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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis Testifies. Aired 4- 5p ET

Aired February 15, 2024 - 16:00   ET



FANI WILLIS, FULTON COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: I'll give $51. I don't operate like that with my girlfriends. I don't operate like that with anyone. He caught the bill, I caught the bill, whomever.

ASHLEIGH MERCHANT, ATTORNEY: Did you ever pay him through cash app?


MERCHANT: You only ever paid him through cash?

WILLIS: What -- yes. We'll talk about --- I'm very confused now, like --

MERCHANT: You've never given Mr. Wade money through cash app?


MERCHANT: The only money you've ever given him outside of a contract is cash?

WILLIS: I didn't give him money in a contract, so that was cute. But I didn't give him money out -- in a contract.

What happened at -- no, we go answer it since you said it. He worked -- he worked more hours than he was paid and the county paid him for the work that he did. So don't be cute with me and then think that you're not going to get an answer.

MERCHANT: And I will ask you about the contract in a minute. I asked you about cash.

Did you ever pay him anything -- and I'm trying to qualify my questions. I'm not talking about the contract with Fulton County that was paid. I'm not talking about that. Talking about outside of that, did you ever pay him anything other than cash?

WILLIS: I've only give them cash a few times and in the course of what we're talking about. If we would go to dinner --


JUDGE: Let her finish. WILLIS: If we will go to dinner, I wouldn't give him cash because he paid for dinner. I paid for dinner. I've given them cash only a few times and like probably four.


WILLIS: Probably the most money I've ever handed him is $2,500. The least amount of money I've handed him probably $2,500 and $1,000.

MERCHANT: You never wrote them a check.

WILLIS: Ma'am, I don't have checks

MERCHANT: OK. So you have no proof of any reimbursement for any of these things because it was all cash, right?

WILLIS: The testimony of one witness is enough to prove a fact.

MERCHANT: So my question was --

WILLIS: Are you telling me that I'm lying to you? Is that what you're intimating right here?

MERCHANT: I'm asking if you have any proof that you paid any of these monies.

WILLIS: I mean, the prove is what I just told you.

MERCHANT: You have no written proof. Is that correct?

WILLIS: So I have some probably some transactions like in Belize, I probably spent $500 on my card in Belize. I spent 800 -- I can't remember 900 bucks on each of our tickets to go to Belize. I did the $700, I probably got some minor expenses in Aruba that would be on a card.

But for the most part, for those trips, other than -- so the two cruises, I gave him money for those before we ever left because they were pre-booked. Let me answer --

MERCHANT: So, the question was if you had any written proof? And so --

WILLIS: So, I've answered you that I've had written --


MERCHANT: We can move the next question if you've answered. If you had any written proof and that was my question.

WILLIS: I want to make sure that were clear that for the two cruises --


JUDGE: Ms. Merchant, she answered your question, so we can ask the next question. Ms. Willis, in the cross, you'll have plenty of opportunities to let you clarify her answers when it's your turn.

MERCHANT: Thank you, Judge.

Knowing your role is district attorney, know that public funds are scrutinized and money is scrutinized and things like that, you understand?


WILLIS: I'm sorry, go ahead.

MERCHANT: You understand you're under a microscope. You have reporting requirements. All of those types of things. You have no record other than your testimony of the money that you've given Mr. Wade.

JUDGE: You've already asked that question. Let's keep going.

MERCHANT: When you took office, you had a tax lien of $4,600. Did you pay that with cash when you made that tax lien hole?

WILLIS: I probably paid through however you pay.

MERCHANT: Okay. So but you were saying that you had amounts of cash. You still had that lien in 2022 when you were thinking, wait and going on these trips. So the cash that you gave him that could have been used to pay this tax lien off.

WILLIS: You want to tell me how to pay my bills?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I object. This is not relevant as it relates to (INAUDIBLE)

JUDGE: Ms. Merchant, if you are you trying to establish that she was insolvent in some way?

MERCHANT: I definitely was trying to establish that she did not have these mass amounts of cash that she's talking about? Yes.

JUDGE: All right. Ask -- re-ask the question.

MERCHANT: You had to tax lien in 2020 to $4,600.

WILLIS: If you say I did.

MERCHANT: And you did not use this cash that you had to reimburse Mr. Wade to pay that off, correct?


MERCHANT: All right.

WILLIS: I went shopping, too, when I didn't pay it all.

MERCHANT: And you talked about that you gave a lot of interviews to an author and finding the (INAUDIBLE) right? WILLIS: I would not characterize it as a lot. I probably have spoken to them two or three times.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- questions relevant as to --

JUDGE: I think it's already come up that finances are discussed in the book. I'll overrule that.

MERCHANT: Thank you.

JUDGE: Mr. Wilson, continue your answer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What came up with Mr. Wade as hearsay statements that he was asked about in relation to what Ms. Willis may or may not have said in relation to an op-ed. So, that's not relevant to testimony, according at this time.

JUDGE: I think Ms. Merchant cited it inside the book. She also makes statement as to her own finances. And that's at issue.


MERCHANT: So you gave interviews to the authors of this book, correct?

WILLIS: Once or twice.


WILLIS: Three times, and just to be comprehensive. I don't know if it was three times. Two or three times, I think.

MRECHANT: You were quoted in the book and I will give you a chance to say if this is a misquote, you're quoted, I -- when they asked you about if you wanted to run for office for D.A., you were quoted, I really don't want to be financially f'ed up again, do you remember saying that?

WILLIS: So what that refers to --

MERCHANT: So my question first is if you remember saying that.

WILLIS: I remember saying something similar to that, but I would like to be able to explain what that's in reference to.

MERCHANT: That's fine.

WILLIS: That's not in reference to anything else. It was a huge sacrifice to be district attorney of Fulton County, huge. I was doing just fine. I had a municipal court judgeship that was paying me 100- something-thousand dollars a year, and like you've got to show up twice a week. Easiest thing, I've ever done in life.

I also had private clients that were paying me to represent them. So I was able to have a law practice and that. Raising two daughters by myself, there were times in life where things were hard. And so I was telling people, I don't really run for D.A. I don't want to run for D.A.

I mean, a good position right now. I got this easy job that I enjoy being the chief judge of the city of South Fulton, making money at the law firm. And I'm not sure that I want to make the sacrifice. And why does it always have to be me?

