Cobb County

Fulton DA files protective order against special prosecutor’s wife, claims she’s threatening her

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — An attorney for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has filed a motion to quash the subpoena requiring her to testify in a divorce proceeding involving a prosecutor she hired in the racketeering case against former President Donald Trump and more than a dozen others.

Attorney Ashleigh Merchant says she stands by her motion suggesting an improper relationship between Willis and one of the special prosecutors in her election interference case against former President Trump.

She told Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne that she wishes a motion filed by Willis’ attorney on Thursday addressed whether or not such a relationship existed.

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Her office says special protective measures have long been in place for a protective order in connection with a divorce case, basically asking that the court grant a protective order quashing a subpoena for a deposition to Willis, or if not, it suggests taking other steps.

Records suggest the plaintiff in the divorce is Nathan Wade, a special prosecutor in the election interference case.

Willis’ office is pursuing the case, one of the highest-profile prosecutions in America.

“I would have never filed something like this if I didn’t have multiple sources to corroborate,” Merchant told Channel 2 Action News last week about a motion she filed in the election interference case suggesting an alleged improper relationship taints the case.

Merchant said her client, Michael Roman, is innocent of the RICO conspiracy and other charges he faces about alleged fake electors.

The protective order motion cites an act involving “protective orders for certain high-ranking members of a governmental body or public or private entity” that involves the issue of whether that person lacks unique relevant personal knowledge.

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The motion suggests Willis lacks unique personal knowledge “because the parties agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken and the concept of fault is not at issue, there is no information that District Attorney Willis could provide that might prove relevant to granting or denying the divorce.”

It also says, “On further information and belief, Defendant Joycelyn Wade has conspired with interested parties in the criminal Election Interference Case to use the civil discovery process to annoy, embarrass, and oppress District Attorney Willis.”

“Just like she did in Fulton County, Ms. Willis attempts to create a conspiracy where none exists,” Merchant said in response.

One of the alternative steps suggested in the motion by Willis’ attorney is for 180 days to complete a review of the filings in the instant case, and investigate and depose relevant witnesses about the interference and obstruction this motion contends.

Merchant said, “Since when does holding people accountable for their own actions interfere in their own prosecution? What is she worried about? How could it possibly interfere with her prosecution?”

The D.A.’s office says it will respond to Merchant’s motion in writing and in court.

Attorneys for Joycelyn Wade issued a statement Thursday, saying:

“We aim to help Ms. Wade resolve her divorce fairly and privately, but apparently Fulton County D.A. Fani Willis would prefer to use her public platform. Clearly, this matter is personal for her. Any response to the Emergency Motion filed on behalf of Fani T. Willis will come in writing through the Court. This case has a hearing set for January 31, 2024 to address requests to remove the current order to seal, as well as to hold a Temporary Hearing. Right now, we respect the Court by upholding the current order to seal the case. That is our duty.”

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