Special attorney hired by Fani Willis to help prosecute Trump donated big bucks to her campaign

One legal expert says the campaign donation adds to Fani Willis' mounting 'optics' problems

An expert Georgia prosecutor Fani Willis retained to help prosecute former President Trump donated $4,300 to her campaign for public office, records show. 

John Floyd, a prominent Atlanta attorney and partner at Bondurant Mixson & Elmore, was retained by Willis in 2021 to help her prosecute the former president. Floyd is one of the leading experts in Georgia’s intricate and complex racketeering statutes at play in the sweeping case against the former president. 

One expert told Fox News Digital that while Floyd’s donations present no ethical, legal or conflict-of-interest problems, the previous campaign donations could add to the mounting "optics" problems for Willis. 

According to public records, Floyd donated to Willis’ campaign for district attorney twice — $2,800 on March 20, and $1,500 on June 25, 2020, for a total of $4,300.


Fani Willis

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis testifies during a hearing in the case of the State of Georgia v. Donald John Trump at the Fulton County Courthouse Feb. 15, 2024, in Atlanta. (Alyssa Pointer)

"John Floyd’s donating to Willis’ campaign and then subsequently serving as her special RICO prosecutor present no ethical, legal or conflict-of-interest problems, regardless of his political leanings or affiliations," said John Shu, a constitutional law expert who served in both the George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush administrations.  


"Floyd is a well-known and well-respected litigator and RICO expert, and others from his law firm also donated to Willis' campaign. Besides, there’s no way that any of them could have known in the spring and summer of 2020 that a Trump RICO case even would exist," Shu added.

But, Shu said, "Willis created huge optics and conflict-of-interest problems for herself when she hired Nathan Wade, with whom she admitted to having a romantic relationship, regardless of when the relationship started," Shu said. 

"Wade apparently has no felony or RICO [Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations] experience, and Willis is paying him $100/hour more than she is paying Floyd," Shu said. 

nathan wade

Special prosecutor Nathan Wade testifies during a hearing in the case of the State of Georgia v. Donald John Trump at the Fulton County Courthouse Feb. 15, 2024, in Atlanta.  (Alyssa Pointer-Pool/Getty Images)

"She wasn’t required to disclose Floyd’s donations, and they’re a matter of public record anyway, but now they exacerbate the already-bad Wade situation. She would have been better off being as transparent as possible and disclosing everything from the beginning," Shu noted.

Both Willis and Wade confirmed they had a relationship but denied allegations of wrongdoing. Both testified in court last week that Wills always paid Wade back for her share of their travel in cash and said no receipts exist for those reimbursements.

Their testimony about the start of their relationship contradicted one witness who said she had "no doubt" that Wills and Wade’s "romantic" involvement started in 2019, before Wade was hired in 2021. 

Floyd told Fox News Digital in an email his campaign contributions "were made long before the election and could not have been related to events that had not occurred and could not have been anticipated at that time.


 "I contributed to Ms. Willis’ campaign because I knew from personal experience, including a seven-month trial as her co-counsel in 2014-15, that she would make a good district attorney. The voters reached the same conclusion, voting out a four-term incumbent," Floyd said. 

Judge Scott McAfee

Judge Scott McAfee at the Fulton County Courthouse in Atlanta Feb. 15. (Alyssa Pointer, Getty Images)

Floyd added that he had previously served as a special assistant district attorney under DAs affiliated with both political parties and under an attorney general who was elected as a Democrat but subsequently changed his affiliation to Republican. 

He then served under his successor, a Democrat. As a special assistant district attorney, Floyd said he helped prosecute a sheriff who was elected as a Democrat. 

"No one has questioned my objectivity in any of those matters. There is no reason to be concerned about it now," Floyd said. 

Public records also show that Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee, who is presiding over the Trump case and will determine if Willis' should be disqualified from prosecuting Trump and his co-defendants, also donated to her campaign. 

In 2020 — prior to his judicial appointment while he was an assistant U.S. attorney at the Justice Department — McAfee donated $150 to Willis’ campaign.

Fani Willis gets ‘achievement’ award at church, cites ‘weapons’ Bible verses after chaotic court testimonyVideo

McAfee held a two-day hearing last week to review evidence for a motion to disqualify Willis from the case. 

A bombshell admission by the defense's key witness, Terrence Bradley, the former law firm partner and divorce attorney for Wade, came after he avoided answering certain questions, citing attorney-client privilege. Judge McAfee said he would hold an "in-camera" meeting with Bradley to determine if his privilege assertions are accurate.

McAfee said Bradley's admission reopens questions about what Bradley refused to answer about what he knew about Wade and Fani Willis' romantic relationship and when he knew. Bradley refused to answer, citing attorney-client privilege.

"Mr. Bradley previously testified that the reason he left the firm was totally and completely covered by privilege. When asked by the state, he went into a factual scenario that, to my mind, I don't see how it relates to privilege at all. And so now I'm left wondering if Mr. Bradley has been properly interpreting privilege this entire time," Judge McAfee said.

McAfee is expected to determine whether Bradley should take the witness stand again further evidentiary review.

Neither Willis nor McAfee returned Fox News Digital's request for comment.

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