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Fulton County DA’s office rejects Trump claims that cell phone data undercuts Georgia prosecutors’ testimony

Lawyers representing the Fulton County district attorney’s office are forcefully pushing back on allegations from former President Donald Trump and his co-defendants that cellphone data suggests the relationship between Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and her top prosecutor in the Georgia election subversion case started prior to the time they both testified to last week, according to a court filing Friday evening.

The DA’s office, responding to an earlier motion filed by Trump’s lead attorney in the Georgia case, said the cited phone records “do not prove anything relevant” and should not be considered as evidence in proceedings to decide whether Willis should be disqualified.

“The records do nothing more than demonstrate that Special Prosecutor Wade’s telephone was located somewhere within a densely populated multiple-mile radius where various residences, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and other businesses are located,” the prosecutors wrote in the Friday night filing. “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 Attorney Willis were ever in the same place during any of the times listed.”

The DA’s office also argued that there is evidence showing Willis and Wade were not in the same place on the dates listed, including “at work at the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office AND VISTING THE THREE CRIME SCENES WHERE A MASS MURDER MOTIVATED BY RACE AND GENDER BIAS HAD TAKEN PLACE.”

At the end of its response, the DA’s office questioned whether Trump legally obtained the cell phone data cited in its initial motion, noting that a search warrant is typically required to obtain such information.

Earlier Friday, Trump’s attorney, Steve Sadow, filed a motion alleging that cellphone data obtained by a private investigator showed Wade made several visits, including some late at night, to the area where Willis lived in late 2021 – well before the two say their romantic relationship began.

Wade and Willis have been accused of engaging in an improper romantic relationship prior to her selecting him to lead the 2020 election investigation into Trump and his allies. Both Wade and Willis testified at a hearing last week on whether Willis and her office should be disqualified from the case that they began their relationship in early 2022, after he was appointed special prosecutor.

Friday’s filing from Sadow included an affidavit from a criminal defense investigator who said he relied on cell phone information from Wade and cell tower data.

The investigator, Charles Mittelstadt, said he generated a report that isolated “all interactions,” including calls and text messages between Wade and Willis. “That report revealed over 2000 voice calls and just under 12,000 interactions exchanged over the 11-month period in 2021,” he said in a revised filing. (Trump’s attorney submitted a new filing Friday afternoon to clarify the types of exchanges between Wade and Willis.)

Mittelstadt said a “conservative analysis” shows a minimum of 35 occasions when Wade’s phone was in close proximity for “an extended period” to the address of a condo where Willis stayed. The data does not pinpoint exact locations.

The investigator also says that in September and November of 2021, Wade’s phone traveled several times to the area where the condo is located late into the evening and early morning. In addition, Willis and Wade exchanged phone calls late into the evenings during this time, the investigator says, citing Wade’s subpoenaed cell phone data.

The investigator, working with defense attorneys, served a request for Wade’s cell phone records from AT&T, including call and text history as well as location data, earlier this month.

CNN has reached out to the district attorney’s office and an attorney for Wade for comment.

The condo where Willis stayed came up several times during last week’s hearing when Wade was explicitly asked if he ever stayed the night at the condo. “Never,” Wade testified.

Trump’s lawyer also pressed Wade on the number of times he visited the condo that Willis was renting prior to his appointment on November 1, 2021 – even referencing phone data during his line of questioning.

“And would you say that was frequent? When I say frequent, do you think prior to November 1st of 2021, you were at the condo more than 10 times?” Sadow asked.

“No, sir,” Wade responded.

“So, if phone records were to reflect that you were making phone calls from the same location as a condo before November 1st of 2021, and it was on multiple occasions, the phone records would be wrong?” Sadow followed up.

“They’d be wrong,” Wade answered.

The private investigator’s affidavit filed on Friday notes that Wade’s phone was detected in the area of Willis’ condo on at least 35 occasions between April and November 2021.

It highlights a specific example from September 2021, which was prior to Wade’s appointment as special prosecutor.

Asked why he would have visited the condo prior to November 1, 2021, Wade testified that one reason would be to discuss a document.

“The Porsche experience is there. The airport is there. Delta Air lines is headquartered there. Restaurants there,” Wade also said while on the stand, referring to other reasons he would have been in the area around the condo.

The investigator does not explain how large of an area around Willis’ condo was searched. The affidavit only notes he drew data from two cell phone towers – one 2,000 feet away from the condo and the other 3,000 feet.

Willis also testified under oath on February 15 that she was not in a romantic relationship with Wade when she hired him for the special prosecutor role, but that they were already “very good friends.”

When questioned by Sadow about the timeframe for when their “romantic relationship” began, Willis testified that it did not begin prior to November 1, 2021.

“I don’t consider my relationship with him to be romantic before that. I’m not a hold – hand-holder. So, no,” Willis testified. Adding that she considered the start of their “romantic relationship” to be “sometime between February and April” of 2022.

Trump and several of his co-defendants are arguing Willis’ romantic relationship, which they say has ended, created a conflict of interest and that her office should be removed and the entire case dismissed.

The court battle over whether Willis’s office should be disqualified will resume on March 1, according to a Friday order from Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee, who said the hearing would be a chance for both parties to make their final arguments on the matter.

On Friday, McAfee also denied a motion by Wade to block his divorce attorney and former law partner, Terrence Bradley, from appearing before the judge to review potentially privileged communications Bradley allegedly made about Wade and Willis’s relationship, according to three sources familiar with the matter. An order does not yet appear on the public docket.

McAfee has called for Bradley and his lawyer to appear at the Fulton County courthouse on