April 22, 2024

Trump Georgia hearing drama as Fani Willis testifies: Live

Fani Willis accuses prosecution of ‘lying’ as she takes stand

Donald Trump appeared in court in New York for a pre-trial conference on Thursday morning as part of Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg’s case alleging that he knowingly falsified business records in 2016 in order to conceal “hush money” payments made on his behalf to porn star Stormy Daniels.

After the former president raged at the basis of the trial, Judge Juan Merchan swiftly denied his motion to dismiss the case and set jury selection for 25 March.

Meanwhile, in Georgia, Judge Scott McAfee is holding a hearing on Mr Trump’s effort to remove Fulton County district attorney Fani Willis from the racketeering case against him after she was accused of having an affair of her own with prosecutor Nathan Wade.

Ms Willis has not denied the relationship with Mr Wade but refutes the claim that it has any bearing on the indictment of Mr Trump and his co-defendants, who are accused of trying to overturn the 2020 election result in her state.

The Republican front-runner held a rally in North Charleston, South Carolina, on Wednesday night at which he bragged about doing “nothing” to rein in gun violence during his presidency.


Georgia election case: Willis cautioned

Oliver O’Connell15 February 2024 21:15


What do we know about the ‘national security threat’ that has riled up DC?

Washington reacted like a bomb went off after news broke on Capitol Hill of a “national security threat” about which all members of Congress had received a classified briefing.

For hours on Wednesday morning, rumours churned on Twitter before details began to come together. An early leak indicating that the intelligence was related to both a “foreign” security threat as well as outer space even drew excited murmuring about the possible discovery of alien life.

But if you were hoping to see some little green men, you better stick to reruns of X-Files. A clearer picture of the issue emerged later Wednesday and early Thursday; US officials are concerned about a new Russian capability centred around what The New York Times called a “space-based nuclear weapon” with anti-satellite capabilities. The purpose of this system, the Times further reported, is alleged by US officials to be threatening America’s military, communications and private satellite network.

John Bowden reports from Washington, DC:

Oliver O’Connell15 February 2024 21:10


Dramatic moment Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis enters the courtroom during a ‘misconduct’ hearing relating to the Georgia v Donald Trump election interference case

(Getty Images)

Oliver O’Connell15 February 2024 20:56


After some combative questioning, Willis says: “I’m not on trial. These people are on trial for trying to steal an election.”

Merchant asks when Willis and Wade ended their romantic relationship.

Willis responds by speaking about how close their friendship is in general before being directed to answer about the romantic partnership they formed.

Wade said it ended in June 2023.

Willis responds: “He’s a man. I’m betting he would say June or July”, before adding that they had a “tough conversation in August”.

There is a further confrontation between Willis and Merchant in which the DA accuses her of lying again.

Judge McAfee calls for a brief break.

Oliver O’Connell15 February 2024 20:50


Georgia election case: Willis talks travels with Wade

Willis explains that Wade has travel agents to book his vacations — he is very well travelled she says — however, she never considers that he “took” her anywhere because she would pay him back in cash.

She notes that she “took” him on vacation to Belize for his 50th birthday. “I did 50 big,” she says.

Willis says that to pay Wade back she doesn’t go to withdraw cash as she always has cash in the house.

She says that her father taught her to have at least six months’ worth of money in her house, she doesn’t do that but always has cash on hand at home.

Asked the source of the cash, she replied: “The source of the money is always the blood, sweat, and tears of me.”

Regarding the trip to Napa and who paid for what she explains that she paid for trips around wine country.

“I don’t really like wine, I like Grey Goose,” Willis said

Oliver O’Connell15 February 2024 20:43


Watch: Wade testifies romantic relationship with Willis began after Trump case

Oliver O’Connell15 February 2024 20:30


Merchant goes over Willis’ relationship with Robin Yeartie, to which the DA responds: “I haven’t spoken to her in over a year. I certainly do not consider her a friend now. … I think that she betrayed our friendship.”

Willis sublet Yeartie’s condo in early 2020 and paid either in cash or via CashApp.

Questioning moves on to her vacations or trips with Nathan Wade. First off the short trip in April 2022 to Tennessee. This was not long after they said their relationship began.

On another trip, they went to Miami and spent a night there before going on a cruise. They did this twice. Once was over New Year 2022-23, and the other time was in October of 2022.

Oliver O’Connell15 February 2024 20:26


Fani Willis accuses prosecution of ‘lying’ as she takes stand

Oliver O’Connell15 February 2024 20:21


Georgia election case: Fani Willis begins combative testimony

Ashleigh Merchant begins by asking why Willis entered the courtroom when she did (so dramatically).

“It only makes sense” for me to be the next witness, she said.

“I was pacing in my office and I heard someone yell his testimony was done….I ran to the courtroom.”

“I’ve been very anxious to have this conversation with you today,” Willis tells Merchant.

“It’s ridiculous to me that you lied on Monday and yet here we are.”

Willis said she finds it “highly offensive” that the lawyer implied that Willis slept with Wade the first time she met him.

Oliver O’Connell15 February 2024 20:14


Facing 91 criminal charges, Trump demands Biden impeachment

As former president Donald Trump prepares for four trials on a total of 91 criminal charges in four separate jurisdictions, the disgraced, twice-impeached ex-chief executive is lashing out with new demands for his allies in Congress.

Mr Trump, who routinely and falsely accuses President Joe Biden of masterminding the prosecutions against him in New York and Georgia state courts, as well as two other sets of federal criminal charges in Washington, DC and Florida, called on his Republican friends in the House of Representatives to impeach Mr Biden as a matter of revenge.

Speaking at a Wednesday night rally in South Carolina ahead of the Palmetto State’s Republican presidential primary, Mr Trump said the House “ought to impeach” the 46th president for allegedly “weaponising the DOJ, the FBI, and even the local DAs and attorney generals against his political opponent”.

There is no evidence that Mr Biden has played any role in the criminal cases against Mr Trump in any way.

Oliver O’Connell15 February 2024 20:10

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