5 Explosive Moments from Fani Willis’ Testimony in Trump Fulton County Case: ‘If This Happens Again…’


Testimony Thursday seemingly contradicted Willis’ claims about her relationship with a special prosecutor

Fulton County DA Fani Willis testified in court Thursday and was involved in several tense exchanges that earned her a warning from the judge.

Sparks flew in a Fulton County, Georgia, courtroom Thursday afternoon when embattled Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis took the stand to testify against allegations she had an “improper” affair with special prosecutor Nathan Wade, which could derail her case against former President Trump.

At one point, Willis was asked by a Trump lawyer, Ashley Merchant, in a heated moment if she had any “proof” that she reimbursed Wade for vacations because the payments were in cash.

“The testimony of one witness is enough to prove a fact,” Willis responded. “Are you telling me I’m lying?”

“I’m asking if you have any proof,” the lawyer responded. And Willis shot back, “The proof is what I just told you.”

“Has Nathan Wade ever visited you at the place you laid your head?” Merchant asked Willis in another question related to the timeline of her relationship with Wade.

“When?” an exasperated Willis responded.

“Has he ever visited you at the place you lay your head,” the lawyer repeated.

“So let’s be clear because you lied,” Willis said before picking up various piles of paper.

“Right here, you lied right here,” Willis said, before shouting “No, no, no” when the lawyer interjected.

“It is a lie,” Willis said while holding two piles of papers above her head.

At that point, a five-minute recess was called.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis testifies in the case of the State of Georgia v. Donald John Trump at the Fulton County Courthouse on Feb. 15, 2024, in Atlanta.

The situation became so heated at one point the judge issued a warning to Willis.

“He never came there, OK? So, if you don’t come someplace, you can’t live there as well,” Willis said, prompting a response from Judge Scott McAfee.

“I’m gonna have to caution this,” McAfee said. “Listen to the questions as asked. If this happens again and again, I’m gonna have no choice but to strike your testimony.”

Willis took issue with being characterized as a hostile witness during another moment.

“I very much want to be here, so I’m not a hostile witness,” Willis said. “I very much want to be here.”

Former President Trump speaks at the New York Young Republican Club Gala at Cipriani Wall Street on Dec. 9, 2023, in New York City.

“It’s not so much you’re a hostile witness, Ms. Willis. It would be an adverse witness,” McAfee responded. “Your interests are opposed to Ms. Merchant’s.”

“Ms. Merchant’s interests are, contrary to democracy, your Honor, not to mine,” Willis responded.

“I had some contact with Mr. Wade in 2021, one of the reasons your allegations are so preposterous, or Miss Merchant’s,” Willis said during another moment before being interrupted by Trump lawyer Steve Sadow and asked a question for a second time about the timing of a meeting with Wade.

“I had very limited contact with him because Mr. Wade had a form of cancer that makes your allegation somewhat ridiculous,” Willis said.

“I do appreciate the characterization,” Sadow said.

“I’m not going to emasculate a black man,” Willis responded. “Did you understand that? I don’t think we should discuss further.”

“You’re confused,” Willis said at another point in the trial. “You think I’m on trial? These people are on trial for trying to steal an election in 2020. I’m not on trial no matter how hard you try to put me on trial.”

Willis hired Wade in 2021 to help prosecute her sweeping racketeering case against Trump. Trump co-defendant Michael Roman alleged in court filings last month Willis should be disqualified from the case, claiming she financially benefited from hiring Wade because of their relationship.

Wade took the stand earlier in the hearing. Craig Gillen, attorney for Trump co-defendant David Shafer, who also asked the court to disqualify Willis, questioned Wade earlier about Willis’ repayments to him for vacations that were made in cash.

The defense is trying to prove the existence and extent of any financial benefit to Willis from Wade from their relationship, which is the crux of their argument that Willis should be disqualified.

Wade said he “doesn’t recall” traveling with Willis in 2021, the time he was hired by the DA’s office, but does remember traveling with her in 2022 and 2023. He testified that his relationship with Willis started in March 2022, and their trips together began in 2022.

Wade testified that Willis paid him back for half of their shared trips.

Wade also testified that he was not paid by Fulton County as much as the defense claims. In 2022 specifically, Fulton County paid roughly $300,000 to his law firm. But Wade said he received roughly $100,000 because the payments were dispersed among the three people who worked at the firm, all of whom had contracts with the Fulton County DA’s office for various reasons.

Wade’s testimony contradicts earlier bombshell revelations from a former “good friend” of DA Willis who testified Thursday she has “no doubt” Willis and Wade had a “romantic” relationship starting in 2019, contradicting Willis’ prior statements to the court.

The court adjourned around 5 p.m. Thursday and Willis is expected back to continue testimony Friday.