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Ex-Law Partner Privately Confirmed Fani Willis & Nathan Wade Dated Before She Was Elected DA

ATLANTA (AP) – Former Fulton County special prosecutor Nathan Wade avoided testifying on the stand Tuesday after lawyers pressed him about details of Wade’s romantic relationship with District Attorney Fannie Willis. did. 2020 Georgia Election Lawsuit Against Donald Trump.

Wade’s one-time divorce lawyer, Terrence Bradley, was considered a key witness for lawyers seeking to remove Willis from the case. However, when they questioned him, Bradley repeatedly stated that he did not know or could not remember when Willis and Wade’s relationship began.

When his lawyer confronted Bradley about text messages in which he said their relationship began while Willis was working as a judge, Bradley told the court it was just “speculation.” The defense appeared to be growing frustrated with Mr. Bradley’s lack of answers, and Mr. Trump’s lawyer at one point effectively accused Mr. Bradley of lying on the witness stand.

“Actually, you know when it started. You don’t want to testify that in court, that’s the best explanation, right?” President Trump’s lawyer Steve Sadow asked. “You don’t want to admit it in court, so that’s the real explanation, right?”

Bradley’s testimony was considered potentially important as the defense seeks to undermine claims about when Willis and Wade’s romantic relationship began. The timeline has become a central issue as defense attorneys seek to have Willis and Wade disbarred from the case, saying their relationship posed a conflict of interest.

Mr. Bradley’s testimony provided the latest legal foray into the private life of prosecutors pursuing a high-consequence prosecution of the former president and leading Republican candidate. What’s more, an investigation that began with direct evidence of President Trump’s efforts to stay in power has taken on a melodramatic tone, muddying the waters with testimony about sex, dates, cash stashes, and text messages that neither Trump nor the defendants implicated. The details of the incident have also become clearer. Rather, law enforcement officers lead the investigation.

Willis and Wade testified under oath They reportedly began dating after he was hired as a special prosecutor in November 2021. However, the information that has emerged has raised questions about the veracity of the prosecutor’s testimony. One witness, a former friend and colleague of Mr. Willis, testified in court that he saw the two hugging and kissing before Mr. Willis was hired as special prosecutor.

Ashley Merchant, a lawyer for Mr. Trump’s co-defendant Michael Roman, read text messages to Mr. Bradley asking whether Mr. Willis and Mr. Wade started dating before they hired him. Bradley replied, “Of course.”

However, when asked multiple times about when the relationship began, Bradley testified that he did not know.

“I don’t know directly when the relationship started,” Bradley said.

Bradley refused, citing attorney-client privilege. to answer most questions Prosecutors’ case strengthened during an unusual two-day evidentiary hearing earlier this month. Private life is in the spotlight. But Judge Scott McAfee said some of Mr. Bradley’s communications with Mr. Wade were deemed privileged, according to lawyers who received emails from the judge setting up hearings for Mr. Bradley to continue his testimony. He said it was not a target.

McAfee is scheduled to argue Friday afternoon on whether Willis and her firm should be removed from the case.

Willis’ firing would be a surprising development. in the most expansive place Four criminal cases against Trump. If she is disqualified, Georgia’s bipartisan Council to Support Prosecuting Attorneys will need to find a new attorney to replace her. His successor could proceed with charges against Trump and 14 others or drop the case altogether. Even if new lawyers move forward with the case, it is highly likely that it will go to trial by November, when Trump is expected to become the Republican presidential nominee.

A Fulton County grand jury indicted Trump and 18 others in August for participating in a widespread scheme to illegally overturn Georgia’s 2020 election. four people pleaded guilty After reaching an agreement with prosecutors. Trump and the other 14 people have pleaded not guilty.

Efforts to remove Willis and his firm from the case began last month with a motion filed by Trump’s co-defendant Michael Roman and have continued since then. Former president also joined and several other defendants. Roman’s filing alleges that Willis paid Wade a large sum of money for his work and used the proceeds to take Wade on vacation for an unfair advantage. are doing. It also claims that Willis and Wade were already dating when she hired him in November 2021.

Willis and Wade shared travel expenses, and Willis said he repaid some of the charges on Wade’s credit card in cash.

Earlier this month, under cross-examination by Ms. Roman’s lawyer, Mr. Merchant, Ms. Bradley admitted that she had been in communication with Ms. Roman between September and January, when they were investigating a possible relationship. But Mr. Merchant and other defense attorneys were repeatedly frustrated by Mr. Bradley’s refusal to answer further questions about the relationship.