Combative Willis takes stand in disqualification hearing

(The Center Square) – Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis testified Thursday that she did nothing improper with a man she hired to prosecute former President Donald Trump.

Judge Scott McAfee said the case would continue Friday and he wasn’t expecting to make a ruling by then.

Willis said she had been pacing back in forth in her office during the morning testimony and raced to the courtroom when her former lover, Nathan Wade, got off the stand.

Earlier in the morning, Willis’ former friend Robin Bryant-Yeartie testified that Willis began a romantic relationship with Wade in 2019 shortly after they met at a judicial conference and years before Willis hired Wade.

Willis said she did not have a romantic relationship with Wade before she hired him to prosecute the Trump case.

Wade, who took the stand after Bryant-Yeartie, said the relationship with Willis started in March 2022, after he had been hired in November 2021.

Wade said the relationship started in March 2022. Willis said it began in early 2022.

Willis talked fast and forcefully on the stand. She often explained her answers with more detail than needed. For example, when asked about a trip to Napa Valley, she testified that she doesn’t like wine, but likes Grey Goose vodka.

She also testified she often kept up to $15,000 in cash in her house to pay expenses. She said she used that money to reimburse Wade for travel and other expenses.

Willis said she refused to be the person on trial. At one point Willis told Ashleigh Merchant, attorney for Michael Roman, that Merchant was a liar.

“Let’s be clear, because you’ve lied in this, let me tell you which one you lie in and right here,” Willis said in response to a question about when she and Wade broke up. “No, no, no, no, this is the truth.”

After that outburst, Judge McAfee called for a short break. When the court hearing re-started, the judge gave a lecture on professionalism to all the attorneys.

The judge later cautioned Willis and told her that further outbursts would result in her testimony being stricken.

Willis said she did not have a romantic relationship with Wade until after he was hired. She also said she didn’t tell any other prosecutors or county officials about the relationship with Wade.