Trump Lawyers Argue Fani Willis Needs to Testify Again Over Phone Evidence

By Jack Phillips

Former President Donald Trump’s lawyers on Sunday afternoon fired back in court against Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s latest filing that attempted to disprove new allegations against her and her special prosecutor, Nathan Wade.

Over the weekend, Ms. Willis’s office disputed in a court filing a previous Trump submission that used a private investigator’s analysis of Mr. Wade’s phone records to suggest that he visited her condo far more times than what he claimed in a recent court hearing. Recent allegations from a Trump co-defendant in his racketeering and election case stated that Ms. Willis and Mr. Wade were engaged in a clandestine relationship and that she financially benefitted from the arrangement, which the two later confirmed.

“The records do not prove, in any way, the content of the communications between Special Prosecutor Wade and District Attorney Willis; they do not prove that Special Prosecutor Wade was ever at any particular location or address; they do not prove that Special Prosecutor Wade and District Attorney Willis were ever in the same place during any of the times listed,” Ms. Willis’s office wrote in the filing.

But in the most recent submission from the Trump team, they disagreed. They said that the “prosecution will surely point out that nobody knows what was happening in the house between midnight and 3:28 a.m. on September 12, or between midnight and 5:00 a.m. on November 30,” in 2021, referring to the private investigator’s analysis.

In his testimony earlier this month, Mr. Wade stated in court that he doesn’t recall spending that night at Ms. Willis’s home. However, if the cellphone data and records are entered as evidence in the disqualification case and proven true, it will suggest that he did, in fact, spend the night at her home on multiple occasions.

“The witnesses in this case—both Wade and Willis—testified that their romantic relationship did not begin until March or April of 2022 and that they had never spent the night together prior to the Spring of 2022,” they said, adding that “the evidence offered by the defense to refute this testimony is admissible” in court.

“Given the testimony of Wade and Willis that they never spent the night together at the Hapeville condominium, the evidence—actual record evidence, not just an opinion or speculation—that proves that while talking on the phone with DA Willis,” it continued, “Wade drove from near his house to a location near her condo (if not exactly to her condo) at midnight, where he then remained for five hours—not once but twice in two months—qualifies as relevant evidence.”

And Charles Mittelstadt, the investigator, isn’t being offered as an expert witness and “does not claim to know,” it added. “Neither does President Trump or any other defendant in this case.”

“Only two people know,” his lawyers wrote. “They are certainly the ones who should testify and say exactly what was happening on those occasions, so nobody will complain about improper speculation, or improper efforts to distort the truth, or nefarious contacts with the media.”

Instead, according to the lawyers, all they have heard from Mr. Wade and Ms. Willis “so far has been that they didn’t have a romantic relationship until 2022,” but it’s “highly significant that the State’s response did not even attempt to challenge the” the cellphone data analysis. It was referring to court testimony from the two stating their relationship started after Mr. Wade was hired in the Trump case.

During the court testimony, a witness in the case who testified against Ms. Willis, Robin Yeartie, alleged that their relationship started in 2019. Notably, Ms. Willis said that Ms. Yeartie was a former friend and it was revealed she owned the condo in which Ms. Willis used to live.

On Feb. 23, when the Mittelstadt analysis was submitted, the Trump team wrote that it would add weight to arguments that Ms. Willis should step down from the case after it was confirmed the two were in a relationship.

The investigator also said in an affidavit that the two made more than 2,000 calls and exchanged 12,000 text messages in 2021—months before they said the relationship started and before Mr. Wade was hired in the case,

What the DA Argued

In response to the Mittelstadt affidavit, Ms. Willis wrote that the analyst of Mr. Wade’s cellphone data is inadmissible in court because it has “both telephone records that have not been admitted into evidence and an affidavit and other documents containing unqualified opinion evidence.”

The court, her office added, would have to exclude the evidence or make considerations of her “rebuttal evidence that demonstrates the unreliability of the unqualified opinion evidence improperly introduced by Defendant Trump.”

“The records do nothing more than demonstrate that Special Prosecutor Wade’s telephone was located somewhere within a densely populated multiple-mile radius where various residences, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and other businesses are located,” she wrote.

On Feb. 16, Ms. Willis testified about the relationship, saying she didn’t financially benefit and argued that she paid Mr. Wade back for vacations with her own cash. The district attorney was supposed to testify on Feb. 17, but prosecutors, without providing a specific reason, she she wouldn’t.

The judge overseeing the matter, Scott McAfee, has set a new hearing for Friday, March 1, in the disqualification case.

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