Judge ‘Left Wondering’ After Star Witness’ Stunning Testimony in Fani Willis Hearing

Judge ‘Left Wondering’ After Star Witness’ Stunning Testimony in Fani Willis Hearing

A hearing in one of the four criminal prosecutions of former President Donald Trump took an unexpected turn Friday afternoon when a witness who had been relying on attorney-client privilege to refuse to answer numerous questions suddenly gave the judge overseeing the case reason to believe such privilege may not apply to him in the way that he thought.

In question is whether Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis should be disqualified from prosecuting Trump and others on charges related to election interference.

Allegations of a long-running affair between Willis and Nathan Wade, the attorney she hired to lead Trump’s prosecution, first became public when a motion to dismiss the case was filed by defense attorney Ashleigh Merchant on Jan. 8 that argued the affair disqualified both Wade and Willis from being involved with the case.

During a Monday hearing, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee said that “disqualification can occur if evidence is produced demonstrating an actual conflict or the appearance of one,” according to The Associated Press.

Willis hired Wade to run the prosecution on Nov. 1, 2021. One of the disputed factual issues is whether Willis and Wade were already romantically involved at that point, or whether, as the couple claim, their relationship began during the current case.

The defense team subpoenaed Terrence Bradley, a former law partner of Wade’s, to testify Friday. Much of what Bradley might have said was “obscured” by the fact that Bradley, his attorney, and the prosecuting team regularly invoked attorney-client privilege to keep “most of the specifics” off the record.

According to Law & Crime, Bradley’s testimony “offered strong hints” about the facts in question, but nothing the judge could rely upon in making his final decision.

“The hearing established Bradley appears to have, at the very least, made statements to defense attorney Ashleigh Merchant that led her to genuinely believe Wade began a romantic relationship with Willis well before she hired him to work at the Fulton County DA’s office,” the outlet reported.

Merchant represents former Trump 2020 campaign staffer Michael Roman.

According to Law & Crime, Bradley wasn’t happy about being forced to testify in the case and “angrily glared” at Merchant during much of his time under oath. In fact, the outlet reported that the defense witness and the prosecuting team “looked like allies.”

Between his hostility to the defense and the regular invocation of attorney-client privilege, Bradley’s testimony didn’t seem to have much of an impact on the hearing — at least, not until Fulton County special prosecutor Anna Green Cross accused him of having left the firm where he had worked with Wade because of two accusations of sexual assault.

Earlier, Bradley told a defense attorney that he had left the firm over “a disagreement over Wade’s divorce case,” according to Law & Crime. Such a disagreement could easily be considered privileged information because Bradley was Wade’s divorce attorney at that time, according to Fox News.

However, when Bradley’s supposed “ally” Cross questioned him, she accused him of leaving “under a cloud of two allegations of sexual assault.”

She argued that she was attempting to show that Bradley was biased against Wade and therefore perhaps not credible.

Bradley, unsurprisingly, denied having sexually assaulted anyone and, in fact, denied even being aware of more than one of the accusations.

Cross, in fact, wanted to call a woman to testify about the allegations — presumably Bradley’s accuser — to further attack the credibility of a witness who did little all day but help her side, but McAfee ruled against allowing her to testify, Fox reported.

His words were enough to get the judge’s attention, however.

“We’ve opened up a whole area — what he’s just responded to — he previously said was privileged,” the judge said. “That doesn’t sound like privilege to me.”

McAfee had already planned an in-camera, or private, review of Bradley’s attorney-client privilege claims with the witness and his attorney. After that review, Law & Crime said, it was likely that Bradley would have to take the witness stand again next week.

“Mr. Bradley previously testified that the reason he left the firm was totally and completely covered by privilege,” the judge said. “When asked by the state, he went into a factual scenario, that, to my mind, I don’t see how it related to privilege at all.

“And, so, now I’m left wondering if Mr. Bradley has been properly interpreting privilege this entire time,” he added.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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