BREAKING: Judge rules Fani Willis must either recuse herself from Trump case or fire Nathan Wade

McAfee found the "appearance of impropriety" brought about by Willis's romantic relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade, saying that this should result in either Willis and her office leaving the case.

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee ruled on Friday morning that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis should not be disqualified from the Georgia election case against Trump and his associates.

According to NBC NewsMcAfee found the "appearance of impropriety" brought about by Willis's romantic relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade, saying that this should result in either Willis and her office leaving the case.

McAfee wrote that there was no "actual conflict" brought about by the relationship, a finding that was required to have Willis disqualified. 

"Without sufficient evidence that the District Attorney acquired a personal stake in the prosecution, or that her financial arrangements had any impact on the case, the Defendants’ claims of an actual conflict must be denied," McAfee wrote.

"The other alleged grounds for disqualification, including forensic misconduct, are also denied. However, the established record now highlights a significant appearance of impropriety that infects the current structure of the prosecution team - an appearance that must be removed through the State’s selection of one of two options. The Defendants’ motions are therefore granted in part," McAfee wrote in the 23-page ruling.

"This finding is by no means an indication that the Court condones this tremendous lapse in judgment or the unprofessional manner of the District Attorney’s testimony during the evidentiary hearing. Rather, it is the undersigned’s opinion that Georgia law does not permit the finding of an actual conflict for simply making bad choices — even repeatedly — and it is the trial court’s duty to confine itself to the relevant issues and applicable law properly brought before it," the ruling added.

The ruling comes after Michael Roman, one of the co-defendants in the Georgia election case, brought forth a motion to disqualify Willis because of the relationship with Wade. Roman and other co-defendants alleged that Willis has benefited financially by hiring Wade.

During the hearing held last month, Willis and Wade insisted that their relationship started in 2022, after Wade had been hired by Willis’ office. Testimony from a former "good friend" of Willis and a previous employee in her office, Robin Yeartie, testified she had "no doubt" that the pair’s relationship began in 2019 after the two met at a conference.

Willis testified at the hearing that she would pay Wade back for vacations they took in cash, but did not take this money out from the bank as "I have money in my house."

This is a breaking story, please refresh the page for updates.
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