By David Wickert, The Atlanta Journal-Structure

ATLANTA — Fulton County Superior Courtroom Decide Scott McAfee has lots to think about as he decides whether or not to disqualify District Lawyer Fani Willis from prosecuting the election interference case towards former President Donald Trump and 14 others.

Attorneys for quite a few defendants have sought to disqualify Willis and the Fulton DA’s workplace partially due to her romantic relationship with particular prosecutor Nathan Wade, the personal legal professional she contracted with to supervise the case. The defendants say Willis personally profited as a result of Wade spent a number of the a whole lot of hundreds of {dollars} he earned from Fulton County on trips with Willis to such areas as Belize, Aruba and Napa Valley. Willis and Wade deny they’ve carried out something improper.

Fulton County Particular Prosecutor Nathan Wade testifies throughout a listening to within the case of the State of Georgia v. Donald John Trump on the Fulton County Courthouse on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024 in Atlanta. Decide Scott McAfee is listening to testimony as as to whether District Lawyer Fani Willis and Wade ought to be disqualified from the case for allegedly mendacity a few private relationship. (Alyssa Pointer/Pool/Getty Photos/TNS)

McAfee heard two days of testimony – a few of it contradictory – final week as he sought to find out whether or not the Willis-Wade relationship poses a battle of curiosity that ought to take away the DA’s workplace from the case. Earlier than the hearings, the judge laid out what he hoped to be taught:

“I feel the problems at level listed below are whether or not a relationship existed, whether or not that relationship was romantic or non-romantic in nature, when it fashioned and whether or not it continues,” McAfee stated. “And that’s solely related as a result of it’s together with the query of the existence and extent of any private profit conveyed because of their relationship.”

Right here’s what we realized — and didn’t — from final week’s hearings.

A personal romance

Going into the listening to, Wade and Willis had already acknowledged in a court docket submitting from the DA’s workplace that they had been in a private relationship. On the stand final week, the prosecutors confirmed they had been romantically concerned. However Wade testified he didn’t disclose their romance to different members of the prosecution group.

“We’re personal individuals,” he testified. “Our relationship wasn’t a secret. It was simply personal.”

When the romance started

Wade testified he met Willis at a judicial convention in October 2019. Within the months that adopted, she sought his recommendation on municipal court docket issues and on operating for workplace (she was elected DA in 2020). Willis employed Wade to supervise the election interference case in November 2021 after being turned down by former Gov. Roy Barnes and Gabe Banks, a protection legal professional and onetime prosecutor.

McAfee heard conflicting accounts of when Willis and Wade’s romance started. Robin Bryant Yeartie, a former good friend and colleague of Willis’, testified that the DA informed her she and Wade had been romantically concerned earlier than Willis employed him to supervise the case. Yeartie stated she noticed the couple hug, kiss and be affectionate simply weeks after they met in 2019.

Wade and Willis testified their romantic relationship started in early 2022 – he stated “round March,” she stated “between February and April.”

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