The texts show that the prosecutor's former law partner provided information on the effort to remove Fannie Willis from the election case.

ATLANTA (AP) — Advocates Donald Trump and other defendants Georgia election interference The lawsuit hoped that attorney Terrence Bradley would provide key testimony in support of their bid to unseat Fulton County District Attorney Fannie Willis — and they had good reason for their hope.

For months, Bradley had been in touch with Ashley Merchant, the attorney for Trump co-defendant Michael Roman, according to hundreds of text messages produced by Merchant and obtained Thursday by The Associated Press.

Through the texts, Bradley provided merchant information and suggestions to help him prove that Willis was dated. Nathan Wade, Special Prosecutor Appointed for election case. As Wade's former law partner and one-time divorce attorney, Bradley is well-placed to know things, and the texts back it up.

But when he took the stand to testify under oath in mid-February, Bradley initially refused to answer most questions and asserted the attorney-client privilege. On Tuesday, when a judge urged him to testify after ruling that some of his communications with Wade were not privileged, He repeated that he did not know Or don't remember important details. CNN reported on Wednesday's text messages.

Merchant filed a motion on Jan. 8 seeking to remove Willis and Wade and their offices from the election case and to toss the indictment against Trump and 14 others. He alleged that prosecutors had an affair before Wade was hired in November 2021, and that Willis paid Wade large sums of money and then improperly benefited from his earnings when he took her on vacation.

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“I'm nervous,” Merchant texted the day Bradley filed his plea, “It's huge.”

He responded with a string of encouraging messages: “You're great,” “You'll be fine,” “You're one of the best lawyers I know,” “Be the best.”

Text exchanges show Bradley willingly provided information to the merchant from at least mid-September to early February. But when Merchant questioned Bradley on Tuesday, asking if he remembered saying certain things to him, he didn't, saying he was speculating or that he had misinterpreted his messages.

“I don't have direct knowledge of when the relationship started,” Bradley said in the standoff, repeating his versions several times throughout the trial.

At one point, the frustrated businessman told Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee, “Judge, he doesn't remember anything right now.”

McAfee has scheduled arguments Friday on motions to disqualify Willis and his office from the election case. It's unclear whether attorneys for Trump and some of his co-defendants met the burden of showing that Willis and Wade's relationship created a conflict of interest.

Willis and Wade He admitted the relationship in February, but said it started after Wade was hired and ended last summer. Both insist that the relationship did not create conflict and had no bearing on the election interference case.

A Fulton County grand jury in August He blamed Trump And 18 others were indicted in connection with efforts to disrupt the 2020 presidential election in Georgia, won by President Joe Biden. But the Details of Willis and Wade's relationship Those charges have been completely covered up for nearly two months, and the distraction may continue even if Judge Willis and his office are not removed from the case.

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Early in the text exchanges, on September 18, Merchant asked Bradley if he would be willing to write an affidavit regarding Willis and Wade's relationship.

He replied: “No…nobody will burn that bridge freely.”

In mid-December, the merchant texted Bradley that he had received “further confirmation on Fanny and Nathan,” but was unable to sign anyone up.

On Jan. 5, three days before he filed his plea, the businessman texted Bradley, saying that Wade had taken Willis on a trip to Napa Valley in California and assumed Bradley knew about it. He replied no and asked when the trips took place. But he said it didn't surprise him, and they went on other trips together.

That same day, Merchant asked Bradley if he believed the relationship began before Willis hired Wade, and he replied, “Absolutely.”

The next day, they discussed the draft of her motion that she had sent. She said she should include the money she was paid by Willis' office in a footnote detailing the money paid to Wade's company.

After she made that change, she asked, “Anything else? Anything not right?”

He replied, “Fine.”

That particular exchange caused much frustration among defense attorneys at Tuesday's hearing. They insisted on why Bradley wrote the way he did, only to emphasize the position that he could not remember important information included in the movement.

The texts show Bradley confirming information for the merchant and suggesting records he should request or people he should subpoena. He said he was “OK” to testify, even though at times he seemed to want to confirm that certain information could not be found out from him.

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Before entering his plea, the businessman promised to defend him “thoroughly” and said, “You don't need defense.” He said he planned to stop Willis and Hunt, and that subpoenas to Bradley and others were only being served as backup.

“My hope is that they will do the right thing before then,” Merchant wrote on Jan. 24. Bradley called Willis and Hunt “arrogant.”

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