Nathan Wade

Special Prosecutor Nathan Wade Resigns Amid Court Ruling Over Romantic Relationship With Fulton County DA Fani Willis

After Wade’s departure, the case against Trump can now move ahead.

As BLACK ENTERPRISE previously reported, Judge Scott McAfee ruled that the romantic relationship between Nathan Wade and Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis created an appearance of a conflict of interest. Following this ruling, the prosecution faced an ultimatum: Wade steps down, Willis steps down, or the entire DA’s office has to be sidelined.

As The Hill reported, Wade elected to step down. In his resignation letter, Wade cited a desire for the case to proceed as quickly as possible as a motivating factor.

“As directed by the Order today in State of Georgia v. Donald John Trump, et al., 23SC188947, I hereby offer my resignation, effective immediately, as Special Prosecutor for the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office. Although the court found that “the Defendants failed to meet their burden of proving that the District Attorney acquired an actual conflict of interest,” I am offering my resignation in the interest of democracy, in dedication to the American public, and to move this case forward as quickly as possible.”

As Wade’s letter pointed out, McAfee did not find that the defense was able to prove that Wade and Willis’s relationship constituted an actual conflict of interest. Still, he did rule that the pair’s vacations and romance created the appearance of one, which was enough for him to require that either Wade or Willis remove themselves from the case. 

In response to Wade’s resignation letter sent to her office, Willis responded via letter, which thanked and praised Wade for his courage and grace under fire.

“I compliment you for the professionalism and dignity you have shown over the last 865 days, as you have endured threats against you and your family, as well as unjustified attacks in the media and in court on your reputation as a lawyer.”

Willis continued, “I will always remember — and will remind everyone — that you were brave enough to step forward and take on the investigation and prosecution of the allegations that the defendants in this case engaged in a conspiracy to overturn Georgia’s 2020 Presidential election.”

After Wade’s departure, the trial that Willis refers to can now move ahead, although there has been no trial date set as of March 16. 

As The New Yorker reported, though McAfee found that Willis exercised a “tremendous lapse in judgment” by engaging in a relationship with her lead prosecutor in such a high-profile case, and also pointed out that the pair’s “regular and loose exchange of money” and public comments on the allegations levied against them were problematic, McAfee ultimately decided that voters could sort those issues out in the election and that a “dismissal of the indictment is not the appropriate remedy.” Thus, he allowed Willis to stay on the case, as long as her paramour left. 

As Nora Benavidez, an Atlanta civil rights attorney, told The New Yorker, now is the time to move beyond a “distraction from the election-subversion charges Trump and his allies face.” Benavidez continued, “The case is enormously important as our democracy lurches towards an election in which Mr. Trump is a candidate. It can and should move to trial now so the public, and a jury, can make their own decisions.”

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