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Fani Willis accepts Nathan Wade’s resignation stressing the stakes of Trump’s Georgia case

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has accepted the resignation of her outside prosecutor and former romantic partner who was hired to lead a sprawling criminal case against Donald Trump and his allies for their alleged scheme to overturn Georgia’s election results in 2020.

Nathan Wade’s notice arrived hours after Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee determined that Ms Willis and her office should step aside or Mr Wade should withdraw following several days of hearings on allegations that she financially benefited from his hiring.

His letter to Ms Willis and her reply underscored Mr Trump’s alleged efforts to overthrow 2020 results and the years of work among prosecutors to get the case to trial, after they spent weeks hearing salacious allegations from Mr Trump and his allies that prosecutors argue were designed to embarass them and distract from the case against the former president.

In his resignation letter, Mr Wade wrote that “the furtherance of the rule of law and democracy is and has always been the North Star of our combined efforts in the prosecution of those who are alleged to have attempted to overthrow the results of Georgia’s 2020 presidential election.”

He offered his resignation “in the interest of democracy, in dedication to the American public, and to move this case forward as quickly as possible,” he added.

“I am proud of the work our team has accomplished in investigating, indicting, and litigating this case,” he wrote. “Seeking justice for the people of Georgia and the United States, and being part of the effort to ensure that the rule of law and democracy are preserved, has been the honor of a lifetime.”

Nathan Wade (AP)
Nathan Wade (AP)

Writing in response, Ms Willis noted that Mr Wade and his family have endured threats and “unjustified attacks in the media and in court” on his reputation.

“I will always remember – and will remind everyone – that you were brave enough to step forward and take on the investigation and prosecution of the allegations that the defendants in this case engaged in a conspiracy to overturn Georgia’s 2020 presidential election,” she wrote.

“Others who were considered were understandably concerned for the safety of themselves and their families that would arise from their acceptance of your role,” she added. “You were the one who had the courage to accept the role, even though you did not seek it.”

The former president and more than a dozen co-defendants – including his allies Mark Meadows, Rudy Giuliani, Jeffrey Clark and John Eastman – are accused of mounting a statewide effort to unlawfully reverse his election loss in the aftermath of the 2020 election.

They allegedly mounted a so-called “fake elector” scheme to falsely assert his victory in a state he lost to Joe Biden, conspired to seize voting machines, intimidated election workers, and pushed the state’s top election official to “find” votes he would need to win.

Four of Mr Trump’s original co-defendants in the Fulton County case – including attorneys Kenneth Chesebro, Jenna Ellis and Sidney Powell – pleaded guilty last year after reaching plea deals with prosecutors.

Earlier this week, the judge dismissed several charges against Mr Trump and five of his co-defendants that stemmed from their alleged pressure campaign to solicit state officials to violate their oaths of office and subvert the state’s election results.

Judge McAfee, however, did not toss out the central racketeering charge facing all the defendants, nor did he dismiss the “overt acts” that support their alleged scheme to pressure Georgia lawmakers and secretary of state Brad Raffensperger.

Ms Willis can re-open an indictment against them. She can also appeal the judge’s decision.