Fani Willis Admitted to the Affair. Now What?

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Keeping up with Donald Trump’s court schedule is a dizzying task, since he faces two federal trials, a criminal trial in Georgia, and two separate civil and criminal trials in New York. (Oh, and he’s running for president.) To make it easier to follow along, each Monday we’ll be looking back on all the Trump trial–related developments you might have missed the previous week. 

It was a big week for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis—the Georgia prosecutor who indicted Trump and 18 others—who finally admitted to being in a romantic relationship with a special prosecutor she hired. And over in New York, a court monitor issued a report that found the Trump Organization is still not getting its financials straight, while the company’s former chief financial officer could be on the brink of accepting a plea deal with prosecutors.

Fani Willis admits to dating special prosecutor Nathan Wade

On Friday, after staying mostly silent for the past three weeks on pretty damning misconduct allegations, Willis finally addressed the scandal in a court-ordered 176-page motion. And buried in the pages of legalese is an admission that Willis is in fact in a romantic relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade.

The disclosure is a response to a separate motion filed by an attorney for Mike Roman, one of 18 people charged in Willis’ election interference indictment, that levels myriad misconduct allegations against the DA. Roman argues that Willis and Wade’s relationship creates a conflict of interest in prosecuting the case. Roman wants all of his charges dismissed and to have the DA’s entire indictment thrown out.

While she admitted to the relationship, Willis disagreed that it creates a conflict. “While the allegations raised in the various motions are salacious and garnered the media attention they were designed to obtain, none provides this court with any basis upon which to order the relief they seek,” she wrote. She asserted that she holds no financial or personal conflict of interest in her prosecution of Trump and that Roman’s motion “demonstrates basic misunderstandings of rudimentary county and state regulations, and provides no legal basis for dismissal of the indictment or disqualification of any member of the prosecution.” In other words, she argued that yes, she has been dating Wade, but no, it does not prejudice the case.

Included in Willis’ motion is a sworn affidavit by Wade, who says he never shared any compensation he received from Fulton County with the DA and that travel expenses between the couple “were roughly divided equally between us.”

Hours after Willis’ motion was filed, Trump, staying true to form, posted on Truth Social, “THAT MEANS THAT THIS SCAM IS TOTALLY DISCREDITED & OVER!”

Actually, Judge Scott McAfee will be the one to decide that during an upcoming evidentiary hearing on Feb. 15.

Jack Smith’s election interference trial is officially off the calendar

The future of the special counsel’s case is officially unknown, after Judge Tanya Chutkan formally took the federal election interference trial off the court’s calendar. (It had been slated for March 4.) In a new order issued last Friday, Chutkan said a new trial date would be set “if and when” Trump’s presidential immunity claim was resolved.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, since back in December Chutkan agreed to stay any further pretrial proceedings and deadlines while Trump’s attorneys see through his presidential immunity claim. The fate of the trial is currently in the hands of the U.S. Court of Appeals, which held a hearing about four weeks ago to hear the former president’s appeal. (Their decision is expected any day now.) His attorneys argued that Trump is entitled to “absolute immunity” from criminal prosecution simply because he was president, and the only way he could be prosecuted was if Congress impeached and convicted him for the actions in question. The argument did not seem to sit well with the judges, and if they do not rule in Trump’s favor, the former president could have his appeal reconsidered by the full panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals or sent up to the Supreme Court.

It’s unclear when Smith’s election interference case might get a new trial date.

A court monitor says Trump Organization is still committing operational errors

As the former president awaits the verdict in his civil fraud trial, a court-ordered company monitor found that the Trump Organization’s operations still raise some red flags. Financial documents prepared are often “lacking in completeness and timeliness,” monitor Barbara Jones found; there is no formal compliance department, and the company generally operates in a way that suggests “a lack of effective governance.”

Jones, a former federal judge who is now a partner at a New York law firm, has been observing the former president’s company since 2022, shortly after Manhattan District Attorney Letitia James sued Trump, his children, and their company for fraud.

Jones’ report also noted that the Trump Organization doesn’t have any identifiable accounting or presentation standards, procedures, or trainings for employees in preparing financial documents. However, she did acknowledge that when she raised these concerns with the company, they were receptive to her recommendations. Trump’s attorneys were less than thrilled with Jones’ assessment and accused her of acting in bad faith, emphasizing that she did not find any fraudulent activity. Trump attorney Chris Kise told ABC News that Jones was exaggerating and trying to “fill the gaping hole in the attorney general’s case.”

However, prosecutors for the AG’s office and Trump’s lawyers both nominated Jones to be court monitor, and Judge Arthur Engoron—who is overseeing Trump’s civil fraud case—chose her for the job. The AG is asking that Jones continue to monitor the Trump Organization for years to come, in addition to a $370 million penalty and having Trump banned from doing business in New York.

Judge Engoron is expected to announce his verdict of Trump’s civil fraud trial any day now. Here’s a rundown of all the key figures involved in this case.

Former Trump Organization CFO might be working on a plea deal

Allen Weisselberg, the former CFO of the Trump Organization, is negotiating a deal with the Manhattan DA’s office where he would plead guilty to perjury, according to a New York Times report.

Weisselberg was employed by Trump for nearly 50 years, and was also charged in James’ civil fraud lawsuit. During the trial last year, Weisselberg took the witness stand and testified that he “never focused” on Trump’s 5th Avenue penthouse, yet prosecutors found financial documents prepared by the Trump Organization listing the property at 30,000 square feet, certified and signed by Weisselberg. Prosecutors also introduced a 2017 Forbes article that accused Weisselberg of lying about the square footage after reporters there calculated the penthouse was only about 11,000 square feet. While on the stand, Weisselberg admitted that Forbes’ size estimate was correct.

If the plea deal pans out, Weisselberg would admit to committing perjury; he lied while under oath on the witness stand and in interviews with the DA’s office. The deal may save the 76-year-old from going back to jail (he already served 100 days in New York City’s Rikers Island after pleading guilty to 15 criminal charges related to tax fraud in 2022). But it doesn’t appear that Weisselberg’s plea deal will include implicating Trump.


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