‘I’m not on trial!;’ Willis takes stand in hearing to disqualify her from election interference case

ATLANTA — Defense attorneys for former President Donald Trump and others were in court Thursday demanding a judge disqualify Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and special prosecutor Nathan Wade from the Georgia election interference case over allegations the two had a romantic relationship and Willis benefitted from it financially.

Channel 2′s Richard Elliot was inside the courtroom Thursday where there were heated exchanges between Willis and one of the defense attorneys.

Elliot said it was one of the most heated court hearings he’s ever attended in nearly 40 years as a journalist.

Willis walked into the courtroom Thursday afternoon practically demanding to testify in the hearing that could see her removed from prosecuting the case.

[PHOTOS: Fulton DA takes the stand in hearing to disqualify her from election interference case]

Defense attorney Ashley Merchant accused Willis of having an improper romantic relationship with Wade and of possibly misusing taxpayer money for vacations to places like the Bahamas, the Napa Valley, and the Tennessee mountains.

During several tense exchanges, Willis showed her indignation at those allegations.

“In one of your motions, you tried to implicate I slept with him at that conference which I find to be extremely offensive,” Willis said.

Attorneys for Trump and the other defendants, including former Georgia Republican Party Chair David Shafer, who was at the hearing, want Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee to remove Willis and Wade from the case.

Defense attorneys grilled Wade for nearly four hours as he insisted the relationship wasn’t improper -- only private.

[STORY: How will Fani Willis’ testimony impact the election interference case? A legal expert weighs in]

“Ms. Willis is a very, as am I, we’re private people not. Our relationship wasn’t a secret. It was just private,” Wade said.

Willis didn’t hide her anger at all the motions wanting to look at her bank accounts and credit card records, and she reminded the defendants that they were the ones on trial.

“I object to you getting records. You’ve been intrusive into peoples’ personal lives. You’re confused. 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 put me on trial,” Willis said.

One of the witnesses earlier in the day was a former Friend of Willis, Robin Yearti, who claimed Willis was romantically involved with Wade.

“There’s no doubt in your mind that Ms. Willis and Mr. Wade were in a romantic relationship?” Merchant asked Yearti.

“No doubt,” Yearti said.

Yearti is also a former employee of the DA’s office.

She told the court during a hearing on Thursday she had firsthand knowledge that Willis and Wade were romantically involved after Willis confided to her about their relationship.


She told the court, Willis and Wade’s relationship began in 2019 after they met at a judicial conference.

Merchant asked Yearti did Willis tell her on one or more occasions that she was engaged in a romantic relationship with Wade.

Yearti replied, “Yes.”

Willis and Wade acknowledged in previous court documents that they have had a personal relationship.

Yearti told the court she witnessed Willis and Wade being romantic on multiple occasions before November 2021.

“Hugging, kissing, just affection,” Yearti said.

Willis is expected to be back on the stand when court starts back up at 9 a.m. on Friday.