The Georgia prosecutor handling the case against Trump will testify again in a hearing on alleged conflicts of interest

Reuters

Fani Willis, the Georgia prosecutor overseeing the election interference case against Donald Trump, must testify again on Friday after reprimanding defense lawyers for suggesting that she improperly benefited from a romantic relationship with a colleague.

The Fulton County prosecutor will face questions from an attorney in her office as she seeks to thwart an attempt by Trump and several of his co-defendants to disqualify her office from the case. Defense lawyers have claimed that her relationship with Nathan Wade, a special prosecutor handling the election case, posed a conflict of interest.


Willis vehemently denied the accusations during her testimony on Thursday, accusing the lawyer who initially filed the complaint of lying to the court in an attempt to divert scrutiny away from Trump and the other 14 defendants in the case.

"It's very offensive when someone lies to you", Willis said during her testimony.

The allegations could jeopardize the criminal case accusing Trump and several of his political allies of illegal attempts to overturn his defeat in Georgia in 2020. Trump and the remaining 14 co-defendants have pleaded not guilty.

Trump, the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, has long claimed that the four criminal cases against him are part of an effort to undermine his campaign. He has argued that the accusations against Willis and Wade have discredited the prosecution.

Trump and his co-defendants have suggested that Willis improperly received perks from the relationship, including three Caribbean vacations, while Wade was hired by her office to work on the election interference investigation.

Willis portrayed herself as an independent professional who reimbursed Wade in cash for flights and hotels and paid for at least one of the trips herself.


"I don't need anyone to pay my bills", Willis stated. Her testimony came on the first day of a two-day hearing in Atlanta focused on whether Trump and his co-defendants can prove that the relationship resulted in undue financial benefit.

If Judge Scott McAfee were to disqualify Willis from continuing with the prosecution, it would likely cause substantial delays as the case is transferred to a different prosecutor's office.

Defense lawyers attempted to raise questions on Thursday about the cash payments, suggesting there is no record of Willis reimbursing the trips, and about the timing of the relationship. A former friend and employee of Willis testified that she and Wade began dating shortly after meeting in 2019.

Willis and Wade, who also took the stand on Thursday, testified that the relationship became romantic in early 2022 after Wade was hired to work on the case.