A fourth co-defendant in the Georgia case against former president Donald Trump has filed a motion for the court to disqualify embattled District Attorney Fani Willis.
Co-defendant David Shafer, who in 2020 served as the Georgia GOP Chairman and a GOP presidential elector for Georgia during the 2020 election, filed a motion in court Monday saying Willis has engaged in a “pattern of prosecutorial, forensic misconduct” which he says should disqualify not only her, but her entire office and prosecution staff.
Shafer’s motion follows co-defendant Michael Roman’s claims that Willis engaged in an “improper” relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade whom she hired to prosecute the sprawling racketeering case against Trump and asked the court to disqualify her from the case.
Willis on Friday responded to the allegations in a court filing and admitted to having a “personal” relationship with Wade but denied any conflict of interest. She also argued that according to Georgia law, in order for a district attorney to be forcibly removed from a case, the conflict of interest has to be harmful to a defendant’s case.
Shafer on Monday claimed that Willis has a “pattern of prejudicial public statements” about the case through various media interviews and public speeches, and claimed that in making such statements, she intended to “reject and infect the jury pool.” Shafer and his lawyers argue that this is primarily what warrants her removal.
The court filing Monday references when Willis first addressed the affair allegations in January during remarks she made at Bethel AME Church in Atlanta.
“They only attacked one,” she said. “First thing they say, ‘Oh, she’s gonna play the race card now.’
“But no God, isn’t it them that’s playing the race card when they only question one,” Willis asked.
“You cannot expect Black women to be perfect and save the world,” Willis said, adding that “we need to be allowed to stumble. We need grace.”
Shafer argued in Monday’s court filing that, “The obvious intent of her remarks was to inject and infect the jury pool in Fulton County with unfounded allegations that anyone who dares question her or Mr. Wade’s conduct must have done so for racist purposes.”
“As an attorney and, most importantly, a public prosecutor, her comments which directly affected the pending litigation were indefensible and reprehensible. These comments constitute prosecutorial, forensic misconduct and warrant her removal and that of her Office from the prosecution of this case,” the filing states.
In legal filings last month, Roman alleged that Wade billed Fulton County for 24 hours of work on a single day in November 2021, shortly after being appointed as a special prosecutor, and that Willis financially benefited from her alleged lover’s padded taxpayer-funded salary by taking lavish vacations together on his dime.
According to the court documents, Wade, who has no RICO and felony prosecution experience, billed taxpayers $654,000 since January 2022.
Shafer also argues that Willis’ employment of Wade “to investigate and prosecute the defendants and payments to Mr. Wade of over a half a million dollars from the Fulton County treasury while allowing Mr. Wade to pay for vacations for the District Attorney and other personal expenses constitutes a disqualifying conflict of interest as well as a violation of ethical rules applicable to attorneys and Fulton County employees, and potentially criminal law.”
The motion also claims that Willis’ “improper and inaccurate characterization” of Shafer and the other 2020 nominee Republican Presidential Electors as “Fake Electors” to the national media “has been exceedingly prejudicial” to Shafer, noting that “at all times material” to her indictment, Shafer was qualified as a “lawful” Presidential Elector pursuant to Georgia law through his nomination as a Presidential Elector by the Georgia Republican Party.
Shafer asked the court to keep in place a Feb. 15 evidentiary hearing set by Judge Scott McAfee, in which the parties will present evidence to try and compel the court to remove Willis and her office from the case.
Shafer’s lawyer, Craig A. Gillen, wrote Monday that he “understands and appreciates that an evidentiary hearing regarding the District Attorney’s forensic misconduct and the financial aspects of District Attorney Willis and Mr. Wade’s personal relationship that create these disqualifying conflicts of interest is unseemly and an uncomfortable experience for all involved,” and that he “does not pursue these claims lightly.”
“But, as noted,” Gillen states, “District Attorney Willis and Mr. Wade are not victims here—these are all self-inflicted and completely avoidable errors in which the defense had no hand, but are of such significance that the defense has no choice but to put them before the Court.”
Gillen said in the filing that Willis’ discomfort “pales in comparison to what Mr. Shafer – a presumptively and actually innocent man – has endured.”
“His life has been upended by unwarranted and meritless charges filed by District Attorney Willis (that she does not have the legal authority or jurisdiction to pursue),” the filing states.
The Fulton County District Attorney’s office did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
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