Trump attorneys seek to call new witnesses in Fani Willis misconduct probe

Cindi Lee Yeager, a co-chief deputy district attorney for Cobb County, is said to be able to testify to the timing of Fani Willis’ and Nathan Wade’s romantic relationship

Kelly Rissman
Tuesday 05 March 2024 16:47 GMT
Moment Fani Willis slams down prosecution's evidence in heated testimony

Donald Trump’s co-defendants in his Georgia election interference case are seeking to introduce new witnesses in the misconduct investigation into Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.

Attorneys for David Shafer said in a Monday filing that they had spoken with Cindi Lee Yeager, a co-chief deputy district attorney for Cobb County, about conversations between her and Terrence Bradley, the former law partner and divorce lawyer for Nathan Wade – the man who had a romantic relationship with Ms Willis.

In another Monday filing, attorneys for Cathy Latham, another co-defendant of the former president, has asked Judge Scott McAfee to consider additional testimony from Manny Arora, the lawyer who represented Kenneth Chesebro — another co-defendant who has already pleaded guilty in the case.

The defence is now asking the court for permission to subpoena both Ms Yeager and Mr Arora over this new alleged evidence.

The latest moves come as Mr Trump’s defence team is seeking to disqualify Ms Willis from his Georgia RICO case, claiming that she abused her position by financially benefitting from the case by hiring her romantic partner.

The timeline of the start of Ms Willis’ and Mr Wade’s relationship has been central to the probe. Both Mr Wade and Ms Willis have testified that their relationship began in the spring of 2022, putting their relationship start date months after Mr Wade was hired onto the case in November 2021.

Meanwhile, the defence team has insisted that the former couple’s relationship began in 2019. A former friend of Ms Willis’ told the court in a hearing that their relationship began shortly after they met at a municipal judges conference in October 2019.

Now, the filing from Mr Shafer’s attorneys states that Mr Bradley allegedly told Ms Yeager that the pair’s relationship began in 2019 “during the Municipal Court Continuing Legal Education Conference”. They had “definitively begun a romantic relationship” when Ms Willis was running for district attorney from 2019 through 2020, the filing added.

It claims that Ms Yeager heard Ms Willis telling Mr Bradley: “They are coming after us. You don’t need to talk to them about anything about us.”

Similarly, the filing from Ms Latham’s attorneys says that the pair “definitely begun a romantic relationship with Ms. Wilis” when she was running for DA.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (via REUTERS)

It also claims that Mr Bradley told Mr Arora that Ms Willis hired Mr Wade to supervise the transition including hiring candidates after interviews. Mr Bradley also allegedly told Mr Arora that he had personal knowledge of the relationship including details such as their use of Ms Willis’ former friend Robin Bryant-Yeartie’s apartment and Mr Wade having a garage opener for access to the home.

Mr Bradley has already testified in a hearing in the probe. When asked about their relationship start date, he told the court: “I do not have any personal knowledge.” Text messages sent by Mr Bradley to defence lawyer Ashleigh Merchant initially appeared to corroborate Ms Yeartie’s version of events but were then walked back by Mr Bradley as speculation.

Ms Yeager has now come forward after she “became concerned” on watching Mr Bradley’s testimony, the defence attorneys claimed – saying his testimony “was directly contrary to what Mr Bradley had told Ms Yeager in person”.

The new filings, however, do not include a sworn affidavit from either of the newly proposed witnesses.

It’s unclear how the judge will respond to the filings. Both sides already gave closing arguments in the misconduct probe on 1 March.

In the defence’s closings, the attorneys accused Mr Bradley of telling “clear-cut lies” when he “did everything he possibly could do to evade answering questions”.

Meanwhile, Ms Willis’ legal team described this effort to disqualify her as a “desperate attempt” to remove a prosecutor from Mr Trump’s case, adding that the defence’s questioning was an attempt to “embarrass and harass” Ms Willis and “impugn her character”.

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