filing earlier this month that they had a witness whose testimony contradicted Willis’ denials regarding the timeline of her relationship with Wade after she claimed it started after she appointed him as a special prosecutor in the investigation into Trump’s attempts to challenge the results of the 2020 election in Georgia.

In response to a motion by Roman’s attorneys filed on January 8 seeking her disqualification from the case, Willis acknowledged her relationship with Wade in a 176-page court filing on February 2.

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In their filing, Roman’s attorneys named a friend of Wade who could corroborate that the relationship began before Willis assumed the role of district attorney, contradicting claims made by Wade in an affidavit attached to Willis’s filing on February 2, wherein he asserted that the relationship did not begin before 2022.

“Willis and Wade claim they did not have a personal, romantic relationship before Willis appointed Wade as a special prosecutor, but Terrence Bradley (‘Bradley’) will refute that claim,” Roman’s attorney, Ashleigh Merchant, said in the filing, according to the Daily Caller.

“Bradley is an attorney and a member of the Georgia Bar.  Bradley and Wade were friends and business associates. Bradley has non-privileged, personal knowledge that the romantic relationship between Wade and Willis began before Willis being sworn as the district attorney for Fulton County, Georgia, in January 2021,” the filing continued, per the outlet.

Earlier this week, Willis and Wade were referred to the Georgia State Bar for alleged misconduct by a watchdog group.

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“The American Accountability Foundation (AAF) is requesting that the Georgia state bar open disciplinary proceedings against the Fulton County DA and Wade for violations of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct,” the Fox News report said.

The group alleges that Willis and Wade both committed perjury by lying under oath about the timing of their affair.

“To ensure that the citizens of Fulton County and the State of Georgia understand that the Bar will not countenance any violation of its ethics by those charged with upholding it, we urge you to revoke Ms. Willis’ license to practice law and permanently bar her from practicing law,” the group said in its referral, with a near identical request in its complaint against Wade.

“Cash is fungible. I’ve had cash for years in my house. So for me to tell you the source of where it comes from … when you go to Publix and you buy something and you get fifty dollars, you throw it in there. It’s been my whole life. When I took out a large amount of money during my first campaign, I kept some of the cash from that,” she said.

It was that last sentence that the group said was an “admission of a clear violation of Georgia Campaign Finance Law.”

“The statute is unambiguous – and the facts are not in dispute – as Ms. Willis described in her testimony, she placed the money that was intended for her campaign into a ‘fungible’ slush fund with other moneys that she would use for various other purposes, including reimbursing her boyfriend for leisure travel,” the group said in its complaint.

It also said that “keeping some of the cash” was a “willful intentional act and denied the citizens of Georgia the ability to exercise effective oversight over her campaign.”

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