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Hearing Underway On Motions To Disqualify Fani Willis In Trump Case. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired February 15, 2024 - 13:30   ET





GILLEN: As it relates to, again, from your -- from your bank records that you're aware of, there'll be -- there'll be no cash deposits, right?

WADE: I didn't say that.

GILLEN: Are there cash deposits which lineup with the money that you have allegedly received from Ms. Willis to, quote, "pay you back" for her part of the trips?

WADE: So here's the thing. In my bank records, you will see cash deposits. You will see check deposits. I can't say that you look through the bank records and you won't see cash deposits because I have two sources of income, sir.

Income comes from my private practice, my firm, and income comes from the contract here with Fulton County. During the course of private practice, occasionally, I will have occasion to deposit cash into my account.

GILLEN: And in preparation for this hearing and your testimony, did you go through your bank records to find out if you could locate any cash deposits that would corroborate your -- your testimony?

WADE: No, sir. I didn't go through my bank records at all.

GILLEN: Now -- so what you would do, the money that you've received, of course, the money that you receive from your work for Fulton County, that's public funds, correct?

WADE: No, sir. It's private funds. My public funds --

GILLEN: Hey, you do work for Fulton County, correct?

WADE: Tell me what the definition of a public fund is?

GILLEN: A public fund would be your funds -- as not a fund, but funds, money public money, as in money from taxpayers by the Fulton County or the state of Georgia, pay you to do the work that you're doing here in this case. Yes or no?

WADE: One of the other, I'm certain.

GILLEN: You know, we've wanted --


WADE: I don't know. It's one. No, sir.

GILLEN: Now, those -- you would take those public funds and those public funds would then you deposit in your account and they were then used to pay for the -- on the credit cards for the trips that you would take with Ms. Willis, correct?

UNIDENTIFIED ATTORNEY: I object to the question, so far as the characterization of public funds, The witnesses testified to that. And I believe there hasn't been any evidence to that --

GILLEN: Once his patroness, the weight on it, the point of it is, is that you guys --



GALLEN: Let's break it down. You got money from Fulton County for the work that you do here, right?

WADE: Yes, sir.

GILLEN: You would send in invoices. They would pay you money, correct?

WADE: Yes, sir.

GILLEN: Those months that -- the private money, that money was money from either the citizens of Fulton County or from the state of Georgia, correct? That's what I mean by public funds. Agreed?

WADE: I guess I'm having trouble with the notion that the citizens of Fulton County had paid me any funds. I'm not certain that funding source, I can tell you that either the state of Georgia or Fulton County has written me a check.

GILLEN: So that would be those two entities are public entities, correct?

WADE: Yes.

GILLEN: That would be public funds, right? Right?

WADE: Yes.

GILLEN: And that those public funds are from the same source that you would then used to pay out on your on your -- on your expenses for the trips that you took Ms. Willis on, correct?

WADE: No, sir. As a testified to moments ago, I have income coming in from my law firm. I also have income coming in from the funds that we're here discussing now from either the state of Georgia or Fulton County and/or both. I'm not certain what it is.

So to say so to say --


WADE: So to say --

GILLEN: Sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt. Go ahead.

WADE: So to say that I'm paying a credit card statement with funds coming from Fulton County or the state of Georgia would -- would not be inaccurate statement because the funds could very well come from my private practice.

GILLEN: What percentage of your income in 2022 came from money where you're working on this case or from your partners working for the Fulton County office?

WADE: In 2022, I would -- I would say 50/50.

GILLEN: You think 50/50 in 2022?

WADE: Yes, sir.

GILLEN: What about 2023?

WADE: Probably 60/40.

GILLEN: 60/40?

WADE: Yes, sir.


GILLEN: The money that would be in those accounts, at least 60 percent of those, in your view, would be the public funds, that those monies were then used to pay for the expenses that you had incurred for the trips that you took Ms. Willis on, the cruises, the Napa Valleys, the Bahamas, correct? Right?

WADE: Yes, sir.

GILLEN: OK. And now, what you -- what you did is that, when you -- when you signed on in the November 1st of 2021, that's when you signed on to be counsel for the anti-corruption matters, right?

WADE: Yes, sir.

GILLEN: Now as you know, in your engagement letter, it doesn't say that you're signing on in -- your scope of work is to work on the Trump special grand jury investigation, does it? WADE: No, sir.

GILLEN: It says that you're signing on to work on anti-corruption -- the anti-corruption unit matters, correct?

