Trump: Fani Willis courtroom testimony proves case is ‘badly tainted,’ must be dropped

Several of Trump’s co-defendants in the racketeering case have moved to disqualify Ms. Willis, arguing that she has a conflict of interest in the case and benefited from it financially.

“It is so badly tainted. There is no case here,” President Trump told Fox News. (Shutterstock)

Former President Donald Trump said that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s courtroom testimony Thursday shows that the case against him is “badly tainted” and another example of lawfare meant to derail his 2024 presidential comeback bid.

“It is so badly tainted. There is no case here,” President Trump told Fox News while Ms. Willis was testifying in a Georgia courtroom regarding allegations she engaged in an “improper” relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade, who was hired to help prosecute the 45th president on charges of election interference.

“By going after Trump, she’s able to get her boyfriend more money than they ever dreamed possible,” the former president said.

Several of President Trump’s co-defendants in the racketeering case have moved to disqualify Ms. Willis, arguing that she has a conflict of interest in the case and benefited from it financially.

“The case will have to be dropped,” President Trump continued. “There’s no way they can have a case. The whole thing was a scam to get money for the boyfriend.”

Defense attorneys have alleged that Ms. Willis began her romantic relationship with Mr. Wade in 2019, before she hired him for the high-profile Trump prosecution so they could both benefit financially, with the attorneys arguing that hiring what would have been her boyfriend at the time amounted to a conflict of interest.

Ms. Willis and Mr. Wade have both denied any financial benefit from their relationship, which they said started in early 2022, after Mr. Wade was hired.

But Robin Yeartie, a college friend of Ms. Willis, testified in court on Thursday that the romantic relationship began “shortly after” Ms. Willis met Mr. Wade at a municipal conference in 2019.

Ms. Yeartie said she had “no doubt” the pair were in a romantic relationship from 2019, adding that she saw them “hugging” and “kissing” that year.

President Trump told Fox News that Thursday’s courtroom testimony shows Ms. Willis is “disgraced” and that Mr. Wade’s trips to the White House add to signs that the case is another example of “election interference” meant to thwart his 2024 bid for the presidency.

Timeline in focus

Michael Roman, President Trump’s co-defendant in the case, has alleged that the relationship allowed Ms. Willis to benefit from taxpayer funds through Mr. Wade, who allegedly paid for “lavish” vacations with her.

Defense attorneys have said in court filings that Mr. Willis and Mr. Wade vacationed to Aruba and Belize, and took two cruises to the Bahamas, which Mr. Wade paid for.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis testifies in court Thursday. (Reuters/YouTube)

Ms. Willis denies any financial benefit from the relationship, insisting she paid for as many meals as Mr. Wade did when they went out and that she paid him back for large trip expenses.

A key point of contention during Thursday’s testimony was the timeline of the relationship, which could bolster defense attorneys’ effort to disqualify Ms. Willis, arguing that she hired her then-boyfriend for mutual financial benefit.

Testifying in court, Ms. Yeartie said that Ms. Willis’s and Mr. Wade’s relationship began not long after a municipal court conference in October 2019 and that it remained constant until the last time she spoke with Ms. Willis in March 2022.

Ms. Yeartie’s testimony conflicts with what Ms. Willis and Mr. Wade have both said in court filings and on the stand on Thursday.

Mr. Wade said in court that he was hired in November 2021 as a special prosecutor on the case and testified that his romantic relationship with Ms. Willis began “around” March 2022.

Ms. Yeartie said she stopped talking to Ms. Willis sometime in 2022, after she left the Fulton County District Attorney’s office after being told to resign or be fired, ending her friendship with Ms. Willis.

President Trump and the other co-defendants have joined the motion to disqualify Ms. Willis from the case.

Fulton County Special Prosecutor Nathan Wade testifies in court Thursday. (Reuters/YouTube)

Judge Scott McAfee said on Monday that Ms. Willis could be disqualified from the case if there is enough evidence to show “an actual conflict or the appearance of one,” adding that Thursday’s hearing was designed to see “whether a relationship existed, whether that relationship was romantic or nonromantic in nature, when it formed and whether it continues.”

The judge added that those questions are only relevant “in combination with the question of the existence and extent of any personal benefit conveyed as a result of the relationship.”

Testimony is set to continue on Friday, with Judge McAfee saying he hopes to close the evidence on Friday and “take it from there.”

“I’m not ruling on this tomorrow,” he said Thursday in court.

Catherine Yang and Jack Phillips contributed to this report.


Tom Ozimek | The Epoch Times

Tom Ozimek is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times. He has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education.