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Embattled Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is facing yet another accusation from a co-defendant in her 2020 election interference case against former President Donald Trump.
Co-defendant David Shafer, who served as the Georgia GOP Chairman in 2020 and was a GOP presidential elector for Georgia during the 2020 election, filed a motion in court on Monday, alleging that Willis has been involved in a “pattern of prosecutorial and forensic misconduct.” The motion argues that said behavior should disqualify not only Willis but also her entire office and prosecution staff, Fox News reported.
Shafer’s motion comes after co-defendant Michael Roman alleged that Willis had an “improper” relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade, whom she appointed to handle the extensive racketeering case against Trump. Roman has requested the court to disqualify Willis from the case.
In a court filing on Friday, Willis addressed the allegations and acknowledged having a “personal” relationship with Wade. However, she refuted any claims of a conflict of interest. Willis also contended that under Georgia law, for a district attorney to be removed from a case involuntarily, the conflict of interest must be detrimental to the defendant’s case, Fox News added.
Shafer claimed in his Monday filing that Willis has a demonstrated “pattern of prejudicial public statements” about the case via various media interviews and public speeches/ The filing also claimed that in making such statements, she intended to “inject and infect the jury pool” — all of which primarily warrants her removal from the case.
Shafer’s filing included references to when Willis first addressed allegations of her affair last month during remarks made at the Bethel AME Church in Atlanta.
“They only attacked one,” she said. “First thing they say, ‘Oh, she’s gonna play the race card now.’ But no God, isn’t it them that’s playing the race card when they only question one,” Willis asked.
“Witnesses will testify” that DA Willis and Wade cohabitated at an AirBNB “that was paid for by tax payer money”
The “safe house” was also a romantic getaway! pic.twitter.com/9UA8lvDBeR
— Techno Fog (@Techno_Fog) February 5, 2024
“You cannot expect black women to be perfect and save the world,” Willis said, adding that “we need to be allowed to stumble. We need grace.”
In his filing, Shafer argued: “The obvious intent of her remarks was to inject and infect the jury pool in Fulton County with unfounded allegations that anyone who dares question her or Mr. Wade’s conduct must have done so for racist purposes.”
“As an attorney and, most importantly, a public prosecutor, her comments which directly affected the pending litigation were indefensible and reprehensible. These comments constitute prosecutorial, forensic misconduct and warrant her removal and that of her Office from the prosecution of this case,” the filing added.
In legal documents submitted last month, Roman claimed that Wade invoiced Fulton County for 24 hours of work in a single day in November 2021, shortly after assuming the role of special prosecutor. Additionally, Roman argued that Willis benefitted financially from her purported partner’s inflated taxpayer-funded salary by indulging in extravagant vacations he paid for.
According to court documents, Wade, who has zero experience in RICO and felony prosecutions, billed taxpayers $654,000 since January 2022, Fox News noted.
Shafer further argued that Willis’ hiring of Wade “to investigate and prosecute the defendants and payments to Mr. Wade of over a half a million dollars from the Fulton County treasury while allowing Mr. Wade to pay for vacations for the District Attorney and other personal expenses constitutes a disqualifying conflict of interest as well as a violation of ethical rules applicable to attorneys and Fulton County employees, and potentially criminal law.”
The motion further alleges that Willis’ “improper and inaccurate characterization” of Shafer and the other 2020 nominee Republican Presidential Electors as “Fake Electors” to the national media “has been exceedingly prejudicial” to Shafer. It emphasizes that “at all times material” to her indictment, Shafer was recognized as a “lawful” Presidential Elector under Georgia law through his nomination by the Georgia Republican Party.
Shafer requested the court to uphold a February 15 evidentiary hearing scheduled by Judge Scott McAfee, during which the parties will present evidence in an attempt to persuade the court to disqualify Willis and her office from the case, Fox News added.