Fulton County DA Fani Willis paid in cash at Napa Valley winery, employee claims

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 Feb. 15. Photo by Alyssa Pointer-Pool/Getty Images)

Stan Brody, an employee at a winery in California's Napa Valley, has shared an interesting anecdote about Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. According to Brody, Willis visited the winery last year, accompanied by a gentleman, and paid $400 in cash for a wine tasting session and two bottles of wine.

Brody, serving as a wine ambassador for Acumen Winery at the time, recounted this encounter in an interview with CNN. This memory serves to support what Willis had stated during a two-day hearing last week, which was held because of a motion filed by former President Donald Trump's co-defendant, Michael Roman.

The motion, filed in early January, accuses Willis and Special Prosecutor Nathan Wade of having an inappropriate relationship. It is alleged that Willis gained financial benefits from hiring Wade to spearhead the investigation into the supposed interference in the 2020 presidential election.

Former President Donald Trump and 18 of his allies were indicted by a grand jury in August 2023 for interfering in the election. Four of the defendants have entered guilty pleas and worked out deals with the District Attorney's Office. 

During last week's hearing, both Wade and Willis testified that whenever they undertook trips or other activities together, Willis insisted on repaying Wade in cash, a testament to her independence and pride. Willis also claimed to have covered the expenses for at least one trip and various other activities the pair engaged in.

Timeline: Fulton County DA Fani Willis, Nathan Wade controversy

Brody, who labels himself as a "news junkie," stated that his memory of the incident was refreshed when he saw coverage of the hearing. He recollected that most people usually pay with credit cards, making Willis' cash payment a standout memory. He also noted Willis' generosity during her visit.

However, he clarified to CNN that he has not been in contact with anyone from the District Attorney's Office or any defense lawyers who are trying to disqualify Willis from the case.

Despite the testimonies, neither Willis nor Wade have produced any evidence to show that she repaid Wade for their shared expenses or covered any costs herself. Willis explained during the hearing that keeping cash on hand was a habit instilled in her by her "daddy," and it was easier for her to provide Wade with cash rather than using Venmo or a similar peer-to-peer payment app.

The District Attorney's Office and the defense lawyers are expected to reconvene in court either this Friday or the following week to present their summations or final arguments. The decision on the motion will then be made by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee.

RELATED: Fulton County DA Fani Willis hearing: 'Just the beginning' of the drama, law professor says

In addition to this, Trump filed a motion on Jan. 25, seeking to disqualify Willis based on a speech she delivered on Jan. 14 at the historic Bethel AME Church. Trump alleges that Willis used her speech to incite "racial animus."

Willis is also currently under investigation by the Senate Special Committee on Investigations and the House Judiciary Committee.