Prosecutors argue burden hasn’t been met for removal

Prosecutor Adam Abbate said defense lawyers have made many “material misrepresentations” as they’ve sought to have his boss removed from the election interference case.

Almost immediately, Abbate sought to discredit testimony from Robin Bryant Yeartie, Willis’ former friend and employee who said she had “no doubt” that DA Fani Willis’ relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade began not long after they met in 2019.

Abbate said Yeartie’s testimony was “at best inconsistent… vague, very little description when asked in a very leading manner.”

He said defense attorneys need to prove there was an “actual” conflict of interest — that the DA received a “financial benefit or gain in relation to the outcome of the case” — not just the appearance of a conflict.

Judge Scott McAfee said Georgia case law appears to show that the appearance of impropriety can be grounds for disqualification. But Abbate said “that’s not the standard.” He said the appearance of impropriety in prior cases had arisen from actual conflicts of interest.

“We have none of that here,” Abbate said of actual conflicts of interest.