Fani Willis to Face Music in Divorce Case


Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is reportedly set to testify in the divorce case of the special prosecutor she is accused of being in an “improper” relationship with.

Willis was accused of being in an inappropriate romantic relationship with Nathan Wade, an attorney she hired to help prosecute the election interference case against former President Donald Trump, in a motion filed on January 8 by Ashleigh Merchant, a lawyer representing former Trump campaign staffer Michael Roman.

Roman was among the 18 people charged alongside Trump last year with participating in a wide-ranging scheme to try to illegally overturn the 2020 election result in Georgia. Four of the people charged have pleaded guilty after reaching deals with prosecutors. Trump, Roman and the others have pleaded not guilty, and Roman is seeking to have his indictment thrown out and to have Willis and Wade removed from the case.

Fani Willis speaks during a news conference at the Fulton County Government building on August 14, 2023, in Atlanta, Georgia. She is reportedly set to testify in the divorce case of the special prosecutor she is accused of being in an “improper” relationship with.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The same day that Merchant filed the motion, lawyers for Wade’s wife, Jocelyn Wade, served a subpoena seeking to question Willis in the divorce proceedings.

Willis will appear in court in the divorce case on Monday, Fox5 reported.

A spokesperson for Willis and an attorney for Jocelyn Wade have been contacted for comment via email.

Willis’ reported appearance comes after her attorney filed an emergency motion on Thursday seeking to quash the subpoena. The filing accused Jocelyn Wade of trying to obstruct the election interference case against Trump and others.

The subpoena was sought “in an attempt to harass and damage” Willis’ professional reputation, lawyer Cinque Axam wrote in the filing, according to The Associated Press.

It accuses Jocelyn Wade of having “conspired with interested parties in the criminal election interference case to use the civil discovery process to annoy, embarrass, and oppress” the district attorney and that the attempt to question her is “obstructing and interfering” with the ongoing criminal case.

Andrea Hastings, a lawyer for Jocelyn Wade, said they want to help her “resolve her divorce fairly and privately,” the AP reported.

Axam wrote in the filing that Nathan and Jocelyn Wade have been separated for more than two years and there is an “absence of any relevant basis” to question Willis. The filing didn’t address whether Willis and Wade have been romantically involved.

Willis’ office has said they will respond to Merchant’s motion in a court filing.

Merchant’s motion accuses Willis of engaging in “an improper, clandestine personal relationship” with Wade. It alleged that he has been paid large sums and has used some of it to take Willis on trips to Napa Valley, Florida and the Caribbean. The motion also questioned his qualifications for the job.

Merchant’s filing offered no evidence of the alleged relationship or trips that Willis and Wade had allegedly taken together, but cited “sources” close to the pair, without elaborating.

However, bank statements filed in the divorce case on Friday as part of the effort to compel Willis to testify show Wade had purchased airline tickets for himself and Willis on at least two occasions, according to reports.

Willis defended hiring Wade and his qualifications while speaking during a service at a church in Atlanta on January 13, but she has yet to address the allegations of having a romantic relationship. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) previously confirmed to Newsweek that it is not investigating the district attorney for alleged impropriety.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee has set a February 15 hearing on Merchant’s motion and ordered Willis to file a response to the allegations by February 2.