WADE: Yes, sir.

GILLEN: Matters. And with a with a pleural, correct?

WADE: Yes, sir.

GILLEN: So in your contract, there is no specific reference to any specific case, isn't that right?

WADE: That's correct.

GILLEN: OK. Now, but you didn't sign on for the duration, there was a period -- you have a contract and then it would then expire, then you would have a new contract, correct?

WADE: Yes, sir.

GILLEN: Now, of course, the extension that you received, the first one was in November of 2021 and then you filed -- or excuse me, there was a renewal in November the 15th of 2022, is that right?

WADE: Sounds right.

GILLEN: OK. Now that was right after you got re-upped by Ms. Willis? Right after you took Ms. Willis to Aruba? Isn't that right? On that November the 1st, 2022 trip to Aruba and through November the 4th, 2022? Correct?

WADE: What is re-upped mean?

GILLEN: Re-upped means that you came back, your contract was up, and then on November the 15th, you and Ms. Willis signed a new contract for you, right?

WADE: Yes, sir.

GILLEN: OK. Now, when you were in -- taking her to Aruba and on the cruises and, let's see, the resort there, did you discuss your re- upping of the signing an extension on your contract?

WADE: No sir.


WADE: But you make an excellent point. I'm glad you pointed that out.

So the trip to Aruba -- the contract was not in existence then.

GILLEN: You're saying -- so you're saying that you were not --

WADE: Under contract. GILLEN: In your contract, did you send any invoices in for work that you did after your contract, your first contract expired?

WADE: No, sir.

GILLEN: You didn't?

WADE: No, sir.

GILLEN: So when that expired, that was it? So then you're saying that after the Aruba trip, you get re-upped with a new contract, correct?

WADE: I signed a new contract, yes.

GILLEN: Now was there any modifications on that contract? Did you get an extension on the cap that you were limited on the first one? Were there any modifications at all, Mr. Willis -- excuse me. I've done that again. I apologize.

WADE: I've been called worse.

GILLEN: I'm sorry.

WADE: I've been called worse.

GILLEN: Were there any modifications on that?

WADE: Do you have the contracts in front of you where you could --

GILLEN: I don't have it in front of me, but I think that --

WADE: Because I believe that as the work gradually -- at the time that the work gradually increased, the hourly cap would -- would increase.

In other words, starting out, starting out the investigation, it was impossible to anticipate the level of cooperation from -- during the course of the investigation from some of the witnesses.

So if you assume that there would be great corporation with the witnesses in terms of interviewing and speaking and being voluntarily speaking with you, it doesn't take as much time.

So after getting into it, realizing that most of the witnesses were not willing to speak, or willing to turn over evidence or information quickly, you figure out that this is going to take a little more time than originally anticipated. And because of that, you have to compensate for those hours.


GILLEN: That's why there was a conversation on your extension?

WADE: Yes, the caps.

GILLEN: Now did Ms. Willis -- excuse me. Did Ms. Willis review your invoices with you when you would submit them? WADE: Never.

GILLEN: Did anyone ever question whether or not you worked 24 hours in one day and billed 24 hours in one day?

WADE: I've never worked 24 hours in one day and bill 24 hours in one day.


WADE: And I'm glad you asked me that question because I'd like the opportunity to talk about that.

GILLEN: I think you should. Go ahead.

WADE: So if you look at that invoice where it says 24 hours in one day, it actually doesn't say one day. If you look at the top of the invoice, it says date completed.

The date that's reflected on that invoice reflects the date that the work was completed. It doesn't say when it started. It just says this is the date that is completed.

So if you go through the invoice, it's probably around the first five or six, you'll see that that's the billing format.

I would bill only after that particular task has been completed. That's why you see a 24-hour period with the one day there.

I kind of wish some of the experts who had opined on that had called me and asked me the question. But there was never a billing of 24 hours in one day.

Now, probably around the sixth or seventh invoice, you see the format change. I started using a range so that it got less confusing, right?

GILLEN: I'm confused. So maybe you can correct it.


GILLEN: In Exhibit 14, you've got you've got down a specific day.

WADE: Uh-huh.

GILLEN: Prepared cases for pretrial. November the 5th 2021, 24 hours at $250 an hour, $6,000.

Now this wasn't about -- this was not about a range. It was about the work that you did on November 5th.

WADE: No, no.

GILLEN: Go on.

