DA Fani Willis not testifying in second day of Georgia hearing after fiery Thursday testimony


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Day two of a hearing to hash out allegations that Georgia prosecutor Fani Willis had an “improper” affair with a colleague prosecuting the case against former President Trump is underway.

Though Willis was expected to take the stand again Friday, the after court convened, state prosecutors said they had no questions for Willis on cross examination, and she was not called back to the stand. 

On Thursday, Fulton County Superior Judge Scott McAfee presided over a marathon — and at some points, contentious — day of testimony in which lawyers for defendants in the case grilled witnesses in an attempt to show that Willis and special prosecutor Nathan Wade were romantically involved when Willis hired him, and that she financially benefited from the relationship. 

The courtroom hit a boiling point Thursday afternoon when Willis herself took the witness stand, after several attempts to avoid it, and was so combative that the judge had to step in multiple times to cool tensions.

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Fulton County DA Fani Willis. (Getty Images)

On Thursday, Willis’ former friend and colleague at the district attorney’s office, Robin Yeartie, dropped a bombshell when she testified that she had “no doubt” Willis and Wade had a “romantic” relationship starting in 2019, contradicting Willis’ prior statements to the court that their relationship began in 2022. Wade was hired in 2021. 

Wade, who took to the witness stand for hours on Thursday, revealed that he was battling cancer in 2020 and a portion of 2021, and told the court he was not dating anyone in 2021. 

Defense lawyers Ashleigh Merchant, Craig Gillen and Steve Stadow, who led the bulk of the questioning Thursday, are trying to prove the existence and extent of any financial benefit to Willis from Wade from their relationship, which is the crux of their argument that Willis should be disqualified. 

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Nathan Wade

Special prosecutor Nathan Wade. (Alyssa Pointer-Pool/Getty Images)ter-Pool/Getty Images)

Much of Willis’ testimony focused on vacations she took with Wade, including Caribbean cruises and visiting wine country California. 

Both testified that Wade would routinely pay for the trips and Willis would reimburse him with cash. When repeatedly pressed about whether any records existed for her withdrawals of the funds, she said she was accustomed and taught by her father to keep six months of regular expenses on hand in cash.

Wade admitted that he did not have deposit slips or receipts to support his claims that Willis reimbursed him with cash. 

Four co-defendants in the sprawling case against Trump for alleged election interference filed motions earlier this year moving for Willis and her team to be disqualified. 

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Scott McAfee

Fulton Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Judge McAfee said that “it’s clear that disqualification can occur if evidence is produced demonstrating an actual conflict or the appearance of one.” 

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“The state has admitted a relationship existed. And so, what remains to be proven is the existence and extent of any financial benefit,” McAfee said.

The defense team say they have two more witnesses to call up Friday. McAfee indicated he would not rule from the bench after what is expected to be at least five hours of testimony. 



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