Georgia judge tosses key witness’ testimony against Fani Willis, citing ‘inconsistencies’: court order

A Georgia judge on Friday said that District Attorney Fani Willis can continue prosecuting the case against former President Trump if she removes her ex-lover from her legal team, after deciding he could put no “stock” in a key witness’ testimony.Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee issued an order Friday that Willis must either withdraw herself and her team from the sweeping 2020 election interference case against former President Trump or remove special prosecutor Nathan Wade – with whom she was accused of having an “improper” affair. McAfee said that he was “unable to place any stock” in the testimony of Terrance Bradley, the former law partner and divorce attorney for Wade and considered a key witness of the defense team trying to prove Wade was romantically involved with Willis prior to his hiring. Attorney Ashleigh Merchant, lawyer for co-defendant Michael Roman, who first submitted the allegations against Willis and Wade, had grilled Bradley on the witness stand last month about what he knew and when he knew about their romance.KEY WITNESS IN FANI WILLIS CASE TESTIFIES HE MAY HAVE LIED IN TEXTS ABOUT FRIENDS’ AFFAIRBoth Willis and Wade insisted that their relationship started in 2022, after Wade was hired. However, that claim conflicted with some witness testimony during the two-day evidentiary hearing last month. Bradley, when pressed under oath, said he could not recall several details and timelines about conversations he had with former client Wade about Wade’s romantic relationship with Willis.Merchant at one point referenced text messages between her and Bradley in which she had asked Bradley if he thought the relationship started before Willis hired Wade in 2021. Bradley responded “absolutely” in the text exchange.NATHAN WADE’S PHONE DATA SHOWS HE MADE MIDNIGHT TRIPS TO FANI WILLIS’ CONDO BEFORE HE WAS HIRED: ATTORNEYIn his order on Friday, McAfee said Bradley’s “inconsistencies, demeanor, and generally non-responsive answers left far too brittle a foundation upon which to build any conclusions.””While prior inconsistent statements can be considered as substantive evidence under Georgia law, Bradley’s impeachment by text message did not establish the basis for which he claimed such sweeping knowledge of Wade’s personal affairs,” McAfee said.Robin Yeartie, a former “good friend” of Willis and past employee at the DA’s office, testified in court that she had “no doubt” Willis and Wade’s relationship started in 2019, after the two met at a conference. FANI WILLIS WHO ‘RELISHED IN’ DONALD TRUMP PROSECUTION SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM CASE FOR ILLICIT AFFAIR: EXPERTSShe testified to observing Willis and Wade “hugging” and “kissing” and showing “affection” prior to November 2021 and that she had no doubt that the two were in a “romantic” relationship starting in 2019 and lasting until she and Willis last spoke in 2022.Willis dismissed Yeartie’s testimony and said she no longer considers Yeartie a friend.Judge McAfee in his order Friday said that “while the testimony of Robin Yearti raised doubts about the State’s assertions, it ultimately lacked context and detail.” “[N]either side was able to conclusively establish by a preponderance of the evidence when the relationship evolved into a romantic one,” he added. Still, the judge said that “an odor of mendacity remains,” and added that “reasonable questions about whether the District Attorney and her hand-selected lead SADA [special assistant district attorney] testified untruthfully about the timing of their relationship further underpin the finding of an appearance of impropriety and the need to make proportional efforts to cure it.”
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