Eventually, I prayed. I think that I was the appropriate person. I think that I did that. So when you're referring to that, what I'm saying is why should I make a sacrifice again? And what I was not talking about is being district attorney. Once you get elected district attorney, you're in a fine financial position. I make over $200,000 a year.

What I was talking about is I ran for judge. When I ran for judge, I took $50,000 of my personal money out of my retirement and that money ended up being lost. And I know when you bet on yourself, you're going to have to bet money on yourself. And so, what I was talking about was not wanting to go to the personal financial expense of running for office. By no means that I think that I was going to be financially in a bad position once I won. Let's talk about what I was up against because it's important to understand that comment.

I had a district attorney who had been here for 24 years. You put -- no, no, no, this is very relevant as to what my mindset was about this. So I'm trying to answer your question. So what I was saying is --

JUDGE: So it's a finance.

WILLIS: Right. But it is about my finances if I didn't -- nobody put me in this seat, so I had already run for office once. I had spit $50,000 of my own money running and it was then moot, nothing.

And so when I'm talking to those offers, I'm talking about the contemplation of the sacrifice of the run, not the sacrifice of once you become D.A. The odds were against me. I was likely going to lose the election based on who I was running against.

So that needs to be in the appropriate context.

MERCHANT: Isn't it true that the authors also wrote and you can dispute this if you'd like, that you were broke after that race?

WILLIS: The 2018 race.


WILLIS: Yeah, that was a hard race. I wasn't broke like I didn't have any broke is relative to depending where you are, but that hurt to lose that $50,000. So I'm sure my mental mindset was like I just gave 50,000 hours away.

MERCHANT: Right. So they characterized it from their conversations with you that you were broke, you had poured your own money into the campaign and you weren't able to pay your own bills because of your I'm sorry -- your clients couldn't pay their bills to you and you had a paltry array of family and asset forfeiture cases. It says you were trying to make it month to month.

Is that an accurate depiction of your financial situation that point?

WILLIS: I would want to read that, but I don't -- I don't remember clients not being able to pay their bills. So --

MERCHANT: That part, Judge?

JUDGE: You may.

WILLIS: I have not read this book.

So -- so like this fact here, her ex-husband Fred (INAUDIBLE) to a financial -- I have no information about that.

MERCHANT: I didn't ask you about that. I just asked about if you were -- what they represent from their interviews and then you had clients that want able to pay their bills.

WILLIS: Can you show me where that is? Because this is where you put the tabs. So that's what I read.

MERCHANT: Broke, but couldn't pay their bills.

WILLIS: Yeah, that that I'm sure I characterize myself. I was broke as leaving that $50,000. I don't know that I had-- her nascent law practice had paltry, I didn't have --


WILLIS: I attest -- I thought I had a law practice, so this is not correct. I'm sure just I didn't have any asset forfeiture cases. So I had one case where they had took one of my client's money at the airport.


That's -- I don't know if that's what they're char -- I don't know. On paltry array, I did have family law cases. I guess that's what they're talking about, and clients who couldn't pay their bills and clients. So, no.

MERCHANT: So, my question was just if this was a fair and accurate representation where it says you are trying to make it month to month, that that --

WILLIS: No, I don't think that that is actually a fair and accurate representation, but I am certain that after the 2018 election I'm still not really happy about having given up that 50,000.

MERCHANT: Do you know when you paid your tax lien?

WILLIS: I don't.

MERCHANT: You don't. You know if you've paid it?

WILLIS: I know I've paid some taxes. I don't know. I don't want to speculate.

MERCHANT: Did you tell anyone at Fulton County Board of County Commissioners about your relationship with Mr. Wade?


MERCHANT: Did you disclose your relationship to anybody at Fulton County?

WILLIS: No. I don't think so.

MERCHANT: And as the chief law enforcement officer, Fulton County, I assume that you're familiar with the county code and warden ordinances.

JUDGE: I've said we're not going to cover that in this hearing, Ms. Merchant.

MERCHANT: I'm sorry, Judge.

JUDGE: I said we weren't going to cover the county regulations.

MERCHANT: Okay. I won't.

Let me ask you this then. So are you aware that you're required to disclose any relationship with someone that you contract within Fulton County?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I object, the court's prior ruling this morning made.

JUDGE: Would this be different because its potential for impeachment?


WILLIS: What did you ask me?

JUDGE: Ms. Merchant, you need to re-ask the question.

MERCHANT: OK. Are you aware that Fulton County requires you to disclose any relationship with someone that you're doing business with?

WILLIS: I'm not aware and I know often that time -- things are confused with state constitutional officers in county, but I'm not aware.

MERCHANT: Okay. So it's not your -- so it's your understanding that you don't have a duty to disclose the relationship?

JUDGE: She's answered that question. Let's keep going. MERCHANT: Did you keep track of this cash that you paid him at all?

WILLIS: What do you talk -- I don't understand.

MERCHANT: Did you keep track? Did you keep a ledger? Did you keep track of it?

WILLIS: So I'm only giving him cash as I mentioned, three or four times. There's no ledger. This is friends handing money off to each other.

MERCHANT: So the answer is no.

JUDGE: I think you've already asked whether there was any written proof whatsoever and she's answered that.


JUDGE: So we've covered this. Let's move on.

MERCHANT: Who are you referring to when you suggested that Mr. Roman's motion to disqualify was racially motivated?

JUDGE: We've already said we're not talking about forensic misconduct that's been alleged.


WILLIS: And just so the record is clear, I don't believe I said that he has motion was racially motivated, so I don't want that to stay there. Ive never said his motion was racially motivated. So that -- that should not be true.

JUDGE: It would be best if we don't need to go down that road. Were going to save that for argument.

MERCHANT: You want to said that you would not engage with a personal relationship with anyone that worked for Fulton County, is that correct?

WILLIS: An employee?

MERCHANT: Anyone that worked for Fulton County.

WILLIS: I think I said an employee.

MERCHANT: OK. So that's the qualification you gave, an employee. You would not --

WILLIS: I think that's the statement that I made. So if you want to quote, quote me accurately.

MERCHANT: So it's your position because Mr. Wade was not an employee or is your position he wasn't an employee, correct?

WILLIS: Mr. Wade is not an employee and he will tell you that over and over again.

MERCHANT: Just one moment, Judge.

I'm sorry, this statement so I make sure I accurately quote you. What you said was you won't work -- you won't sleep with people who work under you. Do you not consider Mr. Wade working under you?

WILLIS: I consider Mr. Wade to be an agent.

MERCHANT: An agent?

