WATCH: Fani Willis’ Attorney Gets Grilled Into Silence By Judge Scott McAfee

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee stunned a lawyer for Fani Willis into silence during closing arguments in the weeks-long disqualification hearing into Willis’ conduct.

During the legal saga, the court has heard testimony from a number of key figures, including Nathan Wade, a lawyer hired as a special prosecutor to work on the Trump case, and Willis herself. Both Wade and Willis have testified that their romantic relationship began after Wade was hired to work on the case, though former employees have testified that the relationship began much earlier.

Willis has also been accused of misappropriating government funds and has no record of several payments made to Wade for trips, stating that she used cash. The Fulton County district attorney also testified that she “kept” funds from a previous political campaign and frequently screamed at attorneys for Republican operative Mike Roman, who was caught up in Willis’ RICO case.

Roman’s attorneys have argued that Willis benefitted financially from hiring Wade and lied about the timeline of the relationship.

During closing arguments on Friday, an attorney for Willis was at one point stunned into silence when Judge McAfee asked him to elaborate on his argument. “What I would say is, [the complaint] misstates the law, as it relates to what the law – what is required for an elected district attorney and their office to be disqualified,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Adam Abbate told the court.

“Let’s go back to that. Show me how,” the judge then interjected. “Certainly a conflict of interest or the appearance of impropriety, may be the grounds for disqualification,” McAfee continued while citing a relevant case.

Throughout the exchange, Abbate stared blankly at the judge in complete silence.

“Well, I think they acknowledge that there’s some ambiguity here that sometimes Whitworth and Whitworth gets cited of insurer and we’ve got this quote that comes up where it’s just they only cite to an actual conflict that must be involved. They acknowledge the ambiguity. They acknowledge the ambiguity. You’re saying there’s no ambiguity whatsoever,” the judge continued after another long pause.

Elsewhere in the hearing, Abbate attempted to reject the notion that Wade and Willis stayed at a lavish hotel when they visited Napa Valley in 2023. Willis’ attorney argued that because Willis and Wade — the latter of whom made over $700,000 from his work on the Trump case — did not take a lavish trip because they stayed at a Doubletree hotel.

“Most people, when they go to Napa, when they want to lavishly experience Napa, stay at the Ritz Carlton, the Four Seasons, things of that nature. Not a Doubletree,” Abbate told the court. According to a report from Washington Post court reporter Holly Bailey, the answer drew raised eyebrows from Trump attorney Steve Sadow, while co-counsel Jennifer Little appeared to be holding in a laugh.

Willis’ legal team also tried to discredit a number of key witnesses, including Wade’s former law partner Terrence Bradley and former Fulton County DA’s office employee Robin Bryant-Yeartie. Bradley was described as “disgruntled” and “vengeful” while Ms. Bryant-Yeartie was described as a “disgruntled former employee.”

Text messages have revealed that Bradley knew about the affair between Wade and Willis as far back as 2021, contradicting sworn testimony from Wade.

“It’s a desperate attempt to remove a prosecutor from a case for absolutely no reason, your honor. Other than harassment, and embarrassment,” Abbate said.

After more than three hours of closing arguments, Friday’s hearing ended without a ruling from Judge McAfee. The judge did note that his decision will be coming within two weeks, however.

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