ATLANTA - Update: Former President Donald Trump will not attend the hearing on Thursday in Georgia for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, his lawyer Steve Sadow told FOX 5 Atlanta's Randy Travis.
Trump is scheduled to make an appearance on Thursday in New York in relation to the case against him there. Trump is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records in connection with hush money allegedly paid to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels during the 2016 election.
The Washington Post quotes two anonymous sources that Trump plans to be in the courtroom. If so, this would be his first time inside the Fulton County Courthouse and his first visit to Atlanta since he was booked and fingerprinted on racketeering charges last summer.
The FOX 5 I-Team says Trump attorney Steve Sadow would not confirm his client will attend, calling it "speculation right now."
Donald Trump mug shot (Source: Fulton County Sheriff's Office)
Trump co-defendant attempts to dismiss indictment, disqualify Fani Willis
Michael Roman, one of former President Trump's co-defendants, filed a motion in early January seeking to disqualify Willis and her office due to an alleged romantic relationship between Willis and Special Prosecutor Nathan Wade.
Roman's defense attorney has subpoenaed DA Willis, Wade, and several other employees in the DA's office to testify during Thursday's evidentiary hearing, saying their testimony, along with that of Wade's business partner and friend Terrence Bradley who is also scheduled to testify, will prove Willis and Wade lied about their relationship.
What is Fulton County DA Fani Willis' relationship with Nathan Wade?
Initially, Willis and Wade remained silent about their relationship, but it was eventually disclosed in a written response ordered by Judge McAfee before the upcoming hearing.
Last week, Willis filed a motion to quash the subpoenas compelling her and her staff to testify on Feb. 15. She dismissed Roman's attempt to disqualify her and Wade as a "salacious" effort lacking evidence for their removal from the case. Willis also refuted allegations that Wade was unqualified to serve as a prosecutor in the election case, labeling them as "factually inaccurate, unsupported, and malicious."
Fani WIllis and Nathan Wade (FOX 5)
Willis contends that Roman's motion is an attempt to harass and disrupt the case without substantial grounds.
Who did Trump co-defendant's attorney subpoena?
Roman's attorney issued subpoenas for the following individuals:
- District Attorney Fani T. Willis
- Executive District Attorney Daysha Young
- Deputy District Attorney Sonya Allen
- Deputy District Attorney Dexter Bond
- Special Prosecutor Nathan Wade
- Assistant Chief Investigator Michael Hill
- Deputy Executive Assistant Tia Green
- Chief of Investigations Capers Green
- Assistant Chief Investigator Thomas Ricks.
Additionally, Roman's attorney sought to subpoena the attorney who represented Wade in divorce proceedings and requested personal and business bank records belonging to Wade and his law practice.
In response, Roman's attorney filed a reply to Willis' motion on Friday, alleging that the district attorney has not been "forthright" about the relationship. The attorney claims that a witness, Wade's former partner Terrence Bradley, will provide insight challenging Wade's assertion that the pair did not begin dating until 2022.
Micahel Roman (Fulton County Sheriff's Office)
Special Prosecutor Wade also filed a motion to quash the subpoena, saying that the request for records is overly broad and a form of harassment and intimidation.
What is Michael Roman accused of in the Trump election interference case?
Roman is facing seven charges in connection with the DA office's investigation into alleged interference in Georgia's 2020 presidential election, including a violation of the Georgia RICO Act, conspiracy to impersonate a public officer, conspiracy to commit forgery in the first degree, and conspiracy to commit false statements and writing.
Judge McAfee said he would defer his ruling on whether those subpoenaed by the defense would have to testify during the two-day trial, so they may be called to take the stand during the hearing.