(NewsNation) — Several “whistleblowers” in Georgia reportedly want to talk to a panel investigating Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, the lead prosecutor in an election interference case against former President Donald Trump.
A special panel is looking into whether Willis misused state money by engaging in an alleged romantic relationship with Nathan Wade, a member of her team prosecuting Trump. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports panel members plan to hire an outside attorney and researcher.
State lawmakers said Friday there are quite a few whistleblowers who are eager to speak to the panel.
Ashleigh Merchant, the lawyer who represents Michael Roman, one of Trump’s co-defendants, claimed in a motion filed Friday that Willis and Wade were not forthright about their relationship. The affair, Merchant says, started before the racketeering case against Trump.
Merchant said she has plane tickets, bank statements and documents showing Wade billed Willis at least $728,000 in legal fees so far that prove her assertions.
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An evidentiary hearing on Willis’ case is scheduled for Thursday. While the district attorney’s office is trying to dismiss it, pressure is growing on her by the day.
Republican state Sen. Bill Cowsert, who is spearheading the panel probing Wills and Wade, told reporters Friday the public loses confidence in the fairness of the criminal justice system if they think prosecutors are just going through with cases so their lovers can get rich. He argued this is not a “witch hunt.”
“It was after the Atlanta Journal(-Constitution) and other Atlanta news outlets began reporting a lot of troubling allegations of prosecution for personal gain, misuse of federal funds, misuse of state funds, potential improprieties, improper relationships … (that) the state Senate got interested,” Cowsert said, according to the AJC.
Willis acknowledged in a previous court filing of having a “personal relationship” with Wade, though she denied any conflict of interest. The filing calls the allegations “salacious” and says they “garnered the media attention they were designed to obtain.”
Wade, in an affidavit accompanying Willis’ filing, confirmed he and the district attorney developed personal relationship in addition to their “professional association and friendship.”
However, Wade said he never lived with Willis, nor shared a financial account or household expenses with her.
Both he and Willis were “financially independent professionals; expenses or personal travel were roughly divided equally between us.”
“I have no financial interest in the outcome of the 2020 election interference case or in the conviction of any defendant,” he wrote.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.