Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ actions were “stunningly reckless” amid her fight to remain on the prosecution in former President Donald Trump’s Georgia election interference case, according to legal analyst Rikki Klieman on Friday.

Willis has found herself at the center of a potential ethics violation related to her alleged affair with special prosecutor Nathan Wade. This comes amid Willis’ case against the former president, in which Trump and 18 co-defendants were indicted by a Georgia grand jury in August and face criminal racketeering charges for allegedly attempting to overturn the state’s electoral results in the 2020 election won by Joe Biden. Trump, the frontrunner in the 2024 GOP presidential primary, has pleaded not guilty.

Last month, Willis gave evidence in a two-day hearing following accusations by former Trump staffer and co-defendant Michael Roman that she was having an affair with Wade. It was also alleged the pair had benefited financially from taxpayers’ money.

Willis and Wade later admitted they had a relationship, but denied a conflict of interest. The timeline of their relationship, however, has emerged as a key point of contention, with Roman saying it started earlier than they admitted and Trump’s lawyers examining phone records alleging the pair were in a relationship before the Georgia election fraud case began.

In an interview with CBS News, Klieman, a criminal defense lawyer, discussed the allegations Willis faces as her ethics hearing into whether she will be disqualified from the election interference case wraps up, adding that the district attorney’s actions relating to her relationship with Wade was “stunningly reckless.”

“In this kind of case we are talking about money. The fact that they have a relationship, although one can certainly say it was stunningly reckless, absolutely reckless, even if it happened after Nathan Wade was working for Fani Willis, but if it happened before, its even worse,” Klieman, a legal analyst for CBS News, said.

Klieman also questioned if Willis’ and Wade’s relationship is enough to disqualify them from the election interference case, adding that the decision will ultimately become about credibility.

Newsweek has reached out to Fulton County Court via email for comment.

Fani Willis
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis looks on during a hearing at the Fulton County Courthouse on Friday in Atlanta. Willis’ actions were “stunningly reckless” amid her fight to remain on the prosecution in former…


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Klieman added: “But is that alone enough to be able to dismiss the case? I can say without hesitation this case is not going to be dismissed. But is it enough to disqualify Fani Willis and or Nathan Wade from prosecuting the case? Well the question then becomes credibility.

“The judge may decide that they are ultimately, not a conflict of interest, but the appearance of impropriety of this relationship may be enough, with the idea that they may have not told the truth on the witness stand, that he might decide to disqualify Fani Willis or Nathan Wade or both. Or he may decide that this is much ado about nothing in terms of the case and perhaps these are issues that ought to be taken up by the Bar Association.”

After the end of closing arguments on Friday, Judge Scott McAfee, who is presiding over the case, said he would make a decision on disqualifying Willis within the next two weeks.

Klieman, meanwhile, is not the first legal analyst to discuss the complexity of the case against Willis.

In an interview with CNN’s Jim Acosta earlier this week, former federal prosecutor Elie Honig said Willis faces a “really close call” for disqualification.

Honig said McAfee is taking the allegations seriously, adding that he didn’t have to have a hearing, but that since he has chosen to have one, it signals a “really close call” for disqualification.

“The judge is taking a very hard look at this, the judge has had several opportunities if he wanted to just end this, he didn’t have to hold the hearing at all…But the judge said we are going to have a hearing, it’s going to be public..so it’s a really close call in my estimation based from what we’ve seen there clearly was some poor judgment exhibited by the DA. I’m not quite sure that the defendants have made out a clear financial conflict of interest at this point,” he said.