Fani Willis Back on the Witness Stand Following Disputes with Lawyers Regarding Misconduct Allegations in Trump Election Case

Fani Willis returns to the stand after sparring with lawyers over misconduct allegations in the Trump election case

The misconduct hearing regarding the potential disqualification of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis from the Georgia election interference case involving former President Donald Trump concluded on Friday without a decision from the judge.

Over two days of intense testimony, which included a significant appearance by Willis herself on Thursday, attorneys representing the defendants attempted to suggest that both the district attorney and special prosecutor Nathan Wade had lied under oath regarding the timeline of their relationship.

However, this effort hit a roadblock on Friday when a former law partner of Wade, who briefly represented him during his divorce, invoked attorney-client privilege, thus refraining from countering the assertions made by Willis and Wade in an earlier affidavit.

Allegations of an improper relationship between Willis and Wade could potentially disrupt the Georgia election interference case against Trump if Willis is removed from the proceedings.

Fani Willis
Fani Willis (Credits: Bloomberg)

Bradley, the former law partner, possesses knowledge that contradicts claims made by Willis and Wade that their relationship only commenced after Wade assumed his role as special prosecutor, as per a filing by the defense.

Yet, Bradley cited attorney-client privilege and refrained from disclosing any information he possessed. He did mention that his professional association with Wade began in 2018 but could not provide further details due to privilege constraints. Additionally, he stated that he could not recall ever billing Wade for his services.

Bradley also invoked privilege regarding claims of a sexual assault allegation against him, as well as his departure from the partnership with Wade following this allegation, prompting scrutiny from Judge Scott McAfee over the interpretation of privilege.

McAfee indicated plans for an additional hearing, allowing both sides to submit further legal arguments.

Earlier on Friday, Willis’s father testified in defense of his daughter’s practice of keeping significant amounts of cash at home, which is central to the dispute concerning the funding of trips Willis took with special prosecutor Nathan Wade.

John Floyd III, a retired attorney, testified that keeping cash at home was a common practice among Black individuals, adding that Willis had a boyfriend during the period when Floyd resided with her in 2019, whom he frequently encountered. Floyd stated he only became aware of Wade’s existence last year.

Floyd also recounted “nightmare threats” made against his daughter’s safety after she assumed office, including threats to blow up their residence and harm the family. These threats prompted concerns for Willis’s safety, leading her to relocate to a condo rented by a former friend.

The hearing primarily revolved around determining the commencement of Willis and Wade’s romantic involvement and whether it predated Willis’s selection of Wade as special prosecutor for the case.

Willis’s friend testified to witnessing displays of affection between Willis and Wade as early as November 2021, contradicting the assertions made by the former couple.

Willis did not testify again on Friday, as the state’s attorney declared no further questions for her.

Willis’s office aims to block requests for her airline records, which attorneys for one of Trump’s co-defendants suggest may reveal undisclosed trips taken by Willis and Wade, potentially indicating personal benefits derived from their relationship. The attorneys face misconduct allegations that could result in Willis’s removal from the case.

Willis reversed her decision to avoid testifying on Thursday, taking the stand after a former friend contested the timeline of her relationship with Wade. Willis admitted to a personal relationship with Wade but denied any impropriety.

The potential removal of Willis would significantly impact the extensive racketeering case against Trump, potentially leading to delays in finding a new prosecutorial team and jeopardizing the likelihood of a trial before the November presidential election.

Willis’s testimony on Thursday marked a pivotal moment in the proceedings, providing insight into her financial transactions with Wade and addressing questions regarding the timeline of their relationship.

In August, Willis charged Trump and 18 co-defendants with conspiring to overturn the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. While four defendants have pleaded guilty, Trump, facing 13 counts, has maintained his plea of not guilty.

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