(The Center Square) – Accusations against a Georgia district attorney handling former President Donald Trump’s election interference indictment have ratcheted the controversial case to a new level.
The judge overseeing the case said there could be a hearing in February to examine the allegations.
The scrutiny is tied to Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ hiring of Nathan Wade, an outside prosecutor, to lead the prosecution of Trump. He’s charged with conspiring with others to change the state’s 2020 presidential election results.
Court filings show Wade was paid $250 per hour, totaling more than $650,000 for his work on the case. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reviewed the payments made by Fulton County to the two other attorneys brought in on the case, reporting that each received well under $100,000 for work at hourly rates of $250 and $150, though for far fewer hours.
Trump’s legal team, in a court filing last week, said Willis hired Wade because of their romantic relationship.
Willis fired back in a statement at Big Bethel AME Church in Atlanta on Sunday, accusing her critics of racism.
She touted Wade’s qualifications for the role and said he is not paid more than other prosecutors hired on the case. Willis did not address the claim she has a romantic relationship with Wade.
Trump has pointed to these accusations, saying they are proof his case should be dropped.
The House Judiciary Committee on Friday announced an investigation into Wade and Willis’ relationship and its impact on Trump’s indictment.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, sent a letter to Wade about the potential conflict of interest and political motivation for the Trump indictment, one of four facing the president and adding up to 91 criminal charges that could derail his campaign.
“The Committee on the Judiciary continues to conduct oversight of politically motivated prosecutions by state and local officials,” the letter said. “Based on recent reports, we believe that you possess documents and information about the coordination of the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office with other politically motivated investigations and prosecutions and the potential misuse of federal funds. Accordingly, we ask for your cooperation with our oversight.”
Jordan pointed to allegations that Wade took the money he received from Willis’ hiring and turned around and spent it on Willis.
“This filing also alleges that while receiving a substantial amount of money from Fulton County, you spent extravagantly on lavish vacations with your boss, Ms. Willis,” Jordan wrote. “Although Ms. Willis has so far refused to cooperate with our oversight of the FCDAO’s coordination with other politically motivated prosecutions, invoices that you submitted for payment by the FCDAO, and made public as part of this court filing, highlight this collusion. This new information appears to substantiate our concerns that Ms. Willis’s politicized prosecution, including the decision to convene a special purpose grand jury, was aided by partisan Democrats in Washington, D.C.”
Jordan also pointed to documentation showing Wade took several trips to Washington, D.C., to meet with the White House. Jordan said this shows political coordination against Trump.
“The committee has serious concerns about the degree of improper coordination among politicized actors – including the Biden White House – to investigate and prosecute President Biden’s chief political opponent,” the letter said. “This new information released recently only reinforces the committee’s concerns about politically motivated prosecutions by state and local officials.”