Tue. Apr 23rd, 2024

Fani Willis misconduct hearing resumes in Trump Georgia election case

By 37ci3 Feb17,2024


A hearing on whether Fulton County District Attorney Fannie Willis should be disbarred from her Georgia election meddling case against former President Donald Trump ended Friday without a verdict.

Two days of controversial testimony, including a bomb At Willis’ appearance Thursday, attorneys for the defendants challenged the district attorney and special prosecutor Nathan Wade to lie under oath about the timeline of their relationship.

The effort asserted attorney-client privilege over Willis’ and Wade’s earlier filings, as Wade’s former law partner, who briefly represented him in his divorce on Friday, failed to challenge earlier claims. Allegations that Willis had an inappropriate relationship with Wade could undermine Georgia’s election meddling case if Trump is impeached.

According to the defense’s presentation, Bradley has knowledge that would contradict Willis and Wade’s claims that their relationship did not begin after Wade began working as a special prosecutor. But Bradley said his working relationship with Wade began in 2018 and that he could not disclose anything he saw or learned because of attorney-client privilege. Still, he couldn’t recall ever paying Wade, he said.

Bradley also claimed privilege over sexual assault allegations against him and subsequently left his partnership with Wade as the district attorney’s attorneys tried to undermine his credibility. His use of the privilege prompted new questions from Judge Scott McAfee, who oversaw the case, about whether Bradley properly interpreted the privilege.

McAfee said he plans to schedule an additional hearing with opportunities for both sides to present additional legal briefs.

Earlier in the day, Willis’ father defended what the district attorney said The practice of keeping large amounts of cash at home is an allegation that goes to the heart of the dispute over who paid for Willis’ trips with special counsel Nathan Wade.

“I don’t want to be racist … but this is a black thing,” retired attorney John Floyd III said in testimony Friday. “Most black people hide money. They keep cash.”

And testified that Willis had a girlfriend in 2019 that he would see frequently while living with her. Floyd said he didn’t meet Wade or hear of him until last year.

Willis’ father also described “nightmare threats” to his daughter’s safety after taking office, a situation a witness previously said led him to move into a condo rented by a former friend.

“They said they will blow up the house. They would kill him. They would kill me. They were going to kill my grandkids,” she said, describing a situation in which she removed racist and sexist slurs from her home. “I mean, constantly. And it just happened – and I was concerned for his safety.

Fulton County District Attorney Fanny Willis
Fulton County District Attorney Fannie Willis testifies during a Georgia election meddling hearing Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024, in Atlanta. Alyssa Pointer/Pool via AP

She said she didn’t want to know where Willis lived after leaving her home and never visited. Willis said Thursday that the attacks on her have become “so extreme” that she can no longer live in her home.

The hearing turned into a dispute over when Willis and Wade began dating and whether the relationship predated his appointment as special prosecutor in the case.

A friend of Willis described “hugging, kissing, just love” between the district attorney and Wade in November 2021, contrasting the former couple.

Willis was not called to testify again Friday after his district attorney’s attorney said the state had no further questions for him.

Willis’ office is seeking to expunge his airline records, according to a lawyer for one of Trump’s accusers. It may reflect previously undisclosed visits between Willis and Wade, as Willis personally benefited from their relationship. Lawyers face allegations of malpractice over it It could lead to Willis’ suspension from work.

In a surprise twist, Willis declined to testify Thursday after disputing the timeline of her relationship with ex-boyfriend Wade. Willis admitted this month She said she had a personal relationship with Wade but denied it was wrong.

“You are confused; you think I’m on trial,” Willis said Thursday in one of several contentious exchanges with lawyers for Trump and his co-defendants. “These people are being prosecuted for trying to steal the election in 2020. No matter how hard you try to prosecute me, I’m not being prosecuted.”

Robin Yeartie, who first met Willis in college and worked in the district attorney’s office until 2022, claimed that Wade and Willis could be romantically involved in November 2021, contradicting an affidavit they signed earlier. But both prosecutors repeatedly insisted during Thursday’s testimony that their relationship began “in early 2022” and ended last year. Wade testified that they wanted to prove that Willis paid him cash for the trips, which appear in bank records, and that Trump and his co-defendants benefited financially from their connections.

Willis’ ouster would be a major shakeup in the sprawling racketeering case against Trump, with delays in finding a new prosecution team making it increasingly difficult to proceed with the trial ahead of November’s presidential election.

After Wade’s testimony ended, “I ran to court,” Willis said. Her appearance brought a dramatic turn to the day.

“I was pacing in my office and I heard someone say that their testimony was done … so it made sense that I would be the next witness,” he said.

Willis testified for hours at Thursday’s hearing, where she discussed paying Wade thousands of dollars for trips they took together and answered detailed questions about the timeline of their relationship.

Willis in August charged Trump and 18 co-defendants with conspiring to overturn Georgia’s 2020 presidential election. Four defendants pleaded guilty, while Trump faces 13 charges he pleaded not guilty.



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