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Court concludes hearing on potential removal of DA Willis from Trump prosecution

Fulton County Superior Judge Scott McAfee Associated Press/Photo by Alyssa Pointer, pool photo

Court concludes hearing on potential removal of DA Willis from Trump prosecution

Lawyers on Friday decided not to recall Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to the stand in an evidentiary hearing. Willis had been the last person to take the stand on Thursday, the first day of the hearing. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee is considering whether Willis ought to be disqualified from her prosecution of former President Donald Trump and several of his associates for allegedly trying to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia.

Why could she be removed? Lawyers for former President Donald Trump and several of his co-defendants allege she engaged in unethical conduct when she hired her romantic partner, special prosecutor Nathan Wade, to work on her case against Trump. They argue Willis financially profited from Wade’s appointment, saying that she went on vacations with him that he paid for. Trump co-defendant Michael Roman first made the allegations in a court filing seeking the dismissal of all charges against him. Trump and other co-defendants later co-opted that motion. Willis has acknowledged the existence of the relationship in a court filing, but she and Wade have both denied any wrongdoing.

What did the evidentiary hearing cover today? The prosecution called several witnesses to the stand, including former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes. Prosecutors say Willis offered Barnes the special prosecutor job before offering it to Wade. Barnes testified that he turned down that job. Prosecutors also called Willis’ father, John Clifford Floyd III, to the stand. He testified that he didn’t know about his daughter’s relationship with Willis until just weeks ago.

What did defense lawyers have to say? Defense lawyers questioned the credibility of Floyd’s testimony after he said he had read and heard about the previous day’s testimony and hearings, and that his daughter may have been present for his lawyers discussing what questions they’d ask him. Defense attorneys called to the stand Terrence Bradley, a former legal partner of Nathan Wade’s who served as his attorney for a time during his divorce proceedings. Prosecution attorneys managed to prevent Bradley from testifying in response to many questions from defense attorneys, claiming attorney-client privilege. The judge did question at the end of the day whether Bradley was properly interpreting the idea of attorney-client privilege, and elected to seek out-of-court clarification about what testimony he may have withheld from the record.

Dig deeper: Read my report in The Sift about the arguments and testimony that occurred during the first day of the evidentiary hearing.

Josh Schumacher

Josh is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. He’s a graduate of World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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