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Trump says phone records expose prosecutors’ affair – BBC News


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Image caption,

Fani Willis has admitted to a relationship with Nathan Wade, a prosecutor she hired for the Trump case.

Donald Trump’s legal team says mobile phone data suggest two prosecutors investigating him did not tell the truth about their relationship.

The former president is trying to get Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis disqualified from the case.

His lawyers say phone records indicate Ms Willis misrepresented the timeline her affair with another prosecutor.

Mr Trump and co-defendants are accused of attempting to interfere with the 2020 presidential election in Georgia.

But they are arguing that Ms Willis’ relationship with Nathan Wade, a prosecutor she hired to the case, amounted to a financial conflict of interest.

In a hearing earlier this month, both Ms Willis and Mr Wade testified that their affair did not begin until early 2022, only after Mr Wade was appointed.

But in a legal filing on Friday, Charles Mittelstadt, an investigator for Mr Trump’s legal team, said phone records suggest that Mr Wade, who was married at the time, visited Ms Willis’ home for “an extended period” at least 35 times throughout 2021.

“The data reveals he is stationary and not in transit,” the affidavit states, citing geolocation activity for Mr Wade’s device.

Video caption,

Watch: Fani Willis’ surprise testimony in 75 seconds

Mr Mittelstadt also said the couple had exchanged more than 2,000 calls and nearly 12,000 phone interactions, such as voice calls and text messages, over 11 months in 2021.

The investigator said the data suggested that on two occasions Mr Wade was in the vicinity of Ms Willis’ apartment from late at night until before dawn.

In one instance, Mr Mittelstadt says phone records show Mr Wade’s device was pinged around Ms Willis’ condominium at 22:45 one night in September 2021, and remained there until about 03:30 in the morning.

The investigator said the records show Mr Wade’s phone sent a text at 04:20 that morning to Ms Willis after returning to the area of his own home.

An unnamed source in the Fulton County District Attorney’s office told CBS News they would be filing a response in the coming days.

On Friday, Fulton County Judge Scott McAfee said a hearing on the disqualification matter would be held on 1 March.

Mr Trump’s legal team alleges that Ms Willis financially benefited from the affair and should be removed from the case.

The two prosecutors have denied their relationship created a conflict of interest, or that their trips and meals together amounted to any improper financial benefit.

If Ms Willis is disqualified from the case, it would not necessarily spell the end of the criminal charges for Mr Trump.

But it would delay proceedings, possibly until after November’s presidential election.

In the Georgia election case, Mr Trump is accused of fraudulently conspiring to erase a deficit of fewer than 12,000 votes in the state, which he lost to Joe Biden.

In total, the Republican White House frontrunner is facing 91 criminal charges in four separate cases.

Separately on Friday, a judge in New York ordered the former president to pay $454m (£358m) within one month, after he was found liable for fraud in a civil case involving misrepresentation of his business assets.

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