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5 surprises from the Fani Willis Trump court hearing

By Jake Beardslee · February 16, 2024

5 surprises from the Fani Willis Trump court hearing

A dramatic hearing occurred Thursday to determine whether Fulton County's district attorney's office should be disqualified from the election interference case against former President Trump due to a relationship between the prosecutors. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis took the stand to defend her past romantic relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade, clashing with defense attorneys.  The White House from Washington, DC/Wikimedia

Willis Fires Back at 'Lies'

Willis railed against the defense for filing a "dishonest" motion to disqualify her, accusing them of lying that she “cohabitated” with Wade when they first met, according to The Hill. She called the allegations "highly offensive" and a personal attack, shaking court exhibits while repeating "It is a lie." Willis reminded the court she is not on trial, stating “These people are on trial for trying to steal an election in 2020, I’m not on trial."  KATRIN BOLOVTSOVA/Pexels

Relationship Timeline Disputed

Willis and Wade testified their relationship began in early 2022, struggling when pressed for exact dates. Both met in 2019 but did not become romantic until 2022. However, Willis's former friend Robin Yeartie contradicted their timeline, testifying definitively that Willis and Wade's romance started in 2019 shortly after a judicial conference.  KATRIN BOLOVTSOVA/Pexels

Cash Payments Draw Scrutiny

Regarding finances, Wade said Willis insisted on paying cash for joint trips for "safety reasons." He had no deposit slips showing her cash payments, prompting laughter from the gallery. Willis testified she always had home cash reserves per her father's advice. A defense attorney later suggested their system didn't "pass the smell test."  Karolina Grabowska/Pexels

Wade Addresses Divorce Claim

Wade disputed allegations he lied under oath in divorce documents that he had no outside relationship during his marriage. Wade asserted that by 2015 his marriage was irretrievably broken, so any later Willis relationship did not contradict his sworn statements.  Carsonmc at English Wikipedia/Wikimedia

Next Steps

Judge McAfee will now decide whether to disqualify Willis and Wade. If removed, the case would require a new prosecutors unfamiliar with the complex case.  Fulton County, Georgia/Wikimedia