Former US Attorney Joyce Vance has warned that District Attorney Fani Willis’ failure to respond to allegations of an inappropriate relationship is a “bad look” and could make her a perpetual target for Donald Trump’s legal team. Willis is the district attorney for Fulton County, Georgia, and has led the investigation into former President Donald Trump’s alleged attempts to interfere with and overturn his loss to President Joe Biden in the state’s 2020 presidential race. The investigation led to a criminal indictment of Trump and several other co-conspirators last year, charging them with racketeering, to which the former president has pleaded not guilty.
Recently, the legal team for one of the accused co-conspirators, Mike Roman, claimed that Willis had an inappropriate romantic relationship with Nathan Wade, an outside attorney brought in to participate in the Trump investigation, and that this was grounds for her to be removed from overseeing the case. Willis responded to the allegations on Friday, confirming that she did have a “personal relationship” with Wade, but that it began after he was brought on to the Trump case and did not present a conflict of interest. An evidentiary hearing on the matter has been scheduled for February 16.
Expert analysts have stated that, on the legal merits, Willis’ relationship with Wade did not present a conflict of interest, but that the situation has created negative optics for the prosecution. Vance, a former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama turned legal analyst, agreed that the relationship presented no conflict because Wallis and Wade were on the same side of the issue. Assuming Judge Scott McAfee allows her to stay on the case, she will be a constant target for the former president. Willis would be wise to proceed with humility and accept responsibility for making such an unnecessary mistake.