Defense counsel says Willis and Wade lied about relationship: 'fraud on this court'

 March 2, 2024

Defense lawyer Craig Gillen said in closing arguments of a hearing to determine whether Fulton County, Georgia DA Fani Willis and her top prosecutor Nathan Wade engaged in misconduct that would endanger the trial against former President Donald Trump that Willis and Wade lied about their relationship, perpetrating a "fraud on this court."

“What we have here is a fraud on this court which has been shown, I think, overwhelmingly by the evidence,” he said.

Gillen pointed out that in addition, Willis and Wade offered “no disclosure whatsoever” about their relationship until defense counsel raised it.

"They need to go"

“Prosecutors don’t act like this,” he said. “Lawyers don’t act like this. These people, your honor, is a systematic misconduct. They need to go,” he concluded. Gillen is the attorney for David Shafer, one of Trump's 18 co-defendants in the case.

Willis and Wade both testified under oath that their relationship began in 2022 after Willis hired Wade to work on the case against Trump, but cell phone data and witness testimony suggest that their relationship was in full swing when Wade was hired.

In addition, Wade paid for trips the two took together with his business credit card, which could show a misuse of taxpayer money and Willis's enrichment with those funds. She claims she paid Wade back for the trips in cash, but bank records don't show any support for that story and she doesn't have receipts.

If Willis and Wade are removed from the case, it would mean starting over with the prosecution, which would likely put the timeline after the 2024 election.

Will it be enough?

Judge Scott McAfee seemed skeptical of the notion that removing Willis and Wade is the only remedy to their ethical lapse.

“The proposition you are putting forward now is that if a representative of the state, the lead prosecutor, the district attorney themselves, says something that is untruthful in the record, that is something that immediately has to be proactively policed by the trial court?” McAfee said. “Basically, what I’m getting at is, where in the law do we find the remedy to an untruthful statement? Generally, we sent you down the street to the bar.”

That doesn't mean McAffee won't eventually decide that the case would be too damaged by letting Willis and Wade remain on it, but it does mean their removal isn't a certainty.

Ruling in 2 weeks

McAfee said he would rule on the matter in two weeks after he considers several complex issues that were raised in testimony and evidence.

Jt has “been very much made clear by the argument made today there are several legal issues to sort through” and “several factual determinations I have to make,” he said.

“I will be taking the time to make sure I give this case the full consideration it is due. I hope to have an answer for everyone within the next two weeks,” McAfee said.

Will McAfee consider whether Willis and Wade can be trusted to prosecute fairly and honestly if they have no problem lying to the court? I guess we will know in 2 weeks.

It is worth noting that only the Atlanta Journal Constitution and CNN saw fit to report on Gillen's remarks, if a Google search can be trusted. No other media source bothered to report it.

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