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Fani Willis Drops a Bombshell, But It is a Dud – HotAir

Fani Willis, the Georgia prosecutor who has charged Trump and almost 20 others in a RICO case, appears to be in deep trouble over allegations that she is in and benefiting from a romantic relationship with the special prosecutor she hired to try the case.

The controversy has been bubbling for a while now after a lawyer for a co-defendant of Trump alleged the affair without direct evidence. It seems unlikely in the extreme that there is no basis for the accusation because, well, his client would be harmed if it turned out to be unfounded.

As I have written before, Willis has been implicitly admitting the affair–calling herself “imperfect” and refusing to deny the accusations. Instead, she has gone on a rampage, accusing her detractors of racism and now “collusion” intended to take her down.

The latest example came with an unexpected legal filing, in which she is objecting to a subpoena by the estranged wife of her (alleged) lover Nathan Wade.

Wade is in a hostile divorce proceeding, and his wife has subpoenaed Willis to testify. Willis is very displeased, and in a strange filing attacked Joycelyn Wade both for her own behavior in her marriage and for colluding with Trump to take down Willis.

Jonathan Turley gives his legal analysis and in his rather understated way, tears Willis a new one for her stupid legal tactics and likely unethical behavior:

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.”

Wowza. That’s a bombshell accusation, but one unlikely to explode where she intends it to. I’m not even sure why it matters that Jocylen Wade may or may not desire to “annoy, embarrass and oppress” Willis. It’s a divorce, and if a scorned wife wants to annoy or embarrass the lover of her estranged husband that would seem to be normal in such a case.

The smart thing to do in a case like this is to try to delay the testimony as long as possible or come up with some airy explanation for why she can’t testify right now. Instead, Willis goes after the motives of Joycelyn Wade–motives which I am not quite sure are relevant to the question of whether she should testify. Divorces are not generally known to be proceedings characterized by calm, disinterested parties, but are often nasty slugfests. If Willis isn’t directly involved, why taint herself by nastily attacking on behalf of Nathan Wade’s side? That makes it seem like you have a personal interest in defending Wade.

Like, perhaps, he is your lover?

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.

Willis is clearly trying to change the subject from her own behavior, but that seems about as likely to work in a courtroom as jumping off a building and expecting to fly.

If Willis violated ethics rules, she would face consequences. Even a friendly judge would be unlikely to be able to save her. No amount of handwaving will distract from the fact that she is using public funds to go on vacations with her lover, whom she hired.

Nothing is proven yet, but according to Georgia laws even the appearance of impropriety is enough to scuttle a prosecutor’s pursuit of a case. And Willis has already crossed that line, arguably, and almost certainly is guilty of at least some of the accusations. It is difficult to explain her behavior otherwise.

The removal of Willis and Wade would not necessarily put Trump in the clear–the indictment would stand. But it would definitely be a blow and delay the trial until after the election. That seems almost inevitable now, barring some Perry Mason-like twist.

One thing you have to say about Trump is that, regardless of how much you like or hate him, his enemies are awful people whose own ethical challenges are as bad as the ones the accuse Trump of having.

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