Fani Willis traveled with special counsel on several trips, court records show

Fani Willis, the Fulton County district attorney prosecuting former President Donald Trump, went on trips with the taxpayer-funded special counsel she appointed to the case, according to records revealed Friday in a divorce case involving his former spouse.

A motion filed last week by a defense attorney for one of Trump’s co-defendants accused Willis of being involved in a romantic and improper relationship with Nathan Wade, the main prosecutor leading the Georgia election interference case. On Thursday, Willis made clear she is seeking to quash a subpoena for her testimony in Wade’s divorce proceedings with his ex-wife, Joycelyn Wade, according to a court filing on Thursday.

County special prosecutor Nathan Wade, left, and executive district attorney Daysha Young confer during a hearing at Fulton County Superior Court as part of the Georgia election indictments, Friday, Dec. 1, 2023 in Atlanta. (John David Mercer/USA Today via AP, Pool)

But on Friday, a new filing seeking to keep Willis from dodging the subpoena was filed by attorneys for Wade’s ex-wife, revealing transactions by Wade that appear to show he and Willis went on a Royal Caribbean cruise together in October 2022.

The filing also references the pair’s travels to San Francisco and Napa.

“On December 22, 2023, Plaintiff only produced a portion of his outstanding required discovery responses,” Joycelyn’s attorneys wrote, referring to Nathan Wade.

“In these responses were credit card statements which demonstrated that Plaintiff had paid for and taken trips unrelated to his work with the Fulton County District Attorney’s office. Since Plaintiff filed for divorce, he has taken trips to San Francisco and Napa Valley, to Florida and even gone on Caribbean cruises, enjoyed a trip to Belize, another to the country of Panama and even just last month took a trip to Australia. The evidence is clear that Ms. Willis was an intended travel partner for at least some of these trips as indicated by flights he purchased for her to accompany him,” the filing added.

An attorney for Willis wrote in the motion to quash the subpoena that Willis’s testimony is being sought in a bid to “harass and damage” her professional reputation and accuses Joycelyn Wade of having “conspired with interested parties in the criminal Election Interference Case to use the civil discovery process to annoy, embarrass, and oppress” the district attorney.

Andrea Hastings, a lawyer for Joycelyn Wade, told the Washington Examiner following Willis’s motion that her client aims to “resolve her divorce fairly and privately” and that any response to Willis’ motion will come in a filing with the court. 

But the statement from Hastings did not hold back from making the observation that “apparently Fulton County D.A. Fani Willis would prefer to use her public platform.”

“Clearly, this matter is personal for her,” Hastings added.


Willis was served with the subpoena on the same day defense attorney Ashleigh Merchant, who represents former Trump campaign staffer and onetime White House aide Michael Roman, filed a motion alleging an improper relationship between Willis and Wade. Merchant claimed that the allegations presented a conflict of interest and led to Willis profiting personally from the prosecution. Roman’s motion seeks to have the indictment thrown out and to have Willis and Wade removed from the case.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee, who is presiding over the election interference case, on Thursday scheduled a hearing over Roman’s motion on Feb. 15, and he ordered Willis to submit to the court any response to the allegations by Feb. 2, according to an order filed Thursday.

This is a developing story and will be updated.