Updated Jan 19, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Judge orders evidence hearing over alleged misconduct by Fani Willis

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis speaks during a news conference Aug. 14, 2023, in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A Georgia judge on Thursday scheduled an "evidentiary hearing" regarding allegations of misconduct against Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, per a court filing.

The big picture: Willis, who is overseeing the case involving former President Trump and several co-defendants over alleged Georgia election interference, was recently accused of partaking in an "improper, clandestine personal relationship" with the case's lead prosecutor Nathan Wade.

Details: Judge Scott McAfee, of Fulton County Superior Court, scheduled the hearing for Feb. 15 and set a deadline of Feb. 2 for the District Attorney's office to respond to the motion.

Catch up quick: Michael Roman, one of the co-defendants in the Georgia election interference case, brought forth the allegations earlier this month.

  • Roman asked the court to dismiss the indictment against him and "disqualify Willis, Wade and their respective offices and firms from any further involvement in the prosecution of this matter," per a Jan. 8 court filing.
  • Roman claimed that the alleged personal relationship between Willis and Wade has "resulted in the special prosecutor, and, in turn, the district attorney, profiting significantly from this prosecution at the expense of the taxpayers."
  • The Georgia co-defendant also claims that "instead of handling this case within her office, as she could have done given the influx of Covid money, she chose to hire a private special prosecutor to preside over the case."

Meanwhile, in a court motion filed Friday, records indicated that Willis and Wade had traveled together after she hired Wade to serve as the special prosecutor in the election interference probe, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Flashback: Roman was a campaign aide for Trump who allegedly played a key role in putting forth slates of fake electors.

  • Roman faces seven charges, including conspiracy to commit forgery in the first degree, violating Georgia's RICO Act and conspiracy to commit filing false documents.
  • He has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

Zoom out: After a years-long investigation, Trump and 18 others were charged in August with criminal racketeering over their alleged efforts to subvert the 2020 election results in Georgia.

  • Since August, four of the co-defendants have accepted plea deals in the case.

A spokesperson for Willis did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment Thursday.

Go deeper: Fani Willis predicts Georgia election case could go into early 2025

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include details from a court record.

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