Trump Says Willis Texts, Calls Cast Doubt on Affair’s Start

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(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump’s attorney filed thousands of phone records in a Georgia court suggesting Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and the lawyer she hired to investigate the former president were in constant contact during 2021 despite both testifying they didn’t begin a romance until 2022.

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A corrected court filing by Trump said Friday that Willis and Nathan Wade, who’s now leading her election-interference prosecution of the former president, had just under 12,000 “interactions” in the first 11 months of 2021. That meant they had 2,000 calls and nearly 10,000 texts, according to a person familiar with the matter. Trump had to correct an earlier filing that said they spoke by phone 2,000 times and texted nearly 12,000 times.

A private investigator hired by the defense, Charles Mittelstadt, said in an affidavit that he subpoenaed Wade’s cell phone records from AT&T Inc. and obtained them on Feb. 15 — the same day both prosecutors testified their romance didn’t began until after she hired him in November 2021.

Trump and 18 others were indicted in August on racketeering charges related to their efforts to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory in 2020 in Georgia. Four have pleaded guilty. It is one of four indictments of Trump, the leading Republican candidate for president. Trump was recently hit with about $540 million in fines from awards in a defamation trial brought by writer E. Jean Carroll and a civil fraud case by New York state.

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Several defendants, including Trump, are seeking to have the case dismissed or Willis removed as prosecutors over what they claim is a conflict of interest and alleged financial benefits from their romance. Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee hasn’t said when he’ll decide on the request to dismiss the indictment or disqualify Willis, Wade and the district attorney’s office from the case.

A spokesman for Willis and an attorney for Wade didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

In the filing, Mittelstadt claims his geolocation analysis of the AT&T data concluded Wade’s phone was near Willis’ address at least 35 times in the first 11 months of 2021. He was also in the area for several hours late at night on two occasions, according to the filing.

The investigator is “available to testify at the court’s convenience,” Trump attorney Steve Sadow said in the filing. The filing said it included a report of all the calls and texts, a “heat map” reflecting the prevalence of calls, and a PowerPoint presentation of “geolocation highlights.”

Willis gave two hours of combative testimony last week, saying an attorney for Trump co-defendant Michael Roman was lying when she claimed Willis financially benefited from the case.

“You’re confused,” Willis said. “You think I’m on trial. These people are on trial for trying to steal an election.”

At the hearing last week, a former law partner of Wade, Terrence Bradley, claimed that attorney-client privilege prevented him from testifying whether the romantic relationship started before or after November 2021.

Defense lawyers claim Bradley, who represented Wade in his ongoing divorce, has knowledge not covered by the privilege that the relationship began before that date. McAfee, who must decide who’s telling the truth, said he would question Bradley privately in his chambers and decide how to proceed.

In a filing on Thursday, Wade’s attorney Andrew Evans urged the judge to cancel that private interview, which defense lawyers say is scheduled for Monday.

“The court should not conduct the examination under any circumstance,” Evans wrote. “Georgia law clearly prohibits compelled disclosure of the attorney-client privileged communications at issue, even in camera.”

The judge has scheduled a March 1 hearing to consider arguments about the motion to disqualify Willis, Wade and the district attorney’s office.

(Updates in paragraph four to reflect Trump fines, and in paragraph 15 with date of hearing. An earlier version of the story was corrected to reflect that Trump corrected the number of texts between Willis and Wade from the initial filing.)

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