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Former law partner of Nathan Wade testifies he doesn't know when relationship with Fulton County DA Fani Willis began

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

Published in Political News

ATLANTA — Special prosecutor Nathan Wade’s former law partner testified repeatedly Tuesday that he didn’t know when Wade’s romantic relationship with District Attorney Fani Willis began, frustrating defense attorneys in Fulton County’s election interference case who hoped he would help prove the prosecutors lied under oath.

Terrence Bradley said that he was “speculating” when he texted with defense attorney Ashleigh Merchant in early January and said Willis and Wade had begun dating before the DA hired him as special prosecutor. He faced a barrage of questions from seven defense lawyers who took turns trying to poke holes in his story. Ultimately, he did not contradict Willis and Wade’s account of their relationship.

That could prove crucial as defense attorneys seek to disqualify Willis and her entire staff from prosecuting the case against former President Donald Trump and 14 remaining codefendants. The lawyers say the Willis-Wade relationship gave the DA a financial stake in the prosecution. Willis and Wade say they’ve done nothing improper.

Defense attorneys have sought to prove the couple have misled the court about the details of their relationship, including when it began. They hoped Bradley would refute the couple’s account that their romance began months after Willis hired Wade. But he was not the “star witness” they’d hoped as he was billed to be.

On the stand for about two hours, Bradley wiped sweat from his face, at one point asked for a glass of water and sometimes took lengthy pauses before responding to direct questions. Defense lawyers pushing Bradley for details were met frequently with one of two responses — “I don’t know” or “I don’t recall.”

Bradley said he no personal knowledge of trips Wade and Willis took together, did not recall some text messages that appeared to contradict his testimony and couldn’t remember when Wade had confided in him that he and Willis were dating.

 

Steve Sadow, a former attorney for Trump, subjected Bradley to a particularly withering line of questioning. Sadow showed Bradley text messages sent to him from Merchant before she filed the motion to disqualify Willis.

In one, she asked if Willis’ and Wade’s romantic relationship began before Wade was appointed special prosecutor in November 2021.

“Absolutely,” Bradley texted.

Unprompted, Bradley then added in the text, “It started when she left the DA’s office and was a judge in South Fulton.”

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