Nathan Wade’s ex-law partner expected to testify as defense aims to oust Fani Willis from Trump case

ATLANTA– A potential key witness for attorneys seeking to derail the Georgia election interference case against Donald Trump and others is expected to return to the witness stand Tuesday as the judge considers an effort to disqualify Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis over her romantic relationship with a top witness. prosecutor.

Terrence Bradley, former attorney for special counsel Nathan Wade, cited attorney-client privilege in refusing to answer most questions during an extraordinary two-day hearing earlier this month that put a spotlight on prosecutors’ private lives. But Judge Scott McAfee said some of Bradley’s communications with Wade were not covered by the privilege, according to multiple attorneys who received an email from the judge setting the hearing for Bradley to continue testifying.

Bradley’s testimony could be crucial as attorneys try to undermine Willis and Wade’s claims about the beginning of their romantic relationship. That timeline has become a central issue as attorneys push for Willis and Wade to be removed from the case, arguing that their relationship has created a conflict of interest.

Willis and Wade both testified under oath that they only started dating after he was hired as special prosecutor in November 2021. But information that has come to light has raised questions about the veracity of prosecutors’ testimony. One witness, a former friend and colleague of Willis, told the court she saw the couple hugging and kissing before he was hired as special prosecutor.

And an analysis of cell phone location data in a court filing from Trump’s lawyers also shows that Wade has visited the neighborhood south of Atlanta where Willis has lived at least 35 times in the first 11 months of 2021, an investigator said . Wade had testified that he had been to the apartment where Willis lived fewer than 10 times before being hired as special prosecutor in November 2021.

McAfee has scheduled arguments Friday afternoon on whether Willis and her office should be removed from the case.

Willis’ removal would be a stunning development in the most expansive of the four criminal cases against Trump. If she were disqualified, an impartial board supporting Georgia prosecutors would have to find a new attorney to take over. That successor could either continue with the charges against Trump and fourteen others, or drop the case altogether. Even if a new lawyer were to pursue the case, it would most likely not go to trial before November, when Trump is expected to be the Republican nominee for president.

A Fulton County grand jury indicted Trump and 18 others in August, accusing them of participating in a vast scheme to illegally attempt to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia. Four people have pleaded guilty after reaching deals with prosecutors. Trump and the other fourteen have pleaded not guilty.

The effort to remove Willis and her office from the case began last month with a motion filed by Trump co-defendant Michael Roman and has since been joined by the former president and several other defendants. Roman’s filing alleges that Willis paid Wade large amounts of money for his work and then wrongfully profited from it when he used his earnings to take her on vacation. It is also claimed that Willis and Wade were already dating when she hired him in November 2021.

Willis and Wade have both said they shared the travel expenses, with Willis reimbursing Wade in cash for some charges on his credit card.

Under questioning by Roman’s lawyer, Ashleigh Merchant, earlier this month, Bradley acknowledged communicating with her between September and January while she was exploring the possibility of the relationship. But Merchant and other attorneys were repeatedly frustrated by Bradley’s refusal to answer further questions about the relationship.


Richer reported from Boston.