“D.A. Denies Improper Relationship With Special Trump Prosecutor”


A case charging former President Donald J. Trump and his allies with trying to subvert the 2020 election results in Georgia took a detour on Thursday into the details of the prosecutors’ romantic and financial lives — their sleeping arrangements, vacations and private bank accounts — in an unusual and highly contentious hearing.

Lawyers for Mr. Trump and his co-defendants have argued that the Fulton County district attorney, Fani T. Willis, and the special prosecutor she hired to manage the case, Nathan J. Wade, should be disqualified from the case because their romantic and financial entanglements had created a conflict of interest. Ms. Willis and Mr. Wade forcefully rejected those accusations in testimony on Thursday, with Ms. Willis accusing the defense lawyers of spreading “lies.”

“You think I’m on trial,” Ms. Willis told Ashleigh Merchant, a lawyer for Michael Roman, a former Trump campaign official who is a co-defendant in the case. “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.”

The hearing, in Fulton County Superior Court, was a remarkable turn of events, as the prosecutors who have accused Mr. Trump of trying to invalidate election results were grilled by the defense lawyers about the trips they took together, their breakup and who paid for their meals and hotels.

The timeline that Ms. Bryant-Yeartie outlined could be pivotal for the defense’s efforts to derail the case against Mr. Trump and his co-defendants. If the defense can establish that Ms. Willis and Mr. Wade began a romance before he was hired, it would help the argument that they should be disqualified from the case for a conflict of interest.

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