Cell Phone Data Cast Doubt on Fani Willis Testimony on Relationship With Prosecutor

Fani Willis (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
February 23, 2024

Prosecutor Nathan Wade’s cell phone data show he visited Fulton County district attorney Fani Willis’s neighborhood at least 35 times before she hired him to prosecute Donald Trump's Georgia election interference case, contradicting the pair's earlier testimony about the start date of their romantic relationship.

The data, revealed in a Friday filing by the former president’s attorneys, seem to suggest the pair had already started dating before she appointed him in November 2021, contrary to their testimony last week. Trump’s attorneys argue Willis and Wade should be disqualified from the election case for nepotism and perjury. 

Willis and Wade have denied allegations of nepotism, insisting under oath that their romantic relationship did not start until early 2022. Wade testified last week that he visited Willis’s condo no more than 10 times before his appointment in November 2021. The pair also said they did not spend the night together at the condo. 

But the newly revealed cell phone data tell a different story. The location tracking on Wade’s cell phone shows Wade not only made at least 35 visits to Willis’s neighborhood, but also twice arrived late at night at Willis’s condo and left early in the morning. The pair also made over 2,000 calls to each other and texted around 10,000 times in the first 11 months of 2021. 

The data were obtained from AT&T through a subpoena by criminal defense investigator Charles Mittelstadt, who said he then used a tracking app called CellHawk to find Wade’s locations in 2021. "CellHawk is considered by law enforcement to be the gold standard in cellphone records analytics," Mittelstadt said in an affidavit submitted in the Friday filing, adding that he "is available to testify at the court’s convenience."

Even before the cell phone data surfaced, Willis and Wade’s testimony about the start date of their romantic relationship had already been under scrutiny. Robin Yeartie, a former friend of Willis, testified on Feb. 15 that Willis and Wade started dating shortly after meeting in October 2019. "You have no doubt that their romantic relationship was in effect from 2019 until the last time you spoke with [Willis]?" Yeartie was asked, to which she replied, "No doubt."