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Judge: Law partner must testify about Wade's relationship with Willis

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

Published in Political News

ATLANTA — A judge has determined that Nathan Wade’s former law partner and divorce lawyer must tell the court what he knows about the special prosecutor’s relationship with District Attorney Fani Willis — a decision that could produce more bombshell testimony as defense attorneys seek to disqualify the DA from prosecuting the Fulton County election interference case.

Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee’s chambers notified attorneys in the case by email late Monday that certain communications Terrence Bradley had with Wade are not protected by attorney-client privilege, according to numerous people who read the email. Bradley could be compelled to testify as soon as Tuesday afternoon. McAfee’s decision followed a closed-door meeting between the judge and Bradley on Monday that lasted nearly an hour and 20 minutes.

A spokesman for Willis said the DA’s office cannot comment except in court.

Defense attorneys are seeking to disqualify the entire DA’s office because of what they have called an “improper” romantic relationship between Willis and Wade. The defense attorneys say Willis benefited financially by hiring Wade because he paid for trips they took together with money he earned from the case.

Willis and Wade have testified they split the cost of travel roughly equally. And they said their relationship began months after she hired him to oversee the case in November 2021.

Bradley’s testimony could be damning for Willis and Wade. McAfee has already heard testimony from a former friend and employee of Willis who said the romance began long before Willis hired Wade. Defense attorneys have suggested Bradley can also testify that Willis and Wade were romantically involved before she hired him.

A second witness contradicting Willis and Wade could provide further evidence to support the defendants’ assertion that Willis and Wade lied under oath at the recent hearing. The defendants also are seeking to introduce cell phone records they say are evidence that the romantic relationship began sooner than Willis and Wade have admitted.

 

At the Feb. 15 hearing, attorneys for the DA, Wade and Bradley himself argued Bradley should not be compelled to testify. They said any knowledge Bradley had of the Willis-Wade romance was privileged because he served as Wade’s divorce attorney for a time.

Defense attorneys argued that Bradley had personal observations and other knowledge of the relationship that he did not gain as Wade’s attorney.

McAfee decided he needed more information before determining whether to compel Bradley to testify, prompting Monday’s closed-door meeting. All the while, Wade and his attorney waited in McAfee’s courtroom.

After meeting with the judge, Bradley and his attorneys declined to comment. Wade and his attorney then met with the judge behind closed doors for about 10 minutes. They also declined to comment afterward.

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©2024 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Visit at ajc.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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