Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Willis' Hearing Continued into a Second Day

Fulton County D.A. Fani Willis made some very bad decisions a while back and is now dealing with the consequences. Hiring her boyfriend, Nathan Wade, as the lead prosecutor on the RICO case was bad enough, but allowing him to pay for their vacations together made it even worse. On Thursday and again on Friday, multiple witnesses testified before Judge Scott McAfee, who will decide whether she, Wade, or both have to be removed from the case. If either of them is removed, it would be a godsend to Donald Trump by potentially delaying the trial until after the election, or maybe even eliminating it altogether if the new prosecutor decided it was too weak a case.

On Friday, we discussed what happened in McAfee's courtroom on Thursday. More happened on Friday. A key witness was Wade's former business partner and also the attorney he used in his divorce, Terrence Bradley. The issue here, which Bradley might know the answer to, is when Wade acquired Boyfriend Status. If it was before Willis hired him, she is in deep doodoo. If, as she maintains, it was after she hired him and they began working together, it is much more defensible. Bradley took the stand but said that due to attorney-client privilege he wasn't allowed to answer any questions about his client, and didn't. This frustrated attorney Ashleigh Merchant, who is the lawyer trying to get Willis and Wade removed. Unfortunately for her, McAfee ruled that Bradley was right and he was forbidden from repeating anything his client had told him. However, when Merchant showed Bradley documents before the hearing containing information about Wade and he [Wade] broadly agreed with them, Bradley may have already violated attorney-client privilege, so McAfee could yet change his mind and tell Bradley to fully testify next week.

Willis' father was also called to the stand. He testified under oath that he didn't know about his daughter's relationship until recently. That doesn't prove anything, but tends to support her case that her relationship is recent. Willis claims that although Wade charged their vacation tickets to his credit card, she reimbursed him in cash. Merchant has demanded to know: Who uses cash these days? Willis' father said all Black families have a stash of cash for emergencies and that he taught his daughter to have enough money to live on for 6 months in cash at home.

The hearing has been suspended for a week, but in the court of public opinion, the case is still proceeding. A lot of commentary is about why Willis would hire an inexperienced prosecutor. She tried to parry that in the courtroom by having former governor Roy Barnes testify that she tried to hire him and he refused. It is true that outside prosecutors are not unusual and if Wade was her third choice, as has been reported elsewhere, that greatly strengthens her case that she didn't hire him so he could pay for her vacations but because she was having trouble finding someone who was willing to handle this hot a case. Still, for many people in Fulton County, some of whom will be on the jury, the whole thing stinks. If Willis and Wade stay on the case, Trump's attorneys are later going to say the indictment was a political hatchet job, and all it takes is one jury member who believes that to produce a hung jury. All in all, Willis flubbed the biggest case of her life and may well lose her bid for reelection this year. Willis was divorced from her ex, Fred Willis, in 2005. Maybe she is lonely. That is an argument for acquiring Wade as a boyfriend, not one for hiring him as an employee. We all know that love is blind. Now we also know that love is stupid, too. (V)

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