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Fulton County judge OKs hearing to examine relationship of Trump prosecutors

Tamar Hallerman, David Wickert and Bill Rankin, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in News & Features

“If there’s a hearing, the state will establish, unequivocally, there was no cohabitation,” Cross said. “They never lived together.”

Subpoenas on hold

Cross, along with attorneys representing others who had been subpoenaed, argued that none of their clients had knowledge of information Merchant is seeking.

McAfee had Merchant go through her list of subpoenas person by person to explain the sort of facts she was hoping each would confirm. Cross said Merchant on several occasions was mistaken about the information some would-be witnesses might be privy to.

She mentioned Robin Bryant Yeartie, a longtime friend of Willis’ who worked for a time in the Fulton DA’s office and briefly lived with the DA. Merchant said that part of Yeartie’s job was to oversee Willis’ schedule; Cross said was not the case.

But as he did with other members of the DA’s office, McAfee opted to wait on ruling about Yeartie’s subpoena.

‘Personal or direct knowledge’


McAfee also withheld judgment on whether he would compel testimony from Gabe Banks, an outside attorney who turned down an offer to lead the prosecution before Wade accepted the job.

On Monday Banks told McAfee he had no “personal or direct knowledge” of a romantic relationship between Willis and Wade. But he later acknowledged he had called Bradley — a friend and fraternity brother — about the possibility of Bradley testifying about Wade. He said he was concerned Bradley — who he said served as Wade’s lawyer as early as 2015 — might be “emotional” and violating attorney-client privilege.

“I was concerned personally as my fraternity brother and as another member of the bar that he might arguably be running afoul of the attorney-client privilege,” Banks said. “And so I did have a conversation with him about that and expressed my concern.

"And if that was a way to intimidate, if that’s what he’s suggesting, I mean I would take issue with that,” he said. “In fact, we laughed and he said we should get together for a drink afterward.”

McAfee on Monday did opt to kill one of Merchant’s subpoenas: to Synovus Bank, where Wade’s law firm banks. Merchant was interested in the records since she said that is the account from which Wade paid for trips with Willis.

The judge agreed with an attorney for Wade who argued that Merchant’s request is overly broad — with no limits or date or scope of what they are seeking — and irrelevant.

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