WILLIS: And a point is what I really think of him as.

JUDGE: Your point, whatever merit it has, Ms. Merchant, is on the record.

MERCHANT: Thank you, Judge.

JUDGE: Next question.

Al right. We need any moments, in a minute.

Mr. Sadow?


JUDGE: All right

SADOW: I'm going to try to ask you questions that you can actually answer without having to explain, okay?

WILLIS: Yes, sir. My comprehension skills are pretty good, so we should do all right.

SADOW: We shall soon see.

If I heard you correctly, you moved into what I will refer to as the Yeartie condo in either March or April of 2021. Is that correct?

WILLIS: Sometime between late February and April? Yes, I don't -- just so were clear, yes. But in that time period, you're in the ballpark? We were in the ballpark


SADOW: OK. And is that Yeartie condo, would you say that it is in Hapeville?

WILLIS: It is in Hapeville. Yes, sir.

SADOW: And you moved in there for safety reasons?

WILLIS: My father -- yes. I moved in the amount we were concerned. My father was terribly concerned about me continuing to live at the house. And so they will clear people came to my house at 05:00 in the morning. I'm about the Plutes (ph) brutality cases, say and I was going to have

a wake-up call. There were security threats due to gang cases, and there were concerns due to the -- that was at the very beginning of this looking into that. And so, for all of those reasons and what was happening, my father wanted me out the house and begrudgingly, I left.

SADOW: Okay. So the answer the question was yes, for safety reasons, correct?

WILLIS: Those were all of the things that cause the safety concerns. I'm sorry --

SADOW: I'm questioning whether they are or not safety concerns. I just ask that you moved into this condo, Yeartie condo --

WILLIS: Right.

SADOW: -- for safety reasons, right?


SADOW: At the time that you moved into the condo, be it from February to April of 2021, was your fathers still living in your house?

WILLIS: Right, because my father --

SADOW: That's all I asked you.

WILLIS: But I get to claim the answer, sir.

SADOW: I don't know if there's an explanation. If I ask you, was your father still living at your house? The answer is either he was or he wasn't.

WILLIS: Yes. But you are going to get to argue at the end of this as we both know.

SADOW: I'm not going to argue anything. I'm going to ask --

WILLIS: So, I would like to be able to explain why.


WILLIS: Because my father is an older gentleman. He was worried about COVID, and he stayed.

JUDGE: Ms. Willis, I'm going to have to say that's second time, whenever we had to put a pause, you stop testifying, okay? You all have a chance to explain yourself.

The question was whether your father was not staying there at the time and you're clarifying that -- in your answer as well. You can have a brief clarification, but it shouldn't be something that reaches well beyond the question.

All right. Mr. Sadow, you can re-ask the question. We'll see where it takes us.

SADOW: Okay. Thank you, Your Honor.

Was your father still living in your house at the time you moved to what I would refer to as Yeartie condo?

WILLIS: Yes, sir, he was due to his concerns related to COVID.

SADOW: OK. The safety concern was that there was potential danger at your house. Is that correct?

WILLIS: Yes. My address had been exposed. So yes, there was concerns about potential danger at my house.

SADOW: OK. So anyone staying at your house in the time period after you went to the Yeartie condo was still in danger, correct?

WILLIS: Yeah. What -- no, no. He did --

JUDGE: I think you have to -- it's your attorney, Ms. Willis. Sorry, Mr. Pottinger. Objection is speculation.


JUDGE: To the question of --

WILLIS: It is speculation.

JUDGE: -- whether someone was still in danger at her condo?


SADOW: I can --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just let her answer the question.

JUDGE: Mr. Sadow wants to rephrase.

WILLIS: I was able to understand it.

SADOW: I've got the objection and then I have --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I withdraw the objection --

JUDGE: Okay.

WILLIS: And I remember the question, so I can answer it.

SADOW: Or you can now that the objection has been withdrawn, can you try to answer that question?


SADOW: There's still a safety concern for people staying at the house. WILLIS: Yes, I was very concerned about my father still living at the house. However, if you have dealt with an older gentleman, he was not leaving the house despite my urging him that I thought he should leave as well. He did not want to leave the house because he was particularly worried at his age about COVID, but that became -- I don't want to say, I was not happy with that decision on my father's, but I can't ultimately make him leave and he stayed there too long in my opinion.

SADOW: Thank you.

During that period that you left to go to the Yeartie condo, did any of your children stay at your house?

WILLIS: So I don't -- I don't think that they were there at that point. Certainly my baby wasn't there.

SADOW: I'm talking about this entire period. We're talking about -- if I remember correctly, and you'll correct me. I'm sure. You said that you stay there at what I would call the Yeartie condo until January of 2022, correct?


SADOW: Okay. So I'm asking you in that period, which would be February to April of 2021 until January of '22, did any of your children stay at your house?

WILLIS: And you don't have to yell at me. I'm able to understand. So I would ask you to not yell at me.

That being said, I don't actually expressly remember, but I can tell you since I have left my home, there have been times my oldest daughter came in. But I can't tell you with certainty the time window that you've said if they did or not. And so I don't want to speculate to that, but there was some time that my oldest daughter came back.


Whether it was that period or after I left Yeartie residents. I'm not sure. Okay?

SADOW: OK. So if I continue to go into more detail on this, you're not going to be able to give me an answer of whether or not in fact any of your children we're still at the house or stayed at your house during that time period, correct?

WILLIS: What I can give you clarity of so that we are clear is from the time I moved out in February-ish of 2021, after I left there, there was a time period that my oldest daughter came back. But if you're asking me, was it in that window or after, I just don't have a recollection of that because, you know, your kids come and they go. And so I don't remember the specific time period and I apologize for that.

SADOW: Did your children ever stay with you at the Yeartie condo? WILLIS: Maybe a night.

SADOW: Okay.

WILLIS: Like for a girls night or something, but live with? No.

SADOW: Did anyone else stay with you at the Yeartie condo, including Ms. Yeartie?

WILLIS: Never. Ms. Yeartie never lived in condo. She met her husband and they move they weren't quite married, but they moved. Nobody ever live with me in the condo. That was --

SADOW: My word. My word was stayed, not lived. Stayed with you at the condo?

WILLIS: I guess I don't understand the distinction, but no one ever -- I think my babies -- my oldest child I think she spent one night with me, maybe my oldest and my youngest. But I think that whole time I was in that place other than that one night, I don't think anyone ever -- does very lonely period in my time -- life. I don't think anyone ever spent the night other than maybe one night. I remember a picture of my babies sitting on the couch in that place. And I'm thinking she spent that night. But just a very lonely time in life.

