Trump Georgia prosecutor objects to questioning of ex-attorney in Fani Willis probe

A special prosecutor in the Georgia election interference case involving former President Trump objected Thursday to a judge’s plan to question his former attorney behind closed doors about the timeline of his relationship with Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D).

Special prosecutor Nathan Wade said Thursday that his ex-attorney and former law partner, Terrence Bradley, should not be subject to a private questioning by Judge Scott McAfee, which may “unlawfully compel” the lawyer to break attorney-client privilege.

The request follows a hearing last week where Wade and Willis insisted they began dating in 2022 — not prior, as defense attorneys purport — and that their romance, now over, is not a conflict of interest.

During the hearing, Bradley invoked attorney-client privilege and said he could not speak to Wade’s relationship without putting his law license at risk. He said he began representing Wade in December 2018, ahead of the special prosecutor’s divorce proceedings.

“Nothing under Georgia law authorizes the Court to conduct such an examination once the determination has been made that attorney-client privilege applies, and should the Court compel the disclosure anyway, it would vitiate one of the oldest and most fundamental privileges recognized both at common law and by statute,” Wade’s lawyers wrote in the Thursday court filing.

Ashleigh Merchant, defendant Michael Roman’s attorney, previously told the court she expected Bradley to testify that Willis and Wade’s relationship began earlier than they say it did. A 2020 Trump campaign operative, Roman first brought Wade and Willis’s relationship to light in court filings and called for them to be booted from the sweeping racketeering case.

The defense contends that Willis hired her romantic partner to prosecute Trump and has since financially benefited from his employment.

Wade argued Thursday that lawyers for the defendants, including Trump, were given “broad leeway to pry into (his) private life” and used that time to introduce “intrusive and legally irrelevant personal details.” And still, they provided no “credible evidence” he or Willis should be disqualified from the case, he said.

For the judge to now question Bradley, despite the privilege invoked, would be “a step too far,” Wade’s lawyers said.

“The Court should not conduct the examination under any circumstance,” the lawyers wrote, bolding and underlining the text.

The timeline of Willis and Wade’s relationship is crucial for establishing whether the representations the prosecutors made under oath are accurate.

While the pair has remained firm that they began dating in early 2022 and broke up in summer 2023, an ex-friend of Willis’s testified that the district attorney “no doubt” began a romantic relationship with Wade in 2019, shortly after a municipal court conference.

McAfee, the judge, has said the allegations against Willis and Wade “could result” in their disqualification if evidence shows an “actual conflict of interest or the appearance of one.”

He will rule on the matter at a later date.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.