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DA Fani Willis, Trump prosecutor may testify about affair

Embattled Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis may be forced to testify at a hearing later this week about when her relationship with Trump prosecutor Nathan Wade began, a judge said Monday.

The DA and Wade — whom Willis appointed as a special prosecutor in the Georgia election fraud case against the former president and over a dozen others — had both been seeking to get out of testifying at a court hearing Thursday where Trump co-defendant Mike Roman will seek to have the criminal case dropped against him over the prosecutors’ alleged misconduct.

But Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee said in court Monday he would “defer ruling until we get further into the [Thursday] hearing itself,” since Roman’s lawyer Ashleigh Merchant had “established a good faith basis” for the prosecutorial duo’s testimony and for testimony from other employees in the DA’s office.

Still, McAfee said that Merchant can’t call Willis as the first witness because “we need to get over a few procedural hurdles before we get there.”

The judge said he also wouldn’t hesitate to cut off any questioning by Merchant that would cause “undue embarrassment” of Willis and other witnesses.

District Attorney Fani Willis and Trump prosecutor Nathan Wade may be forced to testify at a hearing Thursday to answer questions about their affair. REUTERS

The judge said that Merchant’s “star witness” Terrence Bradley — who is Wade’s former law partner and former divorce lawyer — would have to testify first, as Merchant attempts to disprove claims that a married Wade and Willis’ romantic relationship started after Wade began working on the Trump probe and to disprove they never lived together.

Merchant argued earlier Monday Bradley would testify that the relationship between Willis and Wade began before he signed his first contract with the DA’s office in November 2021 — a claim which the pair denied earlier this month, insisting their relationship didn’t become romantic until 2022.

Willis and Wade — the latter of whom has been embroiled in a contentious divorce since 2021 — were forced to come clean about the affair after Roman filed bombshell papers in January seeking to have the criminal charges against him tossed and to have Willis disqualified from the case on the grounds she allegedly profitted from Wade’s lucrative appointment after he paid for her to accompany him on vacations.

Willis appointed Wade to be special prosecutor in the Georgia election fraud case against the former president. AP

But Wade and Willis said in court papers filed by the DA’s office on Feb. 2 there was no conflict-of-interest in them having a romantic relationship. They claimed they don’t live together, don’t share finances and alternated paying for the vacations they went on together.

Anna Cross, a lawyer for the DA’s office, argued by video Monday that neither Willis, Wade or any of the other eight DA employees Roman subpoenaed to testify should be forced to take the witness stand Thursday.

“They would not in any way support the wild the speculation that is in this motion,” Cross said. “They would refute the allegations.”

Willis and Wade claim they didn’t become romantically involved until after Wade began working on the case. AP

“The defense is not bringing you facts, the defense is not bringing you law, the defense is bringing you gossip and the court should not condone that practice,” Cross said.

As for Willis and Wade, Merchant said the pair both have “the most relevant information” on her claims they started a relationship earlier than they say and on her claim that they actually did live together.

And if Wade or Willis deny either of these facts, Merchant says she has a slew of witnesses waiting in the wings — including employees in the DA’s office and Willis’ personal security detail — to prove otherwise.

Trump co-defendant Mike Roman’s lawyer claims the two prosecutors actually started their relationship before Wade joined the investigation. AP
Willis and Wade also claim they don’t lived together and have separate finances — and Willis is not personally benefitting from Wade’s earnings. AP

McAfee indicated that the hearing could continue into Friday and said he’ll be looking for answers to a slew of questions because of a “conflict in the evidence,” to date.

“The issues at point here are whether a relationship existed; whether that relationship was romantic or not romantic in nature; when it formed; and whether it continues,” McAfee said. “And that’s only relevant because it’s in combination with the question of the existence and extent of any personal benefit conveyed as a result of a relationship.”

The hearing is set to begin in the Atlanta courthouse at 9:30 a.m. and will be broadcast live on YouTube.

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Written by SaleemBaloch

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