The Trump lawsuit in Georgia alleges an “improper” relationship between prosecutors

A lawyer for one of the defendants charged along with former President Donald J. Trump in the Georgia election meddling case said in a court filing Monday that the district attorney overseeing the case, Fannie T. Willis, engaged in a “secret” relationship with the special prosecutor she hired to help deal with this.

The document from a lawyer representing Michael A. Roman, a former Trump campaign staffer, did not provide proof of the link or other claims it contained. It argued that the connection should disqualify Ms Willis, her office and Special Prosecutor Nathan Wade from prosecuting the case.

The defense attorney, Ashley B. Merchant, also wrote that Ms. Willis, the district attorney in Fulton County, Ga., “profited substantially from this prosecution at taxpayer expense,” blaming Ms. Willis and Mr. Wade took vacations along with the money he made working for her office.

Citing “information obtained outside of court documents,” Ms. Merchant wrote that Ms. Willis and Mr. Wade “traveled personally together to places such as Napa Valley, Florida and the Caribbean” and that Mr. Wade was bought cruise ship tickets for them.

Ms Merchant also argued in the application that Ms Willis did not receive the proper approval to appoint Mr Wade and that as a result the case should be dismissed. Mr. Wade is one of several outside lawyers paid by Ms. Willis’ office to help with the Trump case, a complex racketeering indictment against 15 people.

It is unclear how the allegations will affect the prosecution in Georgia, one of several criminal cases against Mr. Trump. The former president filed multiple motions in the case on Monday, including one in which his lawyers argued that he is immune from prosecution in the case.

Clark D. Cunningham, a professor of law and ethics at Georgia State University, reviewed Mr. Roman’s filing and questioned why it contained no evidence of a connection between the two prosecutors.

“If Roman’s attorney had actual evidence of an inappropriate relationship between Willis and Wade, she should have made that part of her motion, such as attaching affidavits from witnesses with personal knowledge or certified documents,” he said in an email.

Ms. Merchant, in a telephone interview, said she had reviewed documents showing that Mr. Wade and Ms. Willis traveled together to vacation destinations and that Mr. Wade paid for some of the tickets. She said she believed the recordings were included in Mr. Wade’s sealed divorce papers. She requested in a separate court filing this week that those records be unsealed.

Ms. Merchant’s allegations were previously reported by The Atlanta-Journal Constitution. They appeared in a 39-page motion filed in Fulton County Superior Court on Monday on behalf of Mr. Roman, who as a Trump 2020 campaign official participated in a plan to organize pro-Trump voters in Georgia despite Mr. Trump’s defeat there.

Mr. Roman is charged with seven counts, including conspiracy to commit forgery and violation of Georgia’s racketeering statute.

Jeff Disantis, a spokesman for Ms. Willis’ office, said only that the office would “respond appropriately in court.”

Ms Merchant wrote in the request that it was not “made lightly”.

“Nor was it submitted without significant forethought, study or investigation,” she added.

According to her file, “sources close” to Ms. Willis and Mr. Wade confirmed to Ms. Merchant that the two had an “ongoing personal relationship” that began before Ms. Willis hired Mr. Wade to monitor the Trump case.

The filing said Mr. Wade, who has his own private practice, earned more than $650,000 for his work with the prosecutor’s office.

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