Lawyer who exposed Fani Willis-Wade relationship surprised DA took the stand: 'Didn't bring any actual proof'

Attorney Ashleigh Merchant said she was surprised Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis took the stand during the proceedings over whether she should be disqualified from former President Trump’s Georgia election interference case and said the DA had no proof to back up her defense.

Merchant told “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday Wills didn’t bring anything to support her claims when she testified.

“What surprised me was that she didn’t bring anything to actually back it up,” she said. “So if someone had accused me of wrongdoing, I’m going to bring my phone. I’m going to bring my text messages. I’m going to bring my bank records. So that surprised me that she didn’t bring any actual proof. We just were stuck with her word that she paid back these transactions in cash. I would have brought transaction slips. I would have brought a lot of information if I had planned on taking the stand.”

Merchant also suggested Willis had been watching the proceedings and knew exactly when to come in before she took the stand.

Ashleigh Merchant joins “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday to discuss Fani Willis-Nathan Wade case. (Fox News)


“We’re not supposed to be watching the proceedings as a witness when they’re going on. The fact that she knew exactly when to come in. You know, I got to ask her about that on the stand, but it appeared as though she had been watching the proceedings. So that was a little bit surprising as well,” Merchant continued.

Judge Scott McAfee said Friday in an order that Willis must either withdraw herself and her team from the 2020 election interference case or remove lead prosecutor Nathan Wade. The decision came after Merchant, on behalf of her client Michael Roman, first alleged that Willis had had an “improper” affair with Wade before hiring him to prosecute Trump and his 18 co-defendants in 2021.

Wade stepped down shortly after the ruling.

ATLANTA, GA – FEBRUARY 15: Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis testifies during a hearing in the case of the State of Georgia v. Donald John Trump at the Fulton County Courthouse on February 15, 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Alyssa Pointer-Pool/Getty Images) (Alyssa Pointer)


Merchant suggested Willis could still be disqualified.

“We’ve got this new commission in Georgia that’s looking – hopefully looking into this, and they could disqualify her. There’s a lot of other avenues that the judge even outlined in his order. Lots of other people are looking at this. She’s facing re-election. She’s got two opponents right now. So there’s a lot of other checks and balances that are in place. Plus, more information can come forward, and we are continuing to investigate,” Merchant said.

Merchant released a statement after the judge issued the order.

Fulton County DA Fani Willis winks before being sworn in to testify on the hearing about an allegedly improper relationship with Nathan Wade. (Screenshot/Fox News)

“While we believe the court should have disqualified Willis’ office entirely, this opinion is a vindication that everything put forth by the defense was true, accurate and relevant to the issues surrounding our client’s right to a fair trial. The judge clearly agreed with the defense that the actions of Willis are a result of her poor judgment and that there is a risk to the future of this case if she doesn’t quickly work to cure her conflict,” Merchant said in a statement.

Hanna Panreck is an associate editor at Fox News.

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