‘Undermined’ by Terrence Bradley, Fani Willis Legal Analyst’s Credibility

According to CNN senior legal analyst Laura Coates, Terrence Bradley’s testimony on Tuesday may have “undermined” the credibility of District Attorney Fani Willis in her efforts to stay on the election subversion case against former President Donald Trump.

Bradley, who previously served as the divorce lawyer for Fulton County Special Counsel Nathan Wade, took the stand as a witness. The presiding judge in the disqualification case determined on Monday that attorney-client privilege did not apply to Bradley.

During an appearance on The Lead with Jake Tapper, Coates expressed his belief that the credibility of the arguments made by both Nathan Wade and Fani Willis has been undermined.

The Context

Defense lawyers are attempting to disqualify Willis and Wade due to allegations that their romantic relationship created a conflict of interest during the investigation of Trump and his co-defendants. The prosecutors have acknowledged their affair, but they insist that it started after Wade was hired by Willis to handle the case against the former president.

Defense attorneys have been hyping up Bradley as a crucial witness in the disqualification case. This case centers around the truthfulness of Wade and Willis regarding the timeline of their relationship. Bradley, however, chose not to discuss the relationship during a previous hearing, citing attorney-client privilege. Nevertheless, Judge Scott McAfee stated in an email to the lawyers that he believes the interested parties failed to prove that the communications are protected by attorney-client privilege.

What We Know

During the cross-examination, Ashleigh Merchant, the defense attorney for former Trump campaign official Michael Roman, questioned Bradley about a text exchange that supposedly took place between the two attorneys in the past few months. The exchange revolved around Willis and Wade’s relationship. Merchant revealed that Bradley had expressed his firm belief that the relationship had started before Willis hired Wade.

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During his testimony on Tuesday, Bradley consistently stated that his speculation about the start of the prosecutor’s affair.

During the interview with Tapper, Coates expressed his belief that Bradley deliberately avoided discussing his ex-client’s romantic relationship. Coates pointed out that while testifying, Bradley conveniently seemed to have selective memory and could not recall various important details.

Coates expressed his opinion on the matter, stating that the individual in question seemed to be engaged in gossip with the attorney involved in the disqualification proceeding. According to Coates, the individual was aware that the motion was aimed at gathering information. Despite this knowledge, the individual disclosed that they had a relationship earlier than previously stated. However, today they claim that it was all mere speculation.

Views

According to Coates, Tuesday’s hearing did not provide any evidence against Willis or Wade that would meet the burden of proof for disqualifying the prosecutors, despite some apparent flags raised during Bradley’s testimony.

According to Coates, this case revolves around a conflict of interest that stems from the admitted relationship. He emphasized that the burden of proof lies in establishing that this relationship and conflict of interest resulted in a personal benefit, possibly financial, for Fani Willis. Coates further argued that this benefit would render a fair trial impossible for Donald Trump and the other co-defendants involved.

Defense attorneys claim that the prosecutors engaged in “self-dealing” by pointing out that Wade was receiving payment from the district attorney’s office while involved in an affair with Willis. They further argue that during this period, the two individuals went on vacations together, but both Willis and Wade testified that they divided the expenses and did not financially benefit from their relationship.

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Legal analyst Jonathan Turley also took to social media to share his thoughts on Bradley’s testimony. He described the hearing as “grinding but telling.”

“He was known as the ‘artful dodger,’ but Bradley stood out,” Turley expressed on X, formerly Twitter. “Using the phrase ‘I speculated’ as a way to deflect was a clumsy and unconvincing attempt. What remains is his actual message, sent before he faced such immense pressure.”

In a subsequent post, Turley expressed his confusion over the fact that these two prosecutors, particularly Wade, have not recused themselves.

“These hits are striking below the waterline,” he commented. “It is difficult to comprehend how these actions are benefiting them, let alone their case or their office.”

“The focus of the law to disqualify lies in the requirement of an actual conflict of interest,” Phang emphasized. According to her, the hearing went off track by delving into whether Wade and Willis were dishonest about the commencement of their relationship.”

On Tuesday, Newsweek sent an email to Willis’ office for comment on the hearing.

What’s Next?

The closing arguments hearing for McAfee has been scheduled for Friday. The judge’s final decision on the disqualification of Willis and Wade is still pending.

If the prosecutors get disqualified from the case of Trump’s election subversion, it could potentially unravel the indictment against the former president. This would, at the very least, result in a delay in the case until after the November presidential election.

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