*UPDATE* Special Prosecutor Nathan Wade Resigns From Georgia Trump Case

2024-03-15 08:00:14

*UPDATE 4:10 PM* Special Prosecutor Nathan Wade resigned from the Georgia Trump case after the judge told District Attorney Fani Willis she had to go or Wade in order for the case to go forward: “I hereby offer my resignation, effective immediately.”

Previous reporting:

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee told District Attorney Fani Willis she must step aside or fire Special Prosecutor Nathan Wade from the case against former President Donald Trump.

McAfee did not find a conflict of interest or anything fishy about money, except Willis and Wade could not prove they definitely split the costs. Therefore, no proof about the money gives off the appearance of impropriety.

“The appearance standard recognizes that even when no actual conflict exists, a perceived conflict in the reasonable eyes of the public threatens confidence in the legal system itself,” McAfee wrote. “When this danger goes uncorrected, it undermines the legitimacy and moral force of our already weakest branch of government.”

Therefore, McAfee found that the court can “consider the appearance of impropriety as a basis for a state prosecutor’s disqualification, especially in recognition of the critical role that the prosecutor plays in the criminal-justice system.”

But the remedy has to be specific, which is why McAfee applied it to only Willis or Wade instead of the entire DA office:

With these principles in mind, the Court finds that the record made at the evidentiary hearing established that the District Attorney’s prosecution is encumbered by an appearance of impropriety. This appearance is not created by mere status alone, but comes because of specific conduct, and impacts more than a mere “nebulous” public interest because it concerns a public prosecutor. Blumenfeld, 247 Ga. at 410. Even if the romantic relationship began after SADA Wade’s initial contract in November 2021, the District Attorney chose to continue supervising and paying Wade while maintaining such a relationship. She further allowed the regular and loose exchange of money between them without any exact or verifiable measure of reconciliation. This lack of a confirmed financial split creates the possibility and appearance that the District Attorney benefited – albeit non-materially – from a contract whose award lay solely within her purview and policing.

Most importantly, were the case allowed to proceed unchanged, the prima facie concerns raised by the Defendants would persist. As the District Attorney testified, her relationship with Wade has only “cemented” after these motions and “is stronger than ever.” Wade’s patently unpersuasive explanation for the inaccurate interrogatories he submitted in his pending divorce indicates a willingness on his part to wrongly conceal his relationship with the District Attorney. As the case moves forward, reasonable members of the public could easily be left to wonder whether the financial exchanges have continued resulting in some form of benefit to the District Attorney, or even whether the romantic relationship has resumed. Put differently, an outsider could reasonably think that the District Attorney is not exercising her independent professional judgment totally free of any compromising influences. As long as Wade remains on the case, this unnecessary perception will persist.

The two options:

  • Willis and her entire office can step aside and refer the case to the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council for reassignment.
  • Wade can leave the case, “allowing the District Attorney, the Defendants, and the public to move forward without his presence or remuneration distracting from and potentially compromising the merits of this case.”

McAfee also described Willis’s speech at a church, blaming the accusations against her on racism, as legally improper.

However, McAfee did not find enough to use it to dismiss her. She did not name any of the defendants, reveal confidential information, or address any of the “merits of the indicted offenses.”


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*UPDATE* Special Prosecutor Nathan Wade Resigns From Georgia Trump Case


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