By John Green
I was going to avoid commenting on the Fani Willis comedy routine playing in Atlanta. But after the last week’s events, I’m busting at the seams with snark. So here goes.
The Atlanta district attorney, Fani Willis, decided to play superhero in her own performance art production to rescue the Dems from their disastrous decision to let gropey Joe lead the party. She figured she could clear the field for Joe by indicting Donald Trump, and 18 others, on federal racketeering charges. It seems that the Donald did the same thing that every losing Democrat since Al Gore has done: he questioned the vote-counting. That’s considered “protecting our democracy” when a Democrat does it, but according to Fani, it’s criminal conspiracy when a Republican does it.
All Fani had to do was deliver Trump’s head with her RICO case and avoid making any appealable mistakes. The radicals would be treated to another four years of pulling the meat puppet’s strings, and she would become the darling of the media for at least a couple of news cycles. When she became the first D.A. in the nation to deliver Trump’s mug shot to the
commie lynch mob media, it looked as though everything was going swimmingly.
But a funny thing happed on the way to her next fawning interview. A series of rookie mistakes placed her behavior under closer scrutiny than that of the defendant. That is not an ideal way for a criminal case to proceed.
Fani’s problems started when she realized that prosecuting a RICO case is a big freaking deal (as Joe would kinda say). She needed help. So she hired two attorneys with racketeering experience…and Nathan Wade, whom she was having an adulterous affair with at the time. Naturally, Fani decided to pay her lover more than the other two attorneys. What’s the point of holding high office if it can’t be used to help one’s friends? She figured it would be okay, since nobody would be paying attention to the private lives of the prosecutors while they conduct the first ever criminal persecution of a former president using questionable legal reasoning.
Exactly what kind of guy is Nathan Wade? He’s a low-level county judge who also has a private practice specializing in personal injury cases. In other words, he’s an ambulance-chaser with little criminal prosecution experience. I wonder if he has any “Better Call Wade!” commercials on Atlanta stations. The way things are going, his limited criminal experience may soon get augmented — but with him sitting on the opposite side of the courtroom from the prosecution.
Wade is also the kind of husband who would file for divorce the day after being awarded a plum contract from his girlfriend, Fani. Additionally, he’s the kind of divorce litigant who would drain the family bank accounts and hide his new source of income from his estranged wife. That’s often tried in divorce cases, but it rarely works. Now Fani is learning that an affair with a man of questionable character can create complications for a high-profile case.
The wheels started coming off the Wade/Willis remake of Dumb and Dumber when the legal team for one of the RICO defendants, Michael Roman, raised the issue of their behavior to the court. Roman’s attorneys asked that the charges against him be dropped because of the conflict of interest created when Nathan Wade and Fani Willis profited (illegally) from the case. Roman’s lawyers allege that Fani’s boy-toy was taking her on expensive vacations, using the money that Fani was paying him from her prosecution budget. That would be the district attorney, receiving gratuities from one of her hired guns — a violation of Georgia law. Roman’s team claimed that proof of the allegation could be found in Wade’s sealed divorce records. Just like that: An ugly divorce proceeding became material to the trial of a former president, and all hell broke loose.
The judge in the RICO case, Scott McAfee, is giving Fani until February 2 to explain in writing why bumping uglies with a member of her staff isn’t a breach of ethics or detrimental to her case.
As they say in the late-night infomercials: But wait, there’s more! It turns out that Wade’s wife, Joycelyn, was a bit peeved that Nathan had left her penniless while hiding his “friends with benefits” income. So her legal team subpoenaed Fani for deposition, to get to the bottom of how much she was paying Wade for his, um…services rendered.
Fani was not happy about being drawn into an ugly divorce conflict — beyond sleeping with the husband, that is. She filed a motion with the divorce court asking to be excused from the deposition because Joycelyn was colluding with the RICO defendants, and allegedly cheated on Nathan also. Fani’s filing was the district attorney of Atlanta implying that Joycelyn Wade was committing felony obstruction of justice, and then calling her a slut for good measure. I wonder where Fani learned such shrewd legal maneuvering.
So Joycelyn did the only thing she could. Her team released the couple’s credit card statements, providing supporting evidence for the Roman allegations. That was followed by the divorce judge for the Wade case, Judge Henry Thompson, unsealing the couple’s divorce records.
Here’s where we stand with the Trump RICO prosecution. Fani has: