Home » Trump prosecutor Fani Willis must go back to court to fend off allegations of conflict – February 16, 2024

Trump prosecutor Fani Willis must go back to court to fend off allegations of conflict – February 16, 2024

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Trump prosecutor Fani Willis must go back to court to fend off allegations of conflict – February 16, 2024

Fani Willis, the Georgia state prosecutor overseeing the election interference case against Donald Trump, will testify again on Friday after rebuking defense lawyers who claimed she improperly benefited from a romantic relationship with a colleague.

Fulton County District Attorney Willis will face questions from a lawyer from her office in an attempt to fend off an attempt by Trump and some of his co-defendants to disqualify her office from the case. Defense lawyers have claimed the relationship with Nathan Wade, a special prosecutor leading the election case, represents a conflict of interest.

Willis forcefully denied the allegations during her testimony Thursday, accusing the lawyer who originally made the claims of lying to the court to divert attention from Trump and 14 other defendants in the case.

“It’s highly offensive when someone lies to you,” Willis said during her testimony.

The allegations could throw a wrench into the criminal case accusing Trump and several of his political allies of illegally trying to overturn Trump’s defeat in Georgia in 2020. Trump and the remaining 14 co-defendants have pleaded not guilty.

Trump, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, has long claimed that the four criminal cases against him are part of an attempt to damage his campaign. He has argued that the allegations against Willis and Wade discredited the prosecution.

Trump and his co-defendants have alleged that Willis improperly received benefits from Wade, including three vacations to the Caribbean, while Wade was under contract with their office to assist in the election interference investigation.

Willis portrayed herself as an independent employee who reimbursed Wade in cash for flights and hotels and paid for at least one of the trips herself.

“I don’t need anyone to pay my bills,” Willis testified.

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Her testimony came on the first day of a two-day hearing in Atlanta on whether Trump and his co-defendants can prove the relationship resulted in improper financial gain. If the judge, Scott McAfee, excludes Willis from prosecution, it would likely cause significant delays while the case is transferred to another prosecutor’s office.

Defense attorneys tried to raise questions about the cash payments Thursday. They noted that there is no evidence that Willis reimbursed travel expenses and that the timing of the relationship is unknown. A former friend and employee of Willis testified that Willis and Wade began dating shortly after meeting in 2019.

Willis and Wade, who also took the stand Thursday, both testified that the relationship became romantic in early 2022 after Wade was hired on the case.

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