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Judge sets hearing on Trump co-defendant’s ‘romantic relationship’ allegations against Georgia DA Fani Willis

The judge presiding over Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s racketeering and election interference case against former President Donald Trump and others has set a Feb. 15 hearing date on misconduct allegations against the district attorney.

In a court filing this month, Michael Roman, a co-defendant in the Trump case, alleged Willis was in a “romantic relationship” with special prosecutor Nathan Wade.

Roman contends the pair and the DA’s office should be disqualified from prosecuting the case and the criminal charges dismissed “on the grounds that the district attorney and the special prosecutor have 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.”

“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.”

A spokesperson for the DA’s office said this month that they’d respond to the allegations in a court filing and declined further comment.

In his order Thursday setting a hearing date, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee directed the DA’s office to respond to the motion by Feb. 2.

Roman’s filing does not provide direct evidence to support the claims, citing only “sources with knowledge” while raising questions about the process by which Willis hired Wade.

Roman’s attorney, Ashleigh Merchant, has told NBC News that some of the evidence could not be shared until Wade’s divorce records are unsealed.

“At a hearing, the concrete evidence would be presented,” she said.

Roman, a former Trump White House aide and campaign staffer, was one of 19 people charged in the case. He is accused of conspiring to organize “alternate electors” to cast votes for Trump after Joe Biden’s won the election in the state in 2020.

Four defendants have pleaded guilty in the case, while the others, including Roman and Trump, have pleaded not guilty.

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