Prosecutor leaves Georgia election case against Trump after judge’s ruling

A special prosecutor who had a romantic relationship with Fulton County district attorney Fani Willis formally withdrew on Friday from the Georgia election interference case against former president Donald Trump after a judge ruled one of them had to leave the case for it to move forward.

Lawyer Nathan Wade’s role in the prosecution had come under fire since a lawyer representing one of Mr Trump’s co-defendants alleged in early January that Mr Wade and Ms Willis were involved in an “inappropriate relationship” that resulted in Ms Willis profiting improperly from the prosecution.

Mr Wade offered his resignation in a letter to Ms Willis, saying he was doing so “in the interest of democracy”.

Georgia Election Indictment
Fulton County district attorney Fani Willis (Alex Slitz/AP)

Judge McAfee did not find that Ms Willis’s relationship with Mr Wade amounted to a conflict of interest that should disqualify her from the case.

However, he said, the allegations created an “appearance of impropriety” that infected the prosecution team.

The sprawling indictment charges Mr Trump and more than a dozen other defendants with violating Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisations Act, known as Rico.

The case uses a statute normally associated with mobsters to accuse the former president, lawyers and other aides of a “criminal enterprise” to keep him in power after he lost the 2020 election to Democrat Joe Biden.

Mr Trump, the Republicans’ presumptive presidential nominee for 2024, has denied doing anything wrong and pleaded not guilty.

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