WADE: Mr. Galen, look at the top of the invoice where it says "date completed." GILLEN: What I want you to do, Mr. Wade, is focus on the date that you

have down there and tell the court what you billed for on November the 5th, 2021.


GILLEN: I thought it was already in. I thought --

WADE: Again, Mr. Galen, it says "completed date, date completed." The dates that you see here are the dates that work was completed.

So on November the 5th, I completed the task of preparing the cases for pretrial. That's the date I completed it.

Just read --

WADE: It took me --

GILLEN: Just read, if you would. My question was, read out loud the entry for November the 5th, 2021, and how many hours you billed that day. Just -- just do that for me, if you would.

WADE: I can't do that.

UNIDENTIFIED ATTORNEY: Excuse me. I believe he's entitled to answer his question, ask him, it wasn't the question that (INAUDIBLE)

GILLEN: All right. Well, the question now is to read a certain interest.


GILLEN: Just read into the record, Mr. Wade, on November 5th, 2021, how many hours did you bill the citizens of Fulton County for on that day? Just read it out, please.

WADE: I completed the task on November 5th, 2021. And 24 hours was billed at $250.

GILLEN: Now, when you are -- you talked about your relationship with Ms. Willis and your testimony is that it began in 2022. You remember that testimony?

WADE: No, sir. Our relationship began --


GILLEN: Your romantic relationship began in 2022?

WADE: Yes, sir.

GILLEN: That's your testimony?

WADE: Yes, sir.

GILLEN: OK. Now when you were re-upped on this contract, you had a romantic relationship already established with Ms. Willis, yes or no?

WADE: In 2022?


WADE: Yes.

GILLEN: Your re-up on November the 15th, 2022, you had a romantic relationship with Ms. Willis?

WADE: I signed the second contract. Yes, sir.

GILLEN: Answer my question, please.

On --


WADE: I'm not going to use the words re-up.

GILLEN: You signed up, re-upped, or whatever you want to call it, your contract on November the 15th, 2022, you had a romantic relationship already existing with Ms. Willis, yes or no?

WADE: I signed the contract, the second contract, yes sir, during the course of romantic relations.

GILLEN: Yes or no, you had a romantic relationship with her at the time that you signed up the extension on November the 15th, 2022, yes or no?

WADE: The answer to that question is yes.

WADE: Thank you.

Now the -- this was before the special purpose grand jury released any report, isn't that correct?

WADE: Correct.

GILLEN: Are you asking me if it's before the work was completed or before the special purpose grand jury actually released, publicly released the report --


WADE: When they were two different reports.

GILLEN: Your relationship with this Ms. Willis already existed when the special purpose grand jury released its report, correct?

WADE: At the time the report was released? Yes, sir.

GILLEN: And --

WADE: But you understand that the report -- the work had been completed prior to the release of the report. You understand that?

GILLEN: And your relationship with Ms. Willis, of course, was prior to the indictment in this case, correct?

WADE: Yes, sir.

GILLEN: Your Honor, if I may just ask my folks over here whether there's something I need to clean up on.

That's all the questions, Your Honor, I have. Thank you.


GILLEN: I said I think we're through.

UNIDENTIFIED ATTORNEY: -- no, I and ask permission --

UNIDENTIFIED ATTORNEY: He was going to go further on this and I was going to follow up. And allow him to go first.

UNIDENTIFIED ATTORNEY: That's what I thought I had.

MCAFEE: All right. Let me -- the understanding next time we're going to keep going in order and not skip around the order.


UNIDENTIFIED ATTORNEY: That's why I brought it up.


MCAFEE: OK. All right.

Mr. Sadow?

STEVE SADOW, DONALD TRUMP'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I'm going to try to keep my questions very specific.

WADE: Yes, sir. Yes, sir.

SADOW: And I'm going to also, of course, try not to go back into specific questions that have already been asked, OK?

WADE: Yes, sir.

SADOW: When did your relationship with Ms. Willis end?

WADE: 2023.

SADOW: Can you give us an approximation of -- not by date, but by month?

WADE: Summer 2023 -- forgive me, I'm a man. We don't do the date thing. Summer 23, I would say June maybe.

SADOW: OK. Using the euphemism personal relationship, did you have any personal relationship at all with Ms. Willis after the summer of 2023?

WADE: I want to make sure that I'm answering your question. Are you -- because --

SADOW: Let mee rephrase, if I might.

The way it has been characterized in, for example, the response of the state and I believe in your affidavit, is there is a difference between a personal relationship, any professional relationship, correct?

