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Georgia Senate approves resolution to establish panel to investigate Fani Willis

In World
January 27, 2024

The Republican-led Georgia Senate on Friday approved a resolution to establish a committee to investigate the prosecutor who brought an election interference case against former President Donald Trump and 18 co-defendants last year.

In a 30-19 vote that passed along party lines, the state Senate approved legislation that will permit a special committee to investigate Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis amid misconduct allegations.

The alleged misconduct “includes the ongoing expenditure of significant public funds for the purpose of hiring a special assistant district attorney with whom District Attorney Willis had, and may yet have, an ongoing romantic relationship,” the resolution states.

The panel will consist of no more than nine members, including at least three Democrats, according to the resolution.

“The powers and duties of this committee are limited in scope to address the questions and allegations and potential remedies as it relates to either state appropriations of funds, or potential law changes that may come about as the Senate study committee conducts its work,” state Sen. Greg Dolezal, a Republican, said on the Senate floor Friday.

Democratic members of the state Senate blasted their Republican colleagues for creating a special committee that will “get into bedroom politics.”

“We have a system. Let it play out,” state Sen. David Lucas said. “Let it play out, not based on allegations. Let it play out. We’ve got a system to deal with it.”

In a court filing this month seeking dismissal of charges against him in the election interference case, attorneys for Michael Roman accused Willis of engaging in an “improper” romantic relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade.

Roman’s attorneys claimed that Willis and Wade have traveled together to destinations including Napa Valley and that they’ve been seen together around Atlanta in a personal capacity.

A court filing last week that included credit card statements showed that Wade purchased plane tickets for Willis for trips together.

A spokesperson for the district attorney’s office declined to comment on Friday.

The allegations have sparked other investigations, including from Bob Ellis, a member of Fulton County’s board of commissioners, who said in a statement last week that he would pursue a “full investigation” into the allegations.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee, who is presiding over the case, has set a Feb. 15 hearing date on the allegations.

And state Rep. Charlice Byrd, a Republican, also introduced articles of impeachment against Willis on Friday in Georgia’s lower chamber.

“Since Day One when she was elected, Fani Willis has embarrassed the criminal justice system in Fulton County and our state,” Byrd said.

Willis last week accused Wade’s estranged wife, Joycelyn Wade, of “obstructing and interfering” with their case. She is seeking a protective order to quash a subpoena for her deposition in the divorce proceedings.

Trump this week sought to use the allegations to get charges against him in Georgia dismissed, with his lawyer referring to the alleged romantic relationship in a court filing on Thursday.

In a Truth Social post on Friday that referred to Willis’ alleged relationship with Wade, Trump again said that Willis “should immediately be forced to drop” the prosecution.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com

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