Key witness contradicts prosecutor on start of Fulton DA relationship

Nathan Wade insists relationship began in 2022

A key witness on Thursday contradicted a sworn statement made by one of the top prosecutors in the Fulton Trump case.

Robin Yeartie, a former friend of Fani Willis, said the Fulton County district attorney began her romantic relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade shortly after the two met at a municipal judges’ conference in 2019.

Yeartie said there’s “no doubt” that the relationship with Wade continued until she last spoke with Willis in March 2022.

Her testimony contradicts a sworn affidavit from Wade earlier this month that was attached to a court filing from the DA’s office. In that affidavit, Wade stated that his romance with Willis didn’t begin until 2022, after he began work on the high-profile election interference case.

Yeartie testified she saw Willis and Wade hug, kiss and be affectionate before November 2021, when Wade was hired to work on the case, which has produced criminal charges for former President Donald Trump and 14 remaining defendants.

That bombshell admission prompted Fulton Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee to clear the way for Wade’s testimony before the court. Prosecutors had been seeking to quash his subpoena.

Wade went on to insist in his testimony that his relationship with Willis began in early 2022. He said after exchanging business cards with Willis he spoke to her over the phone two or three times in the remainder of 2019 as she sought advice as a new municipal judge. He suggested they related to one another as jurists of color.

The following year Wade said he spoke with Willis more frequently as she ran to be DA, “but it wasn’t an everyday thing.” He said he offered her advice as someone who had previously run for office. Wade acknowledged that his communications with Willis “became frequent” in 2021 before he was hired in November.

Wade is expected to be questioned further this afternoon.

It is extremely rare for prosecutors to be questioned under oath in a criminal proceeding.

The blockbuster hearing drew multiple defendants in the case who wanted to watch the action. Former Georgia GOP Chairman David Shafer sat behind the defense table — and was briefly scolded by the judge for laughing in response to one of Wade’s answers. Former Black Voices for Trump head Harrison Floyd and Trevian Kutti, a onetime publicist for rapper Kanye West, sat alongside reporters, attorneys and members of the public.

Earlier in the day, Ashleigh Merchant, the defense attorney who did the bulk of the arguing, struggled to get answers from witness Terence Bradley, Wade’s former law partner and divorce attorney. Bradley asserted attorney-client privilege.

Yeartie, meanwhile, said she met Willis in college in 1990 or 1991 and that the two lived together for a time beginning in 2021, but the two last spoke in March 2022, when she resigned from her job in the DA’s office after fights over her work performance.

Under cross-examination, Yeartie acknowledged she left the DA’s office on bad terms. She said she was written up for poor performance once. She confirmed that her departure from the DA’s office ended her friendship with Willis.