Lawyers for Fulton County Prosecutor Fani Willis surprisingly announced they would not call her back to the stand Friday following explosive testimony about her “physical” relationship with a member of her prosecution team, in the last dose of courtroom drama.
The move came hours after the state said in court that it planned to bring back the district attorney for further questioning, after she unexpectedly burst into the courtroom Thursday to tell her side of the story during a evidentiary hearing.
That led to a series of surprising revelations in court about her “physical” relationship with one of her top prosecutors in the Donald Trump case and revelations about storing thousands of dollars in cash in her home.
“Actually, your honor, the state has no further questions for Ms. Willis,” Fulton County Special Prosecutor Anna Cross, who represents the district attorney in the matter, said in court Friday.
The comment came as defense attorneys awaited a second appearance, with one of them saying moments before that those gathered were still “in the middle of Ms. Willis” and her testimony and the judge overseeing the case asked “if we could bring back to Mrs. Willis.” ‘
Fulton County Prosecutor Fani Willis made a dramatic appearance in court where she spoke about her “physical” relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade and testified about providing him with cash refunds when they traveled together. Her lawyer decided not to call her again to give more testimony.
Her surprise appearance Thursday came after her ex-lover Nathan Wade was questioned about the “romantic” relationship he claims began in 2022, shortly after she hired him as a special contract prosecutor.
One disappointed spectator was Trump himself, who was expected to briefly attend court on Thursday but instead opted to travel to New York for a court appearance unrelated to the Stormy Daniels criminal case.
‘Does anyone really believe that Fani Willis paid her “lover” cash every time they took expensive “trips” together? Actually? Where did you get the CASH? Pretty weak interrogation yesterday!!! I guess they don’t want to insult her,” she posted on her Truth Social site.
‘There is no way she can explain any of this corruption!!!’
The prosecution’s decision not to bring her back for friendlier questioning suggests she got some of what she needed Thursday even as she dodged questions about her finances and romantic life. She also prevents a room full of defense attorneys from attacking her again on the witness stand, where they would try to pick holes in her stories about her affair, office practices, credit card statements and cash refunds.
The stakes are high for Willis, Wade – and Trump – with the possibility of Fulton County’s prosecution being dropped if an inappropriate relationship or conflict of interest is discovered that could affect the prosecution. That, in turn, could stall Trump’s trial in the midst of his race to return to the White House.
There was a series of fireworks inside Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee’s courtroom Thursday. At one point, he called for a five-minute break after Willis’ furious attacks on attorney Ashleigh Merchant, who exposed the matter in a legal filing that accused Willis and Wade of an inappropriate relationship and sought his disqualification.
A lawyer for Donald Trump asked Wade about the source of the cash he said Willis gave him, and whether Willis simply took cash out of his pocket. “I didn’t ask him,” he said.
Attorney Steve Sadow and attorney Chris Anulewicz, who represents defendant Robert Cheeley, talk to each other during a break in a hearing in the State of Georgia’s case against Donald John Trump at the Fulton County Courthouse on Feb. 15, 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia. . Sadow pressured Willis when he broke up with Wade
During his appearance Thursday, Willis lashed out at Ashleigh Merchant, an attorney for Trump’s co-defendant Michael Roman. Merchant expected her to return Friday morning.
Yesterday the interrogation was quite weak!!! I guess they don’t want to insult her,” former President Donald Trump posted in response to the decision not to call Willis, although her own lawyer took part in the questioning on Thursday.
“Actually, your honor, the state has no further questions for Ms. Willis,” Fulton County Special Prosecutor Anna Cross said when she was expected to call Willis.
She furiously denied a conflict or having derived any financial benefit from the luxury trips she took with Wade. Like Wade, she testified that she paid him back his share in cash and that they took turns covering some entertainment expenses.
‘I don’t need anyone to pay my bills. The only man who has paid my bills in full is my dad,” he said at one point.
“I’m not being judged,” she fumed at one point.
She only alluded to her anger while talking about Merchant’s motion to remove her from the case and whether she had spoken to Wade about it.
‘I don’t know if it was a conversation. As you know, Mr. Wade is a southern gentleman. Not so much me,” he told Merchant, who represents Trump’s alleged accomplice Michael Roman, while he was on the stand.
‘Is a lie. It’s a lie,” she fumed as she questioned the “offensive” suggestion that she hooked up with Wade immediately after a 2019 judicial conference in which, she said, a fellow judge introduced her to him.
She also rejected the idea that she had a sexual relationship with him in 2020 or 2021, invoking her battle with cancer in 2020.
On Friday, her own lawyer Anna Cross will have the opportunity to question her, after lawyers for Trump and other alleged co-conspirators in the Georgia election case had a chance to press the head of the investigation about his own romantic life, financial transactions and preparations.