SADOW: OK. We'll stay with the lonely theme just for a minute.

Did Nathan Wade visit you at the Yeartie condo from the time you moved in until he was hired on November the 1st of 2021?

WILLIS: So I moved out of that condo, but during that time period, yeah, I'm sure he came to visit. He came to visit. I can remember us going -- I think that restaurants Lickety-Split. I can remember him picking me up one Lickety-Split, eaten, ordered some food and coming and sitting at my table and eating. So I remember times that he visited me at that condo, yes.

SADOW: Could you give us an approximation of how many times Mr. Wade visited you at the condo between the time you moved in and prior to November 1 of 2020.

WILLIS: I don't think often, but I don't re -- I don't want to speculate.

SADOW: Can we say more than five? More than ten?

WILLIS: I'm going to tell you the problem I'm having here. Let's say more than ten, but I'm not sure that that's even accurate. He certainly has come and pick me up, grab some food to eat. I don't remember him being in that condo a lot.

SADOW: That your --

WILLIS: I don't -- I'm sorry. Do you want a number? And what I don't want to do --

SADOW: Giving me your current and best recollection is all I'm asking for.

WILLIS: That's all I can give you, sir.

SADOW: How many times did any of the prosecution team -- how many times did Anna Cross come to that condo between the time you moved in in November 1st of 2021?

WILLIS: I don't think Anna has ever been to that condo.

SADOW: What about any other prosecutor that's involved in the prosecution of this case?

WILLIS: I don't think any of them have.

SADOW: Just Mr. Wade?

WILLIS: That's correct, sir.

SADOW: But it was a lonely time.

WILLIS: Oh, my God that, yeah. That 2021, I have a lot of guilt about this time period in my life. Let me tell you why, but yes, it was a lonely time.


WILLIS: I was very appreciative to the citizens for giving me this responsibility and this duty. But what I'm very, very quickly learned is that this is a very isolating job. And 2021 was a lonely time. I turned 50 in 2021, probably one of the worst birthdays I've ever had. I spent it alone. So I have a clear recollection of 2021 being lonely.

SADOW: Did Mr. Wade, ever visit you at the condo? The time period I'm talking about prior to November of 2021 when Ms. Yeartie was at the condo?

WILLIS: So, Ms. Yeartie and me, we didn't share the condo at the same time.

SADOW: So the answer would be no.

WILLIS: Well, we never stayed them together, so it's an impossibility.

SADOW: It's an impossibility?



WILLIS: Now, so Ms. Yeartie, because we need to get clarification on this. Ms. Yeartie stayed in that place. There may have been a time that me and Mr. Wade visit, like when saw Ms. Yeartie.


But me and Ms. Yeartie never lived there together. Just so we're clear.

SADOW: Well, maybe that was clear, but I'm going to have to try again.


SADOW: Was Ms. Yeartie still living in the condo when you moved in?

WILLIS: Not a day.

SADOW: Okay. So what I'm talking --


WILLIS: -- misrepresentation in this. We never lived together. I never lived with Ms. Yeartie.

SADOW: My question, though, I'm trying to understand that. After you moved in to the condo, Ms. Yeartie had been -- she was out of the condo, right?

WILLIS: She got a house.

SADOW: That's all I'm asking. She's not in the condo.

WILLIS: She is -- we never stay, Ms. Yeartie and I never stay a day together in the condo. All of her stuff was out of the condo and all my stuff -- some of my stuff, not all of it obviously was moved into the conduct. So we never stayed there together. No, sir.

SADOW: All right.

So when I asked you about Mr. Wade visiting the condo --


SADOW: -- when you were staying there --


SADOW: -- wasn't staying there, correct?

WILLIS: That will be correct, yes.

SADOW: She wouldn't be at the condo, correct?

WILLIS: No, she would not have been.

SADOW: It would be you and Mr. Wade alone at the condo, correct?


SADOW: That is -- there weren't any other witnesses to Mr. Wade and you at the condo, correct

WILLIS: Yes. SADOW: No security? None of your security detail --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I object. She said it was just her and Mr. Wade.

JUDGE: You made your point, Mr. Sadow. Let's move on to the next one.

SADOW: Yes, Your Honor.

Who in the prosecution team prior to I guess, the motion being filed by defendant Roman, who in the prosecution team, knew of your personal relationship and now I'm talking romantic with Mr. Wade?

WILLIS: So, sir, I am extremely private.

SADOW: I asked you who knew. It's not -- if the answer is no one knew. That's fine.


SADOW: I ask you, who knew him?

JUDGE: Answer and explain, Ms. Willis.

WILLIS: I am very private. When I supervise Mr. Body (ph) and Mr. McAfee (ph), they didn't know who I was dating, but I can assure you I was dating somebody. So that I kept something private. That's my private life is not any mystery to anyone.

It's like a woman doesn't have the right to keep our private life private. And I'm speaking on this because there have been all these intimations.

JUDGE: So on answering the question, Ms. Willis.

WILLIS: I'm sorry, what was the question in, Your Honor?

JUDGE: Is there anyone else who knew about it and then you can explain.

WILLIS: I don't know. I don't think so. I certainly didn't go out telling my business to the world.

SADOW: So the best of your recollection, you didn't inform anyone on the prosecution team that the individual that you had chosen to lead the prosecution team had a personal relationship with you, but that correct?

WILLIS: That's inaccurate. Your question is inaccurate.

SADOW: What --

WILLIS: You stated that the person I chose, we had a personal relationship, so we had a friendship. We have -- we have all these distinguishing factors.

Remember, when I chose him in November of '21. First of all, lets get district Mr. Wade was not actually my first choice. That's no insult to him.

SADOW: Your Honor, I don't --

WILLIS: No, because of the way you phrased the question you said, when I chose him, I didn't inform people of a personal relationship. We have defined personal as romantic. It is an inaccurate way to state the question and --

SADOW: Then I will certainly restate so it is very accurate.

WILLIS: Okay. And please do not yell at me.

SADOW: You hired Mr. Wade for the first time on November 1st of 2021, correct?

WILLIS: November of 2021? Yes, sir.

SADOW: Your testimony is, whether one accepts it or not, your testimony is, but at the time you hired Mr. Wade, there had never been a romantic relationship with Mr. Wade before you hire him, correct?