WADE: Yes, sir.

SADOW: I'm not talking about a professional relationship. I'm talking about the personal relationship. Have you had a personal relationship at all -- and you know what I mean by that -- after the summer of 2023?

WADE: Are you asking me if I had intercourse with the district attorney?

SADOW: I was trying not to, but I guess if you're going to characterize it as that, the answer would be?

WADE: The answer would be no.

SADOW: So it's been purely professional since the summer of 2023?

WADE: So that's where we're having issues.

SADOW: You'll have to explain because I don't know what the issue would be.

WADE: No, I will explain it to you.

SADOW: Thank you.

WADE: You say personal. We're very good friends, probably closer than ever because of these attacks. But if you're asking me about specific intercourse, the answer is no.

SADOW: How about if I change it from intercourse to romantic?




During the direct examination, you made a statement, at least I believe I heard it correctly, that you -- personal relationship, and now I'm talking about that characterized the sexual romantic relationship -- was not a secret. That correct?

WADE: Wait. If you're asking me if people knew that we were having sex, no, they didn't. SADOW: I'm asking you whether people knew that you were dating,

whether you were romantically involved. You said that it was not a secret?

WADE: Oh, it wasn't a secret. It was just private. My mother knew obviously.

SADOW: Did anyone in the district attorney's office that has worked on this case know that you were dating or had a romantic relationship with District Attorney Willis?

WADE: I don't know what they knew.

SADOW: Well, did you tell anyone?


SADOW: Do you have any knowledge of whether Ms. Willis revealed it to anyone?

WADE: I have no clue.

SADOW: OK. So as far as you know, as far as you know, from personal knowledge, no one in the D.A.'s team knew, correct?

WADE: That's correct.

SADOW: OK. So if it was a legitimate relationship, is there any particular reason why it was kept secret or private?

WADE: It wasn't kept secret. Just kept private.

SADOW: And the purpose for that was.

WADE: It's what we chose to do.

SADOW: I'm asking you why though, not just because you chose. What -- if you're dating someone, why keep it private?

WADE: So two reasons. The first one is -- and I want to say this respectfully in the right way. There are some people who are in the public eye who just don't like it, don't wish to be there.

I have tried to have lunch or dinner with her publicly, and I can't count the number of people that would approach the table or would accost us as were trying to walk into a restaurant and just have lunch or have a meal.

It is not secret. It is private. We don't want the world -- the world asking questions or interrupting that time.

So we weren't trying to keep anything secret, Mr. Sadow. It does nothing secret or salacious about having a private life, nothing.

SADOW: I'm not suggesting that there was. I'm asking the questions. When you went on the various trips that have been outlined by both Mr.

Gillan and by Ms. Merchant, did anyone in the district attorney's office know that the two of you were traveling on personal trips together?

WADE: To my knowledge, Mr. Sadow, no.

SADOW: Again, that was for privacy, according to your testimony?

WADE: Privacy, yes, sir.

SADOW: OK. Did you and Ms. Willis go to the Hape Ville condo prior to your relationship starting beginning of 2022?

WADE: Prior to having physical contact, prior to having intercourse, did we go to the Hape Ville condo?

SADOW: Again, you keep going to intercourse. I'm trying not to, but fine. The answer to that question would be yes.

Did you and Ms. Willis go to the Hape Ville condo prior to what I want to say, November 1st of 29th, 2021?

WADE: Yes.

SADOW: OK. And the purpose for going to the Hape Ville condo with Ms. Willis prior to 2021 would have been what? Or prior to November 1st of 2021.

WADE: Could have been any number of things. Because at that time --

SADOW: It's what I'm asking you to tell me.

WADE: Yes. Could have been in a number of things because, at that time, she had a friend living in that condo. Ms. Ruraity (ph) lived in that condo.

SADOW: OK. It -- maybe it was my question was poorly worded. Let me try again.

Your answer is yes. Prior to November 1st of 2021, you would have gone to the Hape Ville condo and been there with Ms. Willis, correct?

WADE: Yes.

SADOW: And you would have been there, as you indicated, for many reasons, right?

WADE: Yes.

SADOW: Can you give me just list a few of the reasons?

Ms. Ruraity (ph) resided there. Went to visit her. Maybe went to talk about a document that I received.

(CROSSTALK) SADOW: You would go to the condo to talk about a document that you received?

WADE: Absolutely.

SADOW: OK. Go ahead.

WADE: Absolutely.

SADOW: Any other reasons?

