The plaintiff is arguing that the DA’s alleged conduct compromises her RICO case and is seeking to dismiss the indictment.
An attorney representing one of the defendants in the high-profile election racketeering case, which Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is prosecuting, is countersuing the district attorney for allegedly failing to produce documents to the defense and “intentionally withholding information” in violation of state law.
Ms. Merchant represents Michael Roman, a GOP strategist who was involved in the 2020 Trump Campaign. Mr. Roman, former President Donald Trump, and 13 others are defendants in a large-scale case alleging their efforts to challenge the 2020 election results violated Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and amounted to 40 other crimes.
He is arguing that the conduct of the district attorney compromises the case and is seeking to dismiss the indictment and disqualify Ms. Willis and Nathan Wade, the attorney hired to prosecute the election case.
Neither Ms. Willis nor Mr. Wade have publicly responded to questions about the nature of their relationship.
Mr. Wade was one of the prosecutors Ms. Merchant has subpoenaed to testify in the election case.
“Mr. Roman has subpoenaed Willis and Wade to testify at the February 15, 2024 hearing,” the lawsuit reads.
The nature of the relationship has become an issue because it speaks to whether the district attorney “has otherwise used public monies for her personal gain,” Ms. Merchant argues.
The district attorney’s office did not respond to inquiries from The Epoch Times.
Under Georgia’s Open Records Act, the public has the right to access government records to “evaluate the expenditure of public funds and the efficient and proper functioning of its institutions.”
Ms. Merchant argued that the District Attorney’s Office has “refused, without adequate explanation” to provide such information, which she is seeking in her defense of Mr. Roman.
These reports include payments to “third party media companies that were hired (with taxpayer funds) to track the impact of Ms. Willis’ statements to the media and whether such statements were viewed favorably by the public,” the lawsuit reads, adding that this contract began shortly before Ms. Willis brought her election case.
Ms. Merchant is requesting all bids, contracts, or agreements for the appointment and payment for the contractors: The Law Offices of Nathan Wade, Christopher Campbell PC, The Cross Firm LLC, Anna Cross, Bondurant Mixon & Elmore LLP, and Terrance Bradley.
She had made the request Sept. 7, 2023, less than a month after the indictment, and followed up several times before her request was closed without response.
“One can only assume that this was done intentionally with the hope that Ms. Merchant would simply accept that the request had been ‘closed’ with all documents provided and move on,” she added in a footnote.
Other Lawsuits, Investigations
Separately, Judicial Watch sued the district attorney for documents regarding the hiring of Mr. Wade on Jan. 30, after Fulton County failed to respond to an earlier request for the files under Georgia’s Open Records Act.
Mr. Roman’s allegations have created much negative attention for the district attorney but it is yet unclear how it may impact the election case.
A Fulton County Superior Court judge has given the district attorney a Feb. 2 deadline to file a response to Mr. Roman’s motion to dismiss.