Fani Willis Started Relationship With Prosecutor Before Trump Case, Witness Testifies
Fani Willis, the District Attorney of Fulton County, Georgia inside her office chambers in the Fulton County Justice Center Tower in Atlanta, Georgia on Tuesday, September 20, 2022.
(Photo by David Walter Banks)

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis was in a personal relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade before she hired him in late 2021 for the 2020 election interference case against former President Donald Trump, a witness testified on Thursday.

Robin Bryant-Yeartie, a former Willis associate in the DA’s office, appeared virtually during a Georgia hearing taking place amid a bid by Trump and his co-defendant Mike Roman to disqualify the prosecutors and dismiss the case over alleged misconduct.

During questioning by Ashleigh Merchant, an attorney for Roman, Yeartie said Willis and Wade had been in a romantic relationship from 2019 to at least 2022. Under cross examination, Yaertie testified she resigned from the DA’s office under threat of being fired.

The testimony could disrupt the high-profile case against Trump and his allies. Roman accused Willis and Wade of having an “improper” relationship that led them to profit off the prosecution at the expense of taxpayers.

In a court filing, Willis admitted they had a relationship, but insisted there was no conflict of interest. Wade submitted a sworn affidavit that said a “personal relationship” developed between himself and Willis in 2022 “in addition” to their work.

Wade also took the stand on Thursday, after efforts by the district attorney’s office to quash a subpoena to call him was rejected by Judge Scott McAfee. A similar effort to stop a subpoena for testimony from Yeartie had also been denied.

In addition to discussing a divorce with his estranged wife, which last month reached a settlement years after the marriage was “broken,” Wade answered questions about his relationship with Willis — which he said had begun around March 2022.

Wade said he could recall traveling with Willis in 2022 and 2023, but not 2021. Wade claimed that Willis reimbursed him in cash for vacations they took together that he paid for on his business credit card as Willis sought to limit her transactions for “safety reasons.”

The hearing in Georgia played out as a New York judge announced that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg‘s hush-money case against Trump would proceed to trial in late March. Willis has proposed starting the trial against Trump and other people charged in her case in August.

Trump is facing a total of four criminal cases and civil litigation as he runs another campaign seeking a second term in the White House. He has broadly denied wrongdoing and has claimed that prosecutors are engaged in a politically motivated “witch hunt” against him.

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