Trump vs. Fani Willis: Fulton County DA responds to analysis of Nathan Wade's cellphone records

Fani WIllis and Nathan Wade (FOX 5)

Former President Donald Trump's lawyers have submitted a supplemental defense exhibit related to the recent hearing to dismiss Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. 

This exhibit seems to contain evidence proving Special Prosecutor Nathan Wade spent far more time at Willis' residence in Hapeville than previously claimed before being appointed to investigate the Georgia elections interference case.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was updated on Feb. 24 to include the response from the Fulton County District Attorney's Office. See below. 

Trump's attorneys Steve Sadow and Jennifer Little enlisted defense investigator Charles Mittelstadt to examine Wade's cellphone records from AT&T. Mittelstadt requested the records on Feb. 9 and received them on Feb. 15, as stated in the filing.

How were the records analyzed

Mittelstadt utilized CellHawk, an analytics tool regarded as the gold standard in cellphone record analysis by law enforcement. The records unveiled over 2,000 voice calls and nearly 12,000 text messages exchanged between Wade and Willis over an 11-month period in 2021.

Mittelstadt, employing CellHawk, established a "very conservative geofence" near Willis' condominium in Hapeville. The analysis disclosed a minimum of 35 instances where Wade's cellphone connected for an extended period to one of the two cellphone towers closest to the Hapeville home. It also determined Wade's residence in East Cobb and when his phone pinged off the towers near his home.

Trump's legal team asked Mittelstadt to focus on two specific dates—Sept. 11-12, 2021, and Nov. 29-30, 2021.

According to Mittelstadt's report, Wade's phone arrived in Hapeville at 10:45 p.m. on Sept. 11 and remained there until 3:28 a.m. The records indicated that he sent a text to Willis after arriving home at 4:20 a.m.

On Nov. 29, 2021, Wade received a call from Willis at 11:32 p.m. at his East Cobb home. His phone then pinged off the tower near her home at 12:43 a.m., remaining at that location until 4:55 a.m.

What have Wade and Willis said about visits to Hapeville

During last week's hearing, Wade admitted visiting Willis in Hapeville, but claimed it was less than 10 times before being hired as the special prosecutor on Nov. 1, 2021. Willis also testified that she didn't think he had visited often. Both Wade and Willis denied he had ever spent the night at the condo.

Mittelstadt's analysis appears to contradict those claims, revealing that Wade's phone was in Hapeville on at least 35 occasions in 2021.

Willis and Wade initially met at a conference in 2019. Despite a former friend testifying that they began a relationship soon after, both have testified that their romantic involvement did not commence until 2022. Until then, their relationship was strictly platonic, with Willis considering Wade a mentor.


Wade also testified that he battled cancer in 2020 and 2021 and was not dating anyone during that period. 

What it could mean 

If Willis and Wade were a couple before his hiring, it raises concerns about potential violations of anti-nepotism rules. Additionally, if their relationship began in 2021 as opposed to their sworn testimony claiming 2022, they could be accused of perjury.

The filing notes that Mittelstadt is available to testify in court. 

The two-day hearing for Trump co-defendant Michael Roman's motion took place Feb. 15-16.  During the hearing, Wade and Willis both denied any wrongdoing and insisted that neither party have benefited from investigating and prosecuting the Georgia election interference case. Roman's lawyer claimed that a former law partner of Wade's, Terrence Bradley, could also confirm that the relationship between Willis and Wade started earlier than 2022, but he refused to testify based on attorney-client privilege. 

Fulton County Superior Court Scott McAfee is planning to speak to Bradley next week to make sure he understands what is and is not covered under attorney-client privilege. If needed, his testimony will be added to the testimony already given. Attorneys for both sides – Fulton County and the defense – will most likely present their summations late next week. McAfee will then issue a ruling on the motion. 

Fulton County District Attorney responds 

The Fulton County District Attorney's office is pushing back on the allegations that cellphone data suggests that the relationship between the DA and Special Prosecutor Nathan Wade started prior to the time they both testified to last week.

The Fulton County DA's office filed a response, including copies of her calendar and emails, late Friday to the analysis done by former President Donald Trump's team of Special Prosecutor Nathan Wade's phone records.

In the response, Willis says that the defense's document should be rejected because it contains telephone records that have not been admitted into evidence and an affidavit and other documents containing an "unqualified" opinion.

Willis also says that Trump's team did not provide enough written notice to the court or a summary of its "purported expert's testimony." Additionally, they did not provide any information on the witness' qualifications to serve as an expert witness.

The filing also states:

"The records do not prove, in any way, the content of the communications between Special Prosecutor Wade and District Attorney Willis; they do not prove that Special Prosecutor Wade was ever at any particular location or address; they do not prove that Special Prosecutor Wade and District 8 Attorney Willis were ever in the same place during any of the times listed in Supplemental Exhibit 38; and, in fact, on multiple relevant dates and times, evidence clearly demonstrates that District Attorney Willis was elsewhere, including at work at the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office AND VISITING THE THREE CRIME SCENES WHERE A MASS MURDER MOTIVATED BY RACE AND GENDER BIAS HAD TAKEN PLACE."

Finally, the DA's office is questioning whether Trump's legal team obtained the cellphone data legally, noting a search warrant is usually required to obtain such information.

When Wade was asked during the hearing last week if phone records were to reflect that he was making phone calls from the same location as Willis' condo before Nov. 1, 2021, on multiple occasions, Wade emphatically answered that the cellphone records would be wrong.

During last week's hearing, Sadow told Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee that they had obtained cellphone records that he wanted to introduce as evidence. 

If the new evidence from Trump's team is accepted by the court, it will most likely extend the evidentiary hearing for Roman's motion. At this time, Judge McAfee is scheduled to hear final arguments on March 1.