Fannie Willis fraud trial resumes in Trump Georgia election case

Fulton County District Attorney Fannie Willis' father defended Willis' practice of keeping large sums of money at home, which was at the center of a dispute over who paid for trips Willis took with special prosecutor Nathan Wade.

“I don't want to be racist … but it's a black thing,” John Floyd III, a retired attorney, said in testimony Friday. “Most black people, they hide money. They keep money.”

She said Willis had a boyfriend while she lived with him in 2019 and saw him frequently. Floyd said he had never met or heard of Wade until last year.

After he was sworn in, he described “nightmare threats” against his daughter's safety, which an earlier witness said led to him moving into an apartment rented by a former friend.

“They said they will demolish the house. They are going to kill her. They are going to kill me. They're going to kill my grandchildren,” she said, describing a situation in which she swept racist and sexist slurs from her home. “I mean, on and on and on. As it turned out – I was concerned for her safety.

He said he did not want to know where Willis lived after leaving the house and had never been there. Willis said Thursday that the attacks against her were “so serious” that she could no longer live in her home.

The trial became contentious over when Willis and Wade began dating and whether that relationship predated his selection as special prosecutor in the case.

A friend of Willis' described the incident between the district attorney and Wade in November 2021 as “hugging, kissing, just affection,” contradicting the former couple.

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The defense is seeking testimony from another witness, Terrence Bradley, Wade's former law partner who briefly represented him in a divorce, saying he is barred by attorney-client privilege from disclosing anything he saw or learned. Bradley, according to defense filings, contradicted Willis and Wade's claim that their relationship did not begin until Wade became the special prosecutor. The allegations threaten to derail the Georgia election interference case against former President Donald Trump.

Willis was not called to testify again Friday, and an attorney for the district attorney's office said he had no further questions.

Follow live updates from Fannie Willis Hearing

Willis' office is expected to call at least three new witnesses to the stand, including Willis' father, while seeking to rescind pressure for his flight records.

A lawyer for one of Trump's co-defendants said Willis' Delta Air Lines records may reflect previously undisclosed trips by Willis and Wade. Prosecutors face allegations of misconduct, which could lead to Willis being removed from the case.

Willis dropped her bid to avoid testifying in a surprise twist on Thursday, taking the stand after a former friend denied a timeline of her relationship with Wade. Willis admitted this month that she had a personal relationship with Wade, but denied it was improper.

“You are confused; You think I'm under investigation,” Willis said Thursday in one of several contentious back-and-forth exchanges with lawyers for Trump and his co-defendants. “These guys are on trial for trying to steal the election in 2020. I'm not on trial no matter how hard you try to get me on trial.”

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Robin Yeardy, who first met Willis in college and worked in the district attorney's office until 2022, said in November 2021 that Wade and Willis may have been romantically involved, contradicting their previously signed affidavit. But both attorneys repeatedly insisted during testimony Thursday that their relationship began “in early 2022” and ended last year. Wade testified that Willis reimbursed him for trips that appear in his bank records, which Trump and his co-defendants tried to portray as evidence that he benefited financially from their relationship.

Willis' firing would be a major upheaval in the sprawling fraud case against Trump, with delays in finding a new prosecution team making it unlikely that a trial would take place before the November presidential election.

“I ran into the courtroom,” Willis said after Wade's testimony ended. His appearance marked a dramatic turn in the day.

“I was walking into my office and I heard someone yell that his testimony was over … so I knew I was going to be your next witness,” he said.

Willis gave hours of testimony at Thursday's hearing in which she discussed reimbursing Wade thousands of dollars for trips they took together and answered detailed questions about the timeline of their relationship.

Willis in August charged Trump and 18 co-defendants with conspiring to rig the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. Four defendants have pleaded guilty, while Trump, who faces 13 charges, has pleaded not guilty.

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