Who is Fani Willis, the Fulton County DA overseeing Trump's election fraud case?

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Fulton County District Attorney Fani T. Willis and the special prosecutor she admitted to having a relationship with, Nathan Wade, will appear in a two-day “misconduct” hearing on Thursday.

The televised hearing will determine whether Willis financially benefited from her relationship with Wade, which could disqualify her from the election fraud case against former President Donald Trump.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee stressed that he had not seen evidence suggesting that the allegations against Willis were true and warned lawyers that he would not entertain smear attempts through unproven allegations.

Fani Willis hearing: Georgia judge rules evidence exists to possibly disqualify DA Fani Willis in Trump election case

“If there’s anything that is referring to … harassment or undue embarrassment, I’m not going to feel inhibited from stepping in, even without an objection from counsel, to move this along and keep it focused on the issues at hand,” McAfee said during an emergency hearing Monday.

Here’s what you should know ahead of Thursday’s hearing.

Who is Fani Willis?

Willis is the Fulton County district attorney overseeing a criminal investigation into whether Trump attempted to influence Georgia election officials to overturn Trump’s 2020 loss in the state to President Joe Biden.

What is Fani Willis being accused of?

Willis has been accused of having an improper relationship with Wade, who she hired as an outside consultant to work as a special prosecutor in the case, and receiving financial benefit from the relationship.

Ashleigh Merchant, a lawyer representing one of Trump's codefendants, has alleged that Wade used some of the more than $650,000 he's been paid as special prosecutor to take Willis on vacations to California wine country, Florida and Caribbean cruises. More recently, Merchant alleged that the affair began before Willis hired Wade − and thus has created a conflict of interest that irrevocably taints the case.

Fani Willis admits to relationship: Fani Willis admits to relationship with prosecutor. What does that mean for the Trump case?

Willi admitted that she and Wade were involved in a romantic relationship on Feb. 2 but said she wasn't stepping down from the case and maintained that she has not financially benefited from it.

"To be absolutely clear, the personal relationship between Special Prosecutor Wade and District Attorney Willis has never involved direct or indirect financial benefit to District Attorney Willis," Willis said in a court filing. Willis did not say if the relationship was ongoing, according to USA Today.

Another Fulton County prosecutor defended Willis

Fulton County prosecutor Anna Cross defended Willis, claiming that Merchant’s claims were either made up or mistaken.

Cross claimed that Trump’s attorneys’ attempts to subpoena and cross-examine as many as nine prosecutors, security officials and others involved in the case or close to Wade or Willis are based on “wild speculation.”

According to Cross, Wade and Willis split the costs of their trips together and did not use taxpayer money to pay Wade and his law firm as compensation for the Trump case for vacations.

Trump may attend Fani Willis hearing Thursday

The Washington Post reported on Monday that Trump plans to attend Thursday’s hearing in Atlanta, according to two people they spoke to under anonymity. A spokeswoman from the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office said they were unaware of any of Trump’s plans.

What would happen if Fani Willis is disqualified from the election fraud case against Trump?

If Willis were to be disqualified, the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia would pick up the case and pick which prosecutors it would ultimately go to.

Who was Fani Willis' husband?

Fani Willis was married to Fred Willis from 1996 to 2005, according to a Time article. They have two daughters together.

Who is Nathan Wade's wife?

Nathan and Joycelyn Wade married in 1997 and separated on Aug. 15, 2021, according to a Fox 5 story. Nathan filed for divorce on Nov. 2, 2021. Their divorce has yet to be finalized.

This article originally appeared on Pensacola News Journal: Who is Fani Willis, Fulton County DA overseeing election fraud case?