By: Donald V. Watkins
Copyrighted and Published on January 14, 2024
An Editorial Opinion
Based upon the publicly available evidence, Fulton County, Georgia District Attorney Fani T. Willis had an exceptionally tight RICO case against Donald J. Trump and his 18 co-defendants. Willis’ RICO case was the most threatening one of Trump’s four criminal prosecutions.
Willis’ RICO case was announced on August 14, 2023. Since then, former Trump attorneys Jenna Ellis, Sidney Powell, and Kenneth Chesebro, and bail bondsman Scott Hall have all entered guilty pleas and agreed to testify in any trials related to the case.
On January 8, 2024, it was alleged that a special prosecutor Fani T. Willis hired to work on Trump’s case -- Nathan J. Wade – was her married lover. It was also alleged that Willis financially benefitted from this previously undisclosed personal relationship.
The Willis-Wade relationship is described in detail in a motion filed on behalf of defendant Michael Roman, a former Trump campaign official and co-defendant, that seeks to have the criminal charges against him dismissed and for Willis, Wade and the entire DA’s office to be disqualified from further prosecution of the case.
Nathan J. Wade Lacks the Basic Qualifications as a RICO Prosecutor.
Any objective review of Nathan J. Wade’s qualifications shows that he lacks the basic qualifications to serve as a special prosecutor in Trump’s RICO case.
Wade is not even qualified under Georgia law to serve as a court-appointed defense counsel for an indigent defendant in a state RICO case.
According to his firm’s website (Wade and Campbell), Nathan J. Wade is a former city court prosecutor who handled run-of-the mill misdemeanor cases. He also describes himself as a “natural born trial attorney.”
Wade has also served as an associate municipal court judge and, on occasion, as a pro hac state court judge.
All of these are low-level positions within Georgia’s criminal justice system.
In his private practice, Wade is regarded as an “ambulance chaser” in major car wreck cases. He also handles divorces, contract disputes, and other types of civil disputes.
Wade lists no landmark cases on his firm’s bio page.
Nathan J. Wade has a Martindale-Hubbell five-star rating based upon reviews submitted by two people. However, Wade does not have a Martindale-Hubbell “AV” rating, which must be awarded by a committee of Wade's legal peers in Marietta, Georgia.
The “AV” rating is the highest peer rating standard. This is given to attorneys who are ranked at the highest level of professional excellence for their legal expertise, communication skills, and ethical standards by their peers.
Wade also lacks the lower “Distinguished” and “Notable” peer review ratings, as well.
The credential for Wade’s law partner, Christopher Campbell, are weaker than those for Wade.
Did Wade’s Presence in this Case Taint the Trump Grand Jury?
A series of contracts Fani T. Willis executed with Nathan Wade and his law firm gave Wade a key role in the case against Donald Trump. Wade led the prosecution team's presentation to the special grand jury that spent nearly eight months in 2022 collecting evidence and hearing witness testimony in Trump’s RICO case.
Wade has also led Willis’ prosecution team in numerous pretrial proceedings in the case.
According to his billing records, Wade also had two 8-hour meetings with Joe Biden's White House Counsel in 2022.
As such, Nathan J. Wade has been an active participant in the Donald Trump case since the special grand jury proceedings began in the case.
Wade and Campbell has been paid nearly $654,000 in legal fees since January 2022. Did Fani Willis personally authorize these payments? We don't know.
Wade's Billings in Trump's Case are Problematic
An objective review of the itemized invoices submitted by Nathan J. Wade suggests that Wade has engaged in the pattern and practice of "gouging" Fulton County taxpayers, based upon the systematic maximation of billable hours submitted at his approved billing rate of $250 per hour.
While the hourly rate for Nathan J. Wade was capped at $250 per hour, the number of billable hours per day was not.
Who reviewed Nathan Wade's invoices to determine if they were reasonable? For example, who verified that Wade actually spent 8 hours with White House Counsel on two occasions, as he claimed in his invoices? We don't know.
It is well-known within the legal profession that invoices submitted by attorneys who are going through personal divorce proceedings should be subjected to heightened scrutiny.
Furthermore, it does not appear that the multiple legal services contracts executed between Willis’ office and the Wade and Campbell law firm were submitted to the appropriate regulatory contract review committee and approved by this body.
Additionally, there are new allegations that Fani T. Willis may have financial benefitted from the flow of money to Nathan J. Wade. These allegations require a thorough and independent investigation by Georgia’s ethics commission.
Michael Roman’s motion alleges that Willis and Wade have been involved in a romantic relationship that began before Wade was appointed special prosecutor. It also alleges that the couple traveled together to Napa Valley and Florida, and they cruised the Caribbean together using tickets Wade purchased from Norwegian and Royal Caribbean cruise lines.
If true, these allegations taint the prosecution of Donald J. Trump by Willis and Wade.
The motion also alleges that the checks sent to Nathan J. Wade from Fulton County and Wade’s subsequent purchase of vacations for Willis could amount to honest services fraud, a federal crime in which a vendor gives impermissible kickbacks to an employer. According to the motion, it is also possible that the actions of Willis and Wade could be prosecuted under the federal racketeering statute.
It's too early in the litigation to determine the validity of these claims.
Trump’s RICO Case is No Longer About Trump’s Election Fraud in Georgia; Now, It’s all About an illicit Love Affair between Fani T. Willis and Her Married Boyfriend.
Fani T. Willis took a rock-solid RICO and conspiracy case against Donald Trump and his 18 co-defendants and blew it. Her conduct in hiring an objectively unqualified Nathan J. Wade to serve as a lead special prosecutor in Trump’s RICO case has turned a solid criminal case into a circus about her sex life with a married man.
For the first time, Donald Trump’s RICO case is dripping with "reasonable doubt." Here are a few examples of such "reasonable doubt:"
1. Was Donald Trump investigated and prosecuted for the purpose of enriching Nathan j. Wade, Fani T. Willis’ alleged illicit lover?
2. Did Nathan J. Wade have a financial motive and pecuniary interest in seeking an indictment in Donald Trump’s case that was not disclosed to the grand jurors?
3. Was Nathan J. Wade qualified for his prominent prosecutorial role in Trump’s case in the first place?
4. Were the contracts executed between Willis’ office and Wade’s firm approved by the appropriate contract review oversight bodies? If not, why not?
5. Did Fani T. Willis benefit, directly or indirectly, from any payments she approved for Nathan J. Wade and his law firm?
6. Who in the District Attorney’s office reviewed invoices submitted by Nathan J. Wade and approved them for payment? Did Willis see any invoice submitted by Wade prior to its payment?
7. Did Fani Willis know that the contracts executed between the District Attorney’s office and Wade and Campbell provided the funding for any romantic interludes with Nathan J. Wade to exotic ports of call?
8. Was this Brady material disclosed to all defendants after they were indicted last August?
Today, Trump’s Georgia RICO case is a hot mess and Fani T. Willis has no one to blame but herself.