WADE: None come to mind.

SADOW: None come to mind?

WADE: No, sir.

SADOW: And would you say that was frequent? When I say frequent, do you think prior to November 1st of 2021, you were at the condo more than 10 times?

WADE: No, sir.

SADOW: So it'd be less than 10 times?

WADE: Yes, sir.


SADOW: So if phone records were to reflect that you were making phone calls from the same location as a condo before November 1st of 2021, and it was on multiple occasions, the phone records would be wrong?

WADE: If phone records reflected that? Yes, sir.

SADOW: They'd be wrong?

WADE: They'd be wrong.

SADOW: OK. Did you -- where did you live during that time period?

WADE: Same place I live now.

SADOW: Which is not in Hape Ville, correct?

WADE: It is not in Hape Ville.

SADOW: It is north of Atlanta, the city of Atlanta, correct?

WADE: It is.

SADOW: OK. And any other reasons why you would be in the Hape Ville area on multiple occasions prior to November 1st of 2021?

WADE: Let's see, the Porshe experiences there.

SADOW: I'm sorry?

WADE: The Porshe experiences there.

SADOW: So that would've been one. Any other?

WADE: Yes, sir. The airport is there.

SADOW: The airport in Hape Ville?

WADE: Yes, sir, Delta Airlines is.



WADE: Let's see. Restaurants there.

SADOW: You have -- if that's your recollection, that's fine. I'm not asking you to try to remember everything, but if --



SADOW: Did you discuss your affidavit, filed in connection with the response, with Ms. Willis?

WADE: No, sir.

SADOW: Did you know, a personal knowledge, whether Ms. Willis reviewed your affidavit before it was included with the response?

WADE: I have no clue.

SADOW: So as far as you know, personal knowledge, Ms. Willis did not know what you said in the affidavit?

WADE: I didn't give it to her.

SADOW: That's what I said. You have no personal knowledge?

WADE: No personal knowledge.

SADOW: As far as you know, no one else has told you that she did or didn't?

WADE: I hadn't asked anyone.

SADOW: The -- we've kind of worked this up a little bit and the numbers could be off. But according to our numbers, $10,000, give or take, would have been reflected on your credit card statements in connection with things potential benefit to Ms. Willis? OK? I want you to just to assume that.

Assuming that there was $10,000 that you had on your credit cards, is it your testimony that Ms. Willis paid you back $10,000 in cash? (CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED ATTORNEY: Object of characterization of the questioning of $10,000 for Ms. Willis' travel. I don't believe them what the numbers, at least the summary that I've been provided by joint travel. Is that right, Mr. Sadow, sorry.

SADOW: No, it's not joint travel.

But all I'm trying to understand -- I'll rephrase because I don't want to get bogged down on specific numbers.

You would have received thousands of dollars in cash from Ms. Willis, correct?

WADE: Yes, sir.

SADOW: OK. In the thousands of dollars in cash from Ms. Willis, do you know -- not asking you whether she took it out of her pocketbook or she took it out of a suitcase. I'm saying, do you know the source of the cash?

WADE: Just that, out of her pocketbook?

SADOW: You don't know where she obtained the cash?

WADE: I didn't ask her.

SADOW: The whole time that you -- she was paying you in cash, you never said, hey, why do you have this amount of cash?

WADE: Well, Mr. Mr. Sadow, in my practice, people come into my law firm with cash and I never questioned where they got it.

SADOW: Yes. But we're talking not about people that come into your law firm. We're talking about the district attorney of Fulton County, who I'm assuming receives a paycheck. She doesn't get paid in cash.

WADE: So just like you assume, I assume she got it from her paycheck. I don't know.

SADOW: OK. But of course, it's already been -- I'm not going to go back into it. You've not seen any records indicating withdrawals of cash from Ms. Willis at all?

WADE: Why would I ask her --

SADOW: All I said is you haven't, right?

WADE: No, sir.

SADOW: OK. Now can you explain why you filed for divorce one day after you were hired by Ms. Willis? You filed on November 2nd of 2021. You're hired on November 1st of 2021. Why the day after?

WADE: You mean one day so -- SADOW: You filed for divorce one day after you were hired, right?

WADE: OK I'll answer your question.

SADOW: OK. Please.


WADE: So in 2015, when my wife had the affair, we had a conversation that we would divorce right then.

Again, the better practice, at least for my children at the time, was to stay in place until the youngest could graduate and matriculate into college. We did that.