Credit card statements show Trump special prosecutor appointed by Georgia DA Fani Willis bought her plane tickets
ATLANTA — Nathan Wade, the outside special prosecutor appointed by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to oversee her criminal racketeering case against Donald Trump, purchased plane tickets for the DA for trips together, according to credit card statements included in a court filing Friday obtained by NBC News.
A co-defendant in the Trump case, Michael Roman, had previously made misconduct accusations against the pair, alleging they had been “engaged in an improper, clandestine personal relationship during the pendency of this case, which has resulted in the special prosecutor, and, in turn, the district attorney, profiting significantly from this prosecution at the expense of the taxpayers.”
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee has scheduled a hearing on the allegations for Feb. 15.
The credit card statements showing Wade had purchased tickets for himself and Willis to travel San Francisco and Miami in 2022 and 2023 were attached to a filing by Wade’s estranged wife Joycelyn Wade in the couple’s ongoing divorce case in Cobb County, Georgia.
The DA’s office declined to comment on the credit card statements.
A member of Fulton County’s board of commissioners said in a statement Friday that he would pursue a “full investigation” into the allegations that Willis had an improper relationship with Wade.
“Under no circumstances should an elected official contract with or hire someone who they are in a romantic relationship with,” said commissioner Bob Ellis, adding that in the absence of such a relationship “accepting favors and extravagant gifts from such contractors should also be considered improper.”
Ellis, who serves as chairman of the county’s audit committee, sent a letter to Willis on Friday requesting documents related to the appointment of special prosecutors, payment and invoices for special prosecutors’ services dating back to Jan. 1, 2021.
In a filing Thursday, Willis had accused Joycelyn Wade of trying to “harass” her and “damage her professional reputation” for subpoenaing her for a deposition in the divorce case. Willis said the wife had “conspired with interested parties in the Criminal Election Interference Case to use the civil discovery process to annoy, embarrass and oppress District Attorney Willis.”
The DA said that the Wades have been living apart since 2021 and have agreed in court filings that their marriage is “irretrievably broken,” and that she does not have any information “that might prove relevant to granting or denying the divorce.”
Joycelyn Wade painted a different picture in her filing, which was first reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and said Willis has information about her husband’s finances.
She said her husband filed for divorce on Nov. 2, 2021 — a day after Willis appointed him as special prosecutor. Joycelyn Wade said she had been kept in the dark about the appointment, which resulted in “substantial income” for her husband to which she was not privy.
The court filing said Nathan Wade had left her “with little means of financial support while simultaneously spending tens of thousands of dollars per month on a very lavish lifestyle.”
“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 said.
The statements show one of the tickets cost almost $900 and the other almost $500.
Roman’s filing suggested Wade and Willis were in a “romantic relationship,” a sentiment echoed in Joycelyn Wade’s filing.
“Defendant seeks to depose Ms. Willis in order to determine details surrounding her romantic affair with Plaintiff, as there appears to be no reasonable explanation for their travels apart from a romantic relationship,” the filing said.
“Contrary to Ms. Willis’s belief, the Defendant is not utilizing the deposition to harass her but rather to seek pertinent information from her husband’s paramour regarding her relationship with Plaintiff and the extent of the Plaintiff’s financial involvement in the same. These answers are relevant to the equitable division of the marital estate, dissipation of marital assets, and the Plaintiff’s capacity to provide spousal support,” it added.
A Cobb County judge has set an emergency hearing for Monday at 11:30 a.m. ET to hear arguments on Willis’ effort to block the subpoena and whether to unseal the divorce records in the case.
Invoices attached to Roman’s court filing last week show Wade has been being paid $250 an hour for his work on the case, and his law firm has been paid at least $550,000 since 2022 for his work on the sprawling 19–defendant case.
Roman is using the alleged relationship to contend that Willis, Nathan Wade and the DA’s office should be disqualified from prosecuting the case and the criminal charges against him dismissed. He alleged that Willis had sidestepped the proper procedure to appoint Wade, thereby tainting the entire case.
“Instead of handling this case within her office, as she could have done,” the filing said, Willis “chose to hire a private special prosecutor to preside over the case,” and in doing so used the prosecution “to pay her partner a large sum of money.”
Willis has not yet responded to the allegations, and her office has said she would in a court filing. McAfee has ordered her office to respond to Roman’s filing by Feb. 2.
Attorneys for Roman and Joycelyn Wade did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Four defendants have pleaded guilty in the election case, while the others, including Roman and Trump, have pleaded not guilty.
Blayne Alexander and Charlie Gile reported from Atlanta, Dareh Gregorian from New York.