The Daily Beast

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis took the stand on Thursday, slamming allegations that she misused her office by having a brief affair with a special prosecutor in the Trump election interference probe.

Willis did not hold back at the Fulton County misconduct hearing to decide whether she should be disqualified from overseeing the racketeering case because of her romantic relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade. The District Attorney’s Office initially attempted to keep Willis off the witness stand, but she asked to testify in the case after she said she spent the day “pacing” in her office.

“I’ve been very anxious to have this conversation with you today. So I ran to the courtroom,” said Willis, who entered the courtroom and said, “here I am.”

“Mr. Wade is a southern gentleman. Me, not so much,” she later added.

The hearing stems from a January motion, where an attorney for former Trump aide and co-defendant Mike Roman argued Willis misused her office and that the couple went on vacations paid for by Wade’s taxpayer-funded paycheck. In subsequent filings, Roman’s lawyer, Ashleigh Merchant, alleged that Willis and Wade started their romantic relationship in 2019 after the two met at a conference.

“I find it offensive that you’ve implied I slept with Mr. Wade at a conference the first day I met with him,” Willis said. “It’s highly offensive.”

Fani Willis ‘Paid Her Own Way’ on Romantic Trips, Trump Prosecutor Says

Earlier, Wade testified that the pair had an intimate relationship starting in early 2022 and lasting until the summer of 2023. He said that the two are still friends and have remained “closer than ever because of these attacks.”

Willis confirmed the relationship timeline on the stand, stating that “this isn’t grade school like where you send a letter or something… but I think it was early 2022.” She did not go into detail about why the relationship ended but later revealed that they would have “brutal arguments about the fact that we are equal.”

“Mr. Wade is used to women that, as he told me one time, ‘Only thing a woman can do for him is make him a sandwich,’” Willis added.

While their romantic relationship ended in August 2023, Willis said Thursday she feels “indebted” to Wade for taking on his position in the Trump probe.

“We will be friends to the day we die,” she added.

During their affair, he said the two went on several trips that he would mostly book on his credit card because the DA wanted to “limit her transactions” for safety reasons. He said Willis would insist “she is going to pay her own way” by giving him cash or paying for things on the trip that would make it equitable.

“Let’s take the Belize trip for example. That was a birthday trip to me, so I paid nothing for that trip,” Wade said about the March 2023 trip. “We are not keeping a ledger.”

Willis confirmed that she paid Wade back in cash, stating that she always has cash at her house. “My dad always told me to have at least six months’ worth of money in my house. I don’t have that much but I’ve always had cash around my house for years,” she added.

“The source of the money is always the blood, sweat, and tears of me,” she added.

Merchant also questioned Willis about her relationship with Robin Yeartie, her former longtime friend, who testified that the DA and Wade started dating at the end of 2019.

“I did know her; we used to hang out with the same circle of girlfriends who partied together,” Wade said. “I haven’t seen her or spoken to her in over a year.”

“There’s a saying, ‘no good deed goes unpunished.’ I think that she betrayed our friendship,” she added.

Yeartie said that she saw the pair “hugging, kissing, being affectionate” before Nov. 2021, when Willis hired Wade in the investigation into interference in the Georgia 2020 election. She last saw the couple in 2022, when she said she was asked to resign from her gig at the district attorney’s office, a “situation” that ended her friendship with Willis.

In another tense exchange with Merchant, Willis objected to the defense attorney getting her flight request before accusing her of being “intrusive into people’s personal lives.”

“You think I’m on trial. These people are on trial for trying to steal an election in 2020,” Willis said. “I’m not on trial, no matter how hard you try to put me on trial.”

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