Legal Law

Fani Willis Accuses Wife of Alleged Lover of Being an Adulterer and Political Conspirator – JONATHAN TURLEY

In a surprising filing, Fulton County’s district attorney Fani Willis has accused the estranged wife of her alleged lover of conspiring to undermine the Trump prosecution by seeking her deposition in the messy divorce case of Nathan Wade. Willis, again, does not deny having an affair with Wade, who she appointed lead prosecutor in the case. Instead, she accuses Joycelyn Wade of an affair that broke up the marriage and suggests that she is coordinating with Trump forces to interfere with the prosecution.

Willis is accused of major ethical violations in appointing her alleged lover to the position as she went on lavish vacations with him. She previously denounced those raising obvious ethical concerns as being racist due to the fact that both Willis and Wade are black. She did not, however, deny the intimate relationship or the allegation that Wade paid for her vacation expenses.

At issue in the filing is the demand for a pretrial deposition in the divorce case of Nathan and Joycelyn Wade on January 23. Willis’ counsel leveled a full attack on the motivations and associations of Joycelyn Wade. She accused Joycelyn Wade of  having an adulterous relationship with a longtime friend of Nathan Wade’s.

Willis’ counsel Cinque Axam then added that Joycelyn Wade “has conspired with interested parties in the criminal election interference case to use the civil discovery process to annoy, embarrass and oppress District Attorney Willis.”

The filing noted that the allegations against Willis were used by Trump codefendant Mike Roman to seek judicial review and remedy for the alleged conflict of interest. A hearing has now been set by the court for Feb. 28th.

Willis bases her conspiracy theory on the fact that, on January 8, Roman’s filing was made public and on the same day, she was served a subpoena and there was a move to unseal the Wades’ divorce case.

That certainly makes this all a bit different from the usual “other woman” element in the divorce case. However, it is not a smart move. The level of animus and vexatious language in the filing only magnifies the concern over the Willis-Wade relationship. By attacking the estranged wife of her alleged lover, Willis only increases concerns over the professional separation between Willis and Wade in making decisions in the case.

Accusing the estranged wife of your alleged lover of being a political conspirator is about as compelling as accusing people raising ethical concerns of being virulent racists.

For example, if Wade were to exceed his authority or act unprofessionally in the case, Willis would be forced to take action against not only an alleged lover but someone she has had to defend as the ideal choice for the position. Their personal relationship would presumably weigh in the balance in any supervisory review or decision.

Likewise, if Willis was taken on vacations by Wade and their relationship is continuing, the termination of his contract could have an economic impact on Willis.

In the end, the accusatory motion was a mistake in my view. Willis could have objected to the necessity of the deposition on factual and legal grounds (as she does) without escalating the rhetoric and recriminations.

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