After exiting Trump election interference case, Nathan Wade has a lot to say

Ex-special prosecutor quizzed about sex life with DA in comedy sketch
Former special prosecutor Nathan Wade attends the primary victory party for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis in Buckhead on Tuesday, May 21, 2024 (Ben Hendren for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Ben Hendren

Credit: Ben Hendren

Former special prosecutor Nathan Wade attends the primary victory party for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis in Buckhead on Tuesday, May 21, 2024 (Ben Hendren for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

He has popped up on three national news outlets and in a crude comedic interview on “The Daily Show.” He celebrated publicly at Fani Willis’ primary night victory party and watched from a pew as the district attorney delivered a speech to Black church leaders.

Lately, Nathan Wade has been hard to miss.

Wade’s romance with Willis nearly upended Fulton County’s election interference case against former President Donald Trump — and still could, if an appeals court sides with the defense. After he resigned, some thought the former special prosecutor would keep a low profile. Instead, Wade has grabbed the spotlight with a blitz of national interviews even as the Georgia Court of Appeals is scrutinizing whether his relationship with the DA should disqualify her from the case.

It isn’t sitting well with some Willis allies.

“I think it is an unnecessary distraction and disrespectful to both the process and the DA for Mr. Wade to be giving interviews at this time,” former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin said.

Georgia State University Law School Professor Anthony Michael Kreis speculated that Wade might be seeking a TV contract. “And how can that be a positive thing for the Fulton DA’s office — I think it would be a constant worry that some internal deliberations might get slipped on national television,” he said in a post on X.

Contacted by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Andrew Evans, a lawyer for Wade, said he had no comment.

‘Everything OK?’

When news of the Wade-Willis relationship broke early this year, it sidelined Fulton County’s election interference case against Trump and his 14 remaining co-defendants for two months. Willis had paid Wade more than $700,000 for his work and defense attorneys argued that created a conflict of interest that should disqualify the DA and her entire office. Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee ruled in March that Willis could stay but only if Wade stepped aside. He resigned hours later.

Just days after that, Wade was set to break his silence with an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” NBC was already promoting the exclusive interview when Wade abruptly canceled, citing a family emergency.

But in early May he sat down for an interview with ABC News where he said workplace romances are “as American as apple pie.”

He was soon on MSNBC, discussing, among other things, the threats he’s received while working on the Trump case.

His appearance last week on CNN went viral after a bizarre moment where his media consultant halted the interview and pulled Wade aside, presumably to discuss his answers to questions about a timeline of his relationship with Willis. The pause lasted less than one minute but was broadcast by the network.

“Everything OK?” CNN’s Kaitlin Collins asked when he sat back down. “Yeah,” Wade replied with a smile.

During the interview, Wade accepted no responsibility for the case being turned upside down. “I don’t believe my actions played a role in it at all,” he told Collins.

And in an interview on “The Daily Show,” the comedian Marlon Wayans, playing the character ‘Quon, grills Wade on his sex life with Willis. At one point, Wayans made sexually risque’ poses when Wade recalled interviews for the job of special prosecutor.

(The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s requests for an interview with Wade have not been answered).


In his interview with ABC, Wade made clear that he wasn’t speaking for the DA’s office. “As a matter of fact, I’m certain they would rather me not be having this exchange with you,” he told the news outlet.

Nonetheless, defense attorneys have been closely watching Wade’s comments for any inconsistencies that can help their appeal.

Ashleigh Merchant, who represents former Trump campaign official Mike Roman, sat for her own interview with CNN and said it was “ridiculous” for Wade to claim defense lawyers were using his romance with Willis to fuel delays and distraction. “We are not the ones causing delay,” Merchant said. “These delays are nothing but their own fault.”

Former DeKalb County District Attorney J. Tom Morgan said Wade’s interviews are legally dicey.

Prosecutors are limited in what they can say about an ongoing case before trial, in part, because they don’t want to do anything that could prejudice a jury. Wade’s exit doesn’t mean that goes away, Morgan said.

“Just because he isn’t part of the case anymore doesn’t mean that rules of professional conduct don’t apply,” Morgan said.

While Wade has stayed away from details of the Trump criminal case, he has talked about his relationship with Willis. That relationship is at the center of the case currently before the Georgia Court of Appeals.

“It’s a sideshow, but the sideshow is the show,” Morgan said.

Then there is the public relations problem. Wade’s appearance at two high-profile Willis events have attracted attention at a time the DA looking to move on from questions about her personal life.

Nathan Wade sits in the back of the sanctuary as Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis addressed the Sixth Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church’s annual planning meeting at Turner Chapel AME Church in Marietta on Thursday, June 13, 2024.   (Ben Gray /

Credit: Ben Gray

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Credit: Ben Gray

Democratic political strategist Rick Dent said Wade may be aiming to rehabilitate his reputation.

“But the most important thing is the case,” Dent said. “This is distracting from the case. He needs to go away and not do any more interviews, ever.”

Ongoing divorce

Wade’s high public profile comes as he continues to grapple with the contentious divorce proceedings that sparked the disqualification saga.

Defense lawyers used credit card records uncovered as part of his divorce to help make their case that Willis should be ousted. Those invoices showed he had paid for airline tickets and other expenses for trips he and Willis took together while he was working for her.

The Wades’ messy divorce had collided with one of the biggest prosecutions in the nation. Wade — and possibly Willis — might have to testify under oath about details of their personal lives.

But the day before Nathan Wade was scheduled to take the stand, he and his estranged wife, Joycelyn, reached a temporary divorce agreement.

The matter seemed settled. But in April, Joycelyn Wade’s lawyers claimed Nathan Wade had failed to pay her medical bills as promised in the agreement. In a motion, they said that was preventing her from receiving urgently needed treatment and asked Cobb County Superior Court Judge Henry Thompson to find Nathan Wade in contempt.

Nathan Wade responded by asking the judge to modify the agreement, saying that since he resigned as special prosecutor he “is no longer able to provide the financial support and meet the financial obligations set forth in the temporary order.”

On May 16, Joycelyn Wade’s attorneys fired back. They said that three days before Nathan Wade’s attorney asked to modify the agreement because of his client’s reduced income, Wade had received two checks for $53,000 for his past work as special prosecutor. Those checks are evidence of Wade’s “lack of candor and deceit,” the filing said.

Thompson has scheduled a hearing on July 17.