WILLIS: Yes. My testimony is that we were very good friends, but not we're talking about sex. So let's just don't --

SADOW: Well, I'm not talking about -- I'm saying romantic relationship doesn't necessarily have to be just sex. It can be updating. It can be holding hands. It can be any of those things that one might call romantic. I'm asking you whether or not prior to November 1st of 2021, there was a romantic relationship with Mr. Wade? That's very simple. It's either a yes or no?

WILLIS: I don't consider my relationship with him to be romantic before that. I'm not a hold -- hand-holder. So, no.

SADOW: That's fine.

Now, its moved beyond November 1st of 2020 --


SADOW: 2021, excuse me? I understand your testimony. There was no romantic relationship with Mr. Wade until early in 2022, whether it'd be January or February or March, early in 2022, correct?

WILLIS: I will say sometime between February and April, yes, sir.

SADOW: All right. Now, I'm asking you about that time period when it became romantic.

WILLIS: Yes, sir.

SADOW: Okay?

WILLIS: Thank you.

SADOW: Okay. You didn't see the need if I understand to tell any of the people on

the prosecution team when you had established a romantic relationship with Mr. Wade, that the lead prosecutor that is the people -- man that was basically giving orders to others was dating or having a romantic relationship with you, correct?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I object to relevance at this point, Your honor.

JUDGE: So, no relevance?

SADOW: Just to prove or attempting to show that there is an issue on the credibility about the relationship, the failure to have informed anyone, anyone on her team that she was having a romantic relationship with the lead prosecutor? I suggest gives rise to that inference, that's the rub of the inference.

JUDGE: The inference that?

SADOW: The inference that -- that they were concealing this because it was not as it's been characterized, the court and then in fact, it started earlier than what they say.

JUDGE: All right. Overrule, Mr. Sadow.

WILLIS: I just want to make sure that we're clear, from at least 2020. Me and Mr. Wade were friends, at least that time period.

SADOW: Okay, I'm not talking about --

WILLIS: So, no, no, I want to be clear because my credibility is being evaluated here, right? We were friends. We hung out prior to November of 2021. In November of 2021, I hired him. I do not consider our relationship to have become romantic until early of 2022 because I don't know what date and time, I'm saying sometime between February and April of 2022 and very early April of 2022, because I know that trip that I discussed with you was the first week of 2022, that the relationship had become romantic.

I hope that answered your question, but I can't have it where, you know, we're saying something differently.

JUDGE: So, you established the timeline, as you put it, the question originally was at the time -- at that time, did you tell any other prosecutors or the prosecution team.

WILLIS: I never told people at work whom I'm dating.

JUDGE: All right.

Mr. Sadow?

SADOW: OK. Did you take any trips to D.C. with Mr. Wade?

WILLIS: Never.

SADOW: Did you ever -- did you take -- okay. So do you have no -- what I would call personal trips or business trips to D.C. with Mr. Wade.

WILLIS: I never went to D.C. with Mr. Wade personal, business, otherwise, never.

SADOW: So --

WILLIS: I've never been in the District of Columbia with Mr. Wade or Maryland, Virginia, the DMV as they call it.

SADOW: So as I understand it, to be clear, any trips that you would have taken to see D.C. would not --

JUDGE: That was a pretty clear answer.


JUDGE: That was a pretty clear answer. She just said no.


JUDGE: So you have a variation or something new to bring up.

SADOW: I'll ask it and well see. Did you take trips to dc that were non-business during the time period that this case of this matter was under investigation?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to object to relevance as relates to the matter that we're here before, Your Honor.

JUDGE: Well, again, the question he asked take personal or business trips. She said --

SADOW: But I -- but that was with Mr. Wade. That was with Mr. Wade. This I asked her alone whether she took.

JUDGE: Okay.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's the relevance?

JUDGE: What would be the relevance of that?

SADOW: Trying to understand whether or not we have an ability to show a personal trip in which Mr. Wade is there at the same time. I understand her answer. Oka? I understand her answer, but we have documents. We have records that --


JUDGE: Well, this could be something that's maybe not part of the record yet, but if he as -- I think there have been other things discuss in this case and they have evidence that Mr. Wade may have been in D.C. at the same time. If you want to ask about that exact specific date, Mr. Sadow, you can do that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would reference to the court that that was not asked of Mr. Wade anything about any trips to D.C.? JUDGE: Sure. And so that's going to limit its merit and impacting on

credibility. So, Mr. Sadow, ask the question.

SADOW: So I understand your testimony is you'd never took a trip to D.C. with Mr. Wade?

WILLIS: That's correct.

SADOW: Personal or business?

WILLIS: That's correct.

SADOW: Were you ever in dc at the same time as Mr. Wade?

WILLIS: I was not --

SADOW: -- on personal or business?

WILLIS: No, me and Mr. Wade have not been to D.C. at the same time?

However, since Mr. Wade has been on this case, he's been to D.C. Since Mr. Wade has been onto this case, I've been to D.C. What has not happened is we have not been in the District of Columbia at the same time.

Now, the only thing I'm not sure about what you asked me is if I've been to D.C. personally, because I've got a lot of personal friends in that area.


But I know that I have been a D.C. -- I did an interview at Howard University. I went to D.C. for that. Seemed like I've been in D.C. one other time -- oh, I went to D.C. for the global summit. Yeah, those were two separate trips.

SADOW: My next question is based on her opening the door, and therefore, I'll just ask it in, Your Honor, can decide whether or not it's appropriate when you went to D.C., did you go to the White House?

WILLIS: I did not go to the White House.

SADOW: Well, apparently I'm going to get the answer anyhow.

JUDGE: There you have it. Next question.

SADOW: Okay. You indicated your best recollection was that you relationship with Mr. Wade, a romantic relationship, ended -- you will have to get -- August of 2023. That sound right?

WILLIS: That's the hard conversation. That's not the --

JUDGE: We've covered this. Next question.

SADOW: And you characterize it as a tough conversation? Correct?


SADOW: Okay. I'm not going to get into the conversation per se.

WILLIS: You should.

JUDGE: Well, if he doesn't want to, we won't go there.

So, Mr. Sadow, next question.

SADOW: It's kind of hard to say no when you've got that opportunity. But I'm going to say is, was it pre-indictment in this case?


JUDGE: We know the timeline that the indictment was delivered.

WILLIS: And so that we're clear, the physical relationship ended pre- indictment.

SADOW: And is that when you were talking about the tough conversation?

WILLIS: But the phy -- I'm not sure that the tough conversation didn't happen until after, but the physical relationships, so I'm sure if you ask Mr. Wade because he's a male, he would say we ended June or July because physical contact ended then.

Just in my mind, being a woman, it's over when you have that like hard conversation. That's -- I just think women and men think differently.

JUDGE: And I think the answer Mr. Sadow, out of your question was she's not sure whether it was before or after the indictment.

SADOW: I'm not -- I'm not sure that that was her answer, but let's see if I can get specific.

WILLIS: That is what I said. That's what I said.

JUDGE: I let you. Next question, Mr. Sadow, if you need to clarify.

SADOW: I want to say one more. The romantic relationship ended before the indictment was returned? Yes or no?

WILLIS: To a man, yes.

SADOW: To a man, yes. To you, no?

JUDGE: She's explained this, Mr. Sadow. She's explained.

SADOW: And the -- did the forthcoming indictment have anything to do with that? Or was it just a coincidence.

WILLIS: Mister -- let's go on and have the conversation.

SADOW: I've just asked you whether or not it was a coincidence. WILLIS: Had absolutely nothing to do with this. It's interesting that we're here about this money Mr. Wade is used to women that -- as he told me one time, the only thing a woman can do for him is make him a sandwich.

We would have brutal arguments about the fact that I am your equal. I don't need anything from a man. A man is not a plan. A man is a companion.

And so there was tension always in our relationship, which is why I was give him his money back. I don't need anybody to foot my bills. The only man who's ever put my bills completely is my daddy.

SADOW: Is there anything else you'd like to add to that?


SADOW: Sure.

WILLIS: I'm sure we'll talk about it further.

SADOW: No, we're not going to talk about it further.

JUDGE: All right. No back-and-forth, Mr. Sadow, next question.

SADOW: My next question is something that I would -- that has to do with the -- what I've characterized as the church speech. Let me just tell you what the question is, because I know that's not --

JUDGE: Reserve for the record.


JUDGE: You can preserve the question for the record, but then well move on.

SADOW: That's correct. Thank you.

When you gave what I've referred to as the Martin Luther King weekend church speech. You know what I'm referring to?

WILLIS: A great honor of mine, that's a historic African American church. Yes, I do.

SADOW: Okay.

WILLIS: Did you have handwritten notes with you that you were reading from during the speech?

JUDGE: And on second thought, Mr. Sadow, because you might have a number of questions about this. Why don't we just bullet point what you would want to cover on this reserved for the record, then well move on to the next topic.

Since I had laid out before that the forensic misconduct doesn't --


SADOW: I do not get an answer for that?

JUDGE: That's right.

SADOW: Okay. Did you read your speech?

JUDGE: Look, no. Mr. Sadow, for everything related to any forensic --

SADOW: You just wanted to stay out of it now?

JUDGE: We're just not -- we can do it in a bullet form. If you just want to cover what you would've asked -- but it's not in a question- and-answer format.

SADOW: So I should do that at this point or do it?

JUDGE: Sure.

SADOW: When you're ready --

JUDGE: We can do it right now, so it's fresh and --

SADOW: I'm going to ask her about that, did she prepare the speech? Did she have notes on the speech, that she read the speech? When did she do this? When did she write this speech? Who is she referring to when she was talking about others?


Who is you referring to when that she said they? Who she was referring to when she spoke in terms of their -- that is --

WILLIS: I will love to answer those questions.

JUDGE: Well, Ms. Willis, you can certainly do that in some other format. But for today, that's what decided were not going to cover.

SADOW: Who is she talking about that was playing the race card? And why she didn't tell the people at the church that she was -- that she had had a personal/romantic relationship with the -- all due respect the way it was characterized -- the Black man that she was referring to, and was the Black man she refer referring to, was that Mr. Wade?


SADOW: So that's that area of inquiry.

JUDGE: Noted for the record, Mr. Sadow. Next topic?

SADOW: OK. I realized that you've testified that you have no records with regard to cash payments.


SADOW: Correct? WILLIS: Uh-huh.

SADOW: Would your bank records reflect that you withdrew cash from your bank accounts during the time period of 2020, 2021, 2021, 2022, or 2023?

I'm not asking you -- I'm just asking whether they would reflect that you would cash from any of your bank accounts?

WILLIS: The exact amounts?

SADOW: Well, just in fact, you did.

WILLIS: Of course, I withdrew money throughout the time period throughout my life. I withdraw money from the bank. Yes. Of course.

SADOW: Talking about cash from -- that is that you go to a bank or you go to an ATM and you take cash out.

WILLIS: Either that way or you go to Publix and you overpay or you go to another store and you overpay. So yes, both through that? Yes. Of course, they will reflect that at times.

SADOW: Okay. And those records, if we have them, would show that, correct?

WILLIS: That throughout the course of our life, I drawn out money.

SADOW: I was very specific, I said 2020 --

WILLIS: Yes. During the course of that time period, I would have taken money out. Yes.

SADOW: So do you have a problem with re --

WILLIS: I absolutely. Yes.

SADOW: You don't want the bank records to be made available for the court and the court alone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to object to the relevance and this is already been addressed earlier as it relates to other records. This is an improper line of question -- questioning, doing it to the purpose of harassing. For the purpose of --

JUDGE: I'm just going to sustain it on relevance.

Mr. Sadow, that's something you want to follow up privately. You can do that.

SADOW: Last area briefly.

WILLIS: Yes, sir.

SADOW: You had contact with Mr. Wade in the year 2020, correct?

WILLIS: Ooh. I had some contact with Mr. Wade.

SADOW: Would you explain when you say some contact? Please tell us the -- I'm talking about 2020.

WILLIS: I had some contact with Mr. Wade in 2020. One of the reasons, your allegations are so preposterous or Ms. Merchants that you have going is --

SADOW: Ma'am, I didn't ask you about the allegations. I asked you about your contact. It's all I ask you. Okay?

I appreciate that. You want to say something, but I'm interested in -- did you have contacts with Mr. Wade in 2020 and your answer so far has been yes, correct?

WILLIS: Very limited contact because Mr. Wade had a form of cancer. It makes your allegations somewhat ridiculous.

SADOW: I do appreciate the characterization --

WILLIS: I'm not going to emasculate a Black man, but I'm just telling you --

SADOW: I'm sorry. What?

WILLIS: I'm not going to emasculate a Black man. Did you understand that? I don't think we should discuss further.

JUDGE: All right. Let's get back on track.

Mr. Sadow, next question?

SADOW: Trying to, Your Honor. Would you tell us on the occasions in 2020 that you add contact with Mr. Wade?

WILLIS: I'm sorry, I thought I had answered that, yes. Yes. So there were times in 2020 I had contact, but 2020 was a year I was running for office. It was a year that he was going through some serious medical issues, and I did not have much contact. But I certainly had contact with him in 2020 --

SADOW: Did you go out to eat with him?

WILLIS: Maybe probably.

SADOW: Did you -- did you visit him in any location? His office or did he visit you in your office in 2020?

WILLIS: I am sure he -- I'm sure -- that's a very good question. I'm sure he came to 750 in 2020.

SADOW: 750 is?

WILLIS: What's my office.

SADOW: Okay. WILLIS: Not often, but maybe once or twice. Maybe I went to his

office once or twice, but maybe once.

SADOW: And the purpose for going to his office would have been what?

WILLIS: Maybe we would've went to Mellow Mushrooms for pizza or maybe he would come for lunch.


I'm sure we were by just his office though, but not often, not a lot. We both grinding tracks, right, to make a living.

SADOW: I understand what you've said about the cancer and I'm not going into that, but when you were going out with him to restaurants or when he would come to your office, right? Those were not sterile environments where they?

WILLIS: Oh, very sterile because it --

SADOW: A restaurant were a sterile environments?

WILLIS: A lot of times we wouldn't eat there. We will pick up something and go in, but they were --

SADOW: I'm listening to you. You pick up and take it to where?

WILLIS: Maybe eat at our office, but it did not happen much. That's what I'm trying to explain to you in my office in 2020, nobody was coming in I was stir-crazy, so I would still go into my office. You remember when I started this, I said I am not even sure if we came to each other's offices, but I am trying to be over-cautious.

So I think I can recall him at 750 a couple of times, I don't recall him as 750 once, but lets say twice. I have seen his office. I remember all the awards in the lobby, but I'm not sure in 2020 I went. I'm not even sure I went in 2020 at all. I just want to tell you.

Yes, because I'm not sure, but I have -- I have a distinct recollection of him at 750. I actually don't have a distinct recollection of me. It is office in 2020, but maybe I went to his office in 2020. Maybe.

SADOW: Did you have ongoing phone conversations during 2020 with Mr. Wade?

WILLIS: Oh, yeah. I talked to, yes, absolutely. Yes.

SADOW: Yes. No question about that?

WILLIS: No question. I talked him on a phone in 2020.

SADOW: I understood and this is -- maybe I was confused the Belize trip was for --

WILLIS: His 50th birthday. SADOW: His 50th birthday. And that was in?

WILLIS: March, he turned 50, March 18th of 2023. If you look at the dates of the trip, and they're about six days. We stayed at two different locations.

SADOW: And you paid for it.

WILLIS: One hundred percent. He said -- not only -- I mean, I paid for the hotel, I paid for the flights. I had a birthday luncheon for him. I paid for massages. I paid for everything.

SADOW: And were those payments be reflected on your credit card?

WILLIS: I pay it with cash -- cab.

SADOW: You pay them with cash?

WILLIS: Cabs, cabs. I was telling him all the different things.

SADOW: And I'm asking you whether or not those payments would be reflected on credit card bills of yours?

WILLIS: There was about $500 that I think is reflected on a debit card. What my recollection is I took about four in cash with me.

SADOW: Four hundred or 4,000?

WILLIS: Four thousands. But I remember I handed him 2,500 and then the rest was just the money we spent. I probably gave $300 or $400 to this guy who was a taxi driver. He would drive us every day around, the two or three days we went, took him to eat like it was my -- my trip money.

SADOW: And you had to be clear to end this up. The four thousand that you've just told us --

WILLIS: But I didn't give it all to him. Remember, I only gave the 2,500 to him.

SADOW: I didn't ask you that. I'm just going to ask you that 4,000 is part of your, my words, cash horde that you had collected over time?

WILLIS: Cash what?

SADOW: Horde, h-o-r-d-e.

WILLIS: I thought you said something different, sir?

SADOW: No, I'm afraid I wouldn't say that any circumstances to you or in court.

JUDGE: All right, back on track.

SADOW: To horde cash or debt.

WILLIS: I would not classify it in that way, but I have money at my house. Yes, sir.

SADOW: And the money -- when you had money at your house.

WILLIS: When I'm speaking too loosely. I had money wherever I was stayed. So I was not referring to my house and 750, I'm saying I have money, wherever I was laying my head. Yes, sir. That was my fault that I wasn't clear.

SADOW: So when you were at what we've said, the Yeartie condom, during the time period we've always discussed. That's where you would keep your cash?

WILLIS: When I stay there. Yes.

SADOW: That's all I have. Thank you

JUDGE: All right. I want to see if we can get through a few more defense counsel possible before breaking for today.

Mr. Stockton?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Madam, this would turn out Mr. Allyn Stockton (ph), and I don't think we've had the pleasure of meeting.

WILLIS: It's a pleasure to meet you, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Madam D.A., you described these various trips and Mr. Sadow asked you about going to Washington, did you and Mr. Wade go to New York?

WILLIS: I've gone to New York, I've gone to New York twice since I've been district attorney. So, I make it was two or three times. I went to do a domestic violence thing there, for sure, and I was honored and I went to the Apollo there. Those were the only two trips that come to mind, I went.


He was not with me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You also said that he was a world traveler and been on many of the continents.

WILLIS: He'd been to six.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you been on any of those continents with him? Besides this one?

WILLIS: Where's Belize? What continent is that? I'm not being funny. I don't know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's say -- with the exemption --

WILLIS: I've been to with Belize with him. I've been to the Bahamas with him. I've been to Aruba with him. Don't embarrass me. I'm not sure what continents those are on. Whatever continents those are, that's where I've been. I'm sure if I gave it some thought, I would tell you, but whatever continents those are that I've been to, those locations, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But not Australia or any other continents?

WILLIS: I don't even want to go to Australia. I do know he took a trip in December to Australia. I have no idea you know. I don't know anything about that trip.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When Mr. Wade began working with your office?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He had two other gentlemen that worked in his firm with him. Is that correct?

WILLIS: Yes. Terrance Bradley worked for him and Chris Campbell were -- not for him. They work with each other.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you understand what their partnership arrangement was?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did he ever make you aware of how fees were divided or anything?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, since you have been district attorney the two gentlemen that worked with Mr. Wade and his firm they also had contracts with your office, is that correct?

WILLIS: I probably had -- I don't --

JUDGE: We already -- I don't know if we've covered this, Ms. Willis, but I still don't know what the relevance would be of her testifying to this.

WILLIS: But I've had about ten -- I'm sorry. Do you want me to answer this?

JUDGE: Let's figure it out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Judge, respectfully, I think based on Mr. Wade's testimony, he had an interest in those contracts.

JUDGE: Sure. And then -- but how's that been imputed to Ms. Willis?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know if whether or not she knew she was giving him that benefit. That's what I was trying to explore.

JUDGE: Okay. Well, maybe we can start with that question and then if she doesn't know about it, then the ins and outs of all the contracts requires relevant.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Judge, to lay a foundation for that, though --

JUDGE: Let's see where it takes us. Go ahead

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The two gentlemen that were in Mr. Wade's office, did they have what he thinks been referred to as a taint contract?

WILLIS: So let me be clear. Now, I may get the names wrong. When I first became D.A. is the office was not properly staffed and so I'm surprised any lawyer would take it, but I did a contract for $60 an hour to help us out with first appearance. That lasted a few months, okay?

So I can't remember Bradley or Campbell had that. I'm sure we can have records and I can tell you which one, but I just can't remember now, I liked their experience. One had been -- Bradley had been a probation officer and a defense attorney. Campbell had been a police officer and defense attorney. There's a reason I'm telling you this.

Then that contract, like I said, it didn't last long. It was just I was aggressively hiring, hiring, hiring, hiring. Soon as I got where I felt like I have first appearance, enough lawyers for that. I'll let them go.

Then, we have what's called a filter contract, but it was not filter for this particular case. I do have a lawyer who does the filter for this election interference case. When were talking about filter the contract, they had that neither one of them has any longer. I now have another lawyer that does f for me.

It was only for police brutality cases, is for what I call the -- so when I first got to be the D.A., I had -- the whole unit was called anticorruption. It dealt with both elections and police brutality cases.

I actually took a trip to Houston and visited the district attorney in Houston. They divided their workup and I thought the way she was doing it was better than me. And so I made a civil rights unit.

And so they did what we would classify as civil rights cases. Those are specifically the police brutality cases. When I first took over, I was told Paul had not filtered five cases.

That was a joke. It ended up being the 101 cases. They weren't filtered, which is why I hired two of them. Eventually we got it down enough that it was one of them. And then now I still have one lawyer that does it. But now I've been able to cut those cases down to like 30.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you tell me the -- helped me understand what the purpose of the filter is?

WILLIS: Yes, sir. So what a filter is, is police officers make statements in the line of duty. And you are not allowed as the prosecutor should know what those statements are, if they're done in the furtherance of their employment. And in fact, if you know what those statements are, you're basically disqualified from the case. You can't have it anymore.

So, what our policy is, I think I pay him like $150 flat fee.


They pick the case up directly from the GBI because that's where those cases go to, and then what they are to do is to go through the entire files. So the body cam, the -- which is important because sometimes they'll make a statement to their supervisor on body cam, in the police reports where they write things. That it would be easy if it was just some statement of the police officer.

But what you find out is these statements are embedded in it. So what your filter lawyer does is they go through it, they either redacted out electronically or they cross it out. And then once it is crossed out, then they provide it to my team and then were able to look at it.

That was not being done appropriately when I became district attorney. I thought that the only bit so Mr. Howard (ph) had some Chinese wall thing that I didn't think worked at all where allegedly those cases were properly redacted, that ended up being a joke. And so the five cases really turned into -- I'm not going to say all 101, but a vast majority.

That is the work that Mr. Bradley and Mr. Campbell did for me. They did a really good job. All of those cases that we originally came with, they're done. Those cases are -- they're not just done from Mr. Bradley and Mr. Campbell. They're done through my office.

But obviously, life is not stagnant. There have been new police cases. I do have a lawyer that is doing that work now, that doesn't work for me. That's same kind of deal.

I have another lawyer that does filter in this case completely separate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So in the same private office, you had a filter contract, then you had somebody else having handling first appearances and so forth, and then you had a special prosecutor. Is that correct?

WILLIS: I' just not -- ultimately, the answer to your question is yes, but I'm not sure that they did it at the same time. The first appearance contract was either $60 or $90. I don't know really how I convinced them to be able to take that, but I think because it was such a short amount of time. And then I think I pay my filter lawyers which I still don't know how get away with, about 150 an hour.

And I want you to understand, the AG pays special prosecutors $1,000 an hour. So I'm a tough negotiator. Paul was paying people up to 375 an hour. I won't pay anyone more than -- 250 is my max. I have a lot of lawyers that lot for what I have that work at 250 and I capped them every month. You can't go pass a certain amount of hours.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you agree that if Mr. Wade and the two other gentlemen that were in his firm were splitting fees in equal thirds, would you agree that he would benefit from the tank contract and also from the other first appearance contract?

WILLIS: I would agree he would make money, yeah. So to make money as a benefit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Judge, it's all I got.

JUDGE: Mr. Durham, just with us on zoom?


JUDGE: Mr. MacDougald (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do have a couple, your honor, that's a little walker to come from back here.

JUDGE: Yeah. Why don't you go ahead and make your way up?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good afternoon, Ms. Willis. How are you doing?

WILLIS: I'm very well. How about you, Mr. McDougal? I think this is a first in-person meeting, correct?


WILLIS: Second, well, I apologize for my remembering you more clear.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's quite all right.

I'm referring now to exhibit number 21.

WILLIS: Yes, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Which was your financial disclosure form for 2022.

WILLIS: Yes, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it has a question which requires you to disclose any gifts or favors from a single prohibited source. In the aggregate amount of $100 or more. Do you see that?

WILLIS: I don't, but I believe you --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It would be on page two in the middle, paragraph number three.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what is your understanding of a prohibited source for purposes of this form?

WILLIS: I believe there's some classification of somebody you like don't have a personal relationship with the gives you $100.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you let me under there, subparagraph 2, on that too, it defines it as someone that you know, or should know is seeking to do or is doing business with the county, correct?

WILLIS: Yes. But -- yes. Let me -- yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That includes Mr. Wade as of the date you filled out this form, correct?