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Ex-Fulton County prosecutor Nathan Wade says ‘day of reckoning’ coming in Trump case

Nathan Wade, Fulton County prosecutor, at the Fulton County Courthouse in Atlanta, Georgia, US, on Friday, March 1, 2024. — Alex Slitz/AP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

(ATLANTA) — Nathan Wade, the former Fulton County, Georgia, special prosecutor who was forced to resign from the election interference case against Donald Trump after a judge’s order over his relationship with District Attorney Fani Willis, told ABC News in an interview that he believes there will be a “day of reckoning” in the case despite it being sidelined for months over scandal.


“I have to believe in the case,” Wade said in an exclusive sit-down interview with ABC’s Linsey Davis. “And I believe that, you know, there’s going to be that day of reckoning where a Fulton County jury there in Fulton County, Georgia, would have to make that decision.”

He went on to say a jury would “do the right thing” in the Georgia case against former President Trump and 14 other defendants, all of whom have pleaded not guilty. Four defendants took plea deals and agreed to cooperate.

“We talk about a verdict that speaks the truth, and that’s what I expect,” said Wade, who is now in private practice. “I expect them to listen attentively to the facts, and the evidence in the case and apply the law that the judge instructs them, and to come up with a true verdict that would speak the truth.”

Wade resigned in March following a judge’s ruling that said either he or Willis must resign due to a “significant appearance of impropriety” due to their romantic relationship. He declined to discuss facts of the case or Trump, saying his intention was to “protect the integrity of this prosecution” and he didn’t “want to say or do anything that would jeopardize this case.”

“I do not speak for the district attorney’s office. I do not speak for their position,” Wade said. “As a matter of fact, I’m certain that they would rather me not be having this exchange with you.”

On Willis, Wade said the timing “could have been better” and that she would have her own voters to answer to.

“In terms of the relationship that evolved between the district attorney and I, she certainly has to answer to the citizens who elected her,” Wade said. “And I think that she’s done a phenomenal job doing that.”

Moreover, he said the two had privately acknowledged the problematic nature of the relationship.

“She’s an intelligent woman. I like to think that I’m above average intelligence as well,” Wade said. “It wasn’t lost upon the two of us that things could bleed over into the case and start to affect it. And so, we made the adult-like decision to do what we did.”

Still, he said the citizens should have “110% unequivocal confidence” in Willis and the investigation and the two “remain friends even today.”

“How could we not?” Wade said. “The world is breathing down our necks.”

Wade’s remarks mark the first time he has spoken since leaving the case. In drawn-out, televised public hearings on the issue, both Wade and Willis testified that their relationship began in early 2022 and ended in 2023 after he was hired in 2021.

In the interview with ABC News, he called those hearings a “mockery” and said he was surprised they went forward after the court filings.

“I think it essentially made a mockery of the profession. And that hurts. I was not thrilled at all that the system that I’ve dedicated my life to, and that I’ve put so much into, would even allow a sideshow like this,” Wade said.

“I thought that it would be dealt with swiftly, without the need for an entire circus,” Wade continued, “But unfortunately, it wasn’t.”

Speaking about McAfee’s ruling that ultimately forced his resignation, Wade said he may have had a “cultural lack of understanding” about their use of cash.

“You can get that impression from a lack of understanding, could be a cultural lack of understanding. Could be a conceptual lack of understanding overall,” Wade said. “I mean, and what I mean by that is, culturally, we do things that other cultures may not. We might keep cash and other cultures may not do that.”

Wade’s comments were in response to McAfee’s order, which said an “odor of mendacity” remained on the case.

Of the relationship, he conceded that it was not “ideal timing,” and opened up about how it began.

“So, we begin to spend inordinate amounts of time communicating during the course of the investigation — nights, weekends, evenings, mornings. I can’t tell you how much time that we spent together,” Wade said. “You can imagine a case of this magnitude, how much time and preparation it takes. And that’s what it took.”

“[I]n doing so, you know, unbeknownst to me, unintended consequences would happen,” Wade continued. “We got closer and closer and closer.”

Still, Wade said he did not believe the case was compromised.

“Do you think that you’ve done any kind of damage to this case?” Davis asked him.

“None at all,” Wade responded. “None at all.”

“Even the public perception of it?” Davis pressed.

“This takes me back to the initial statement that I made,” Wade said. “My private life became the focal point of the case, and my private life has nothing to do with the merits of that prosecution.”

After working on the case for over two years, Wade reflected on bringing a case against Trump, who frequently attacks his opponents on his social media platform or at his rallies.

“I did not realize that my life would be in danger. The microscope I don’t have a problem with,” Wade said.

He recounted the barrage of threats he said he’d received.

“Upon accepting the role as special prosecutor in this case, my life and the lives of my family, my children, has changed dramatically,” Wade said.

“I got a lot of emails. You know, I was emptying my office voicemail twice, sometimes three times a day, from just people making vile and violent threats and saying things that were not appropriate or suitable for your viewers. I got hate mail, to my home, to my office. There were sometimes notes left on some of the vehicles that I might drive.”

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