A judge has ordered the release of court records related to the divorce of the special prosecutor against Donald Trump who was hired in the Georgia election case and accused of having an affair with Fulton County District Attorney Fannie Willis.
However, the newly unsealed court records did not include any reference to the affair allegations that fueled the lawsuit, which accuses Trump and 18 associates of working to thwart a 2020 election loss in the state.
A judge ordered the divorce case involving special counsel Nathan Wade sealed after a defense attorney brought a motion alleging an inappropriate relationship between Willis and Wade. The judge postponed a final decision on whether Willis should stand trial in the divorce case, but delayed his deposition scheduled for Tuesday.
Willis supported the hiring of Wade, who had little prosecutorial experience and did not directly deny a romantic relationship. Wade's estranged wife has accused him of trying to cross-examine her in the couple's divorce proceedings to block her criminal election interference lawsuit against Trump and others.
The affair allegations threaten to taint the prosecution, with the Republican primary front-runner and others seizing claims to attack the case and Wade's qualifications as a lawyer. Trump has pleaded not guilty, denied any wrongdoing, and said the charges were politically motivated.
Willis was subpoenaed to appear in the divorce case on the same day that attorney Ashley Merchant, who represented former Trump campaign staffer and onetime White House aide Michael Roman, filed a petition alleging an affair between Willis and Willis earlier this month. Wade.
Documents filed in court show that Wade purchased the plane tickets in Willis' name, and Joycelyn Wade's attorney argued that “there appears to be no reasonable explanation for their trips other than a romantic relationship.” Joycelyn Wade's attorney, Andrea Dyer Hastings, told the judge on Monday that they believe Willis has some “personal knowledge” of the divorce case and should stand trial.
“She tries to hide under the mantle of her status,” Hastings said of Willis.
Cinque Axum, Willis' attorney, said the issue before the court is how to divide the marital assets, and that Willis, who shares no accounts with Nathan Wade, had nothing to do with the decision on how to do that. He cannot decide how he spends the money.
During a brief hearing in Cobb County Superior Court, Judge Henry Thompson said he could not decide whether Willis should sit for a deposition in the divorce case until Wade hears him later this month. He ruled that court documents in the divorce case should be made public, and a previous judge improperly ordered the case sealed without a hearing.
Nathan Wade has traveled to San Francisco and Napa Valley, Florida, Belize, Panama and Australia, Joycelyn Wade's attorney wrote in court documents filed Friday.
n Caribbean trips since filing for divorce and Willis “was an intended travel partner on at least some of these trips, as indicated on the flights he purchased to accompany her.”
After Nathan Wade was hired as special counsel, credit card statements have been filed showing that he and Willis bought plane tickets to Miami in October 2022 and tickets to San Francisco in April in their names.
This is one of four cases in which Trump is vying to return to the White House. Prosecutors have used the law, which typically deals with gangs, to accuse the former president, lawyers and other aides of a “criminal enterprise” that kept him in power. Four people have already pleaded guilty after reaching deals with prosecutors in the Georgia election case. The remaining 15, including Trump and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, have pleaded not guilty.
Richer reported from Boston.