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National News

Former Willis friend testifies DA’s relationship with Wade started earlier than claimed

Credit: Ross Williams/Georgia Recorder

Stanley Dunlap, Georgia Recorder
February 15, 2024

Fulton County special prosecutor Nathan Wade on Thursday disputed the claim made by a former friend of the district attorney, Fani Willis, that Wade and Willis had a romantic relationship prior to Wade’s appointment to work on the 2020 presidential election interference case.

During an evidentiary hearing in Fulton County Superior Court, Wade testified that he did not become intimately involved with Willis until March 2022, a few months after joining Willis’ office to lead a case against former President Donald Trump and 18 co-defendants, who were indicted in August on charges of illegally trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Wade took the stand following the testimony of a former longtime friend of Willis, Robin Bryant-Yeartie, who testified that she observed Wade and Willis showing affection for each other before Willis hired Wade for the sweeping racketeering and conspiracy case.

According to Wade, he never discussed his relationship with Willis with Bryant-Yeartie or in anyone else in social settings, and that Willis frequently reimbursed him for trips they took together out of town with cash. Occasionally, the two took one-day trips to places like Tennessee in order to escape the spotlight on Willis as she became well known in Georgia due to the case, Wade said.

In a January divorce case filing, Wade’s estranged wife released credit card statements under Wade’s name showing roundtrip airline tickets purchased for himself and Willis to San Francisco and Miami in 2022 and 2023.

“It wasn’t secret. It was just private,” Wade said.  “I wouldn’t have discussed my relationship with Ms. Yeartie or anyone publicly.”

Bryant-Yeartie testified Thursday that she sublet her condo to Willis in April 2021, and that the two remained close friends until March 2022.  Bryant-Yeartie said that she was certain that she witnessed Willis and Wade hugging, kissing and holding hands on multiple occasions prior to November 2021.

Under cross examination, she acknowledged having a falling out with Willis that ultimately led to the DA telling her to resign or be terminated due to poor job performance.

In January, an attorney representing co-defendant Michael Roman filed a motion seeking Wills’ disqualification from prosecuting the election case, alleging that Wade and Willis relationship was prosecutorial misconduct.

Willis has argued that her relationship with Wade outside the workplace does not warrant her removal from the case. She has denied allegations that she or Wade misappropriated taxpayer funds for personal benefit.

Wade remained on the stand on Thursday afternoon following a lunch break with questions being asked by Trump attorney Steve Sadow.

Georgia Recorder is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Georgia Recorder maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor John McCosh for questions: info@georgiarecorder.com. Follow Georgia Recorder on Facebook and Twitter.

This article is republished from Georgia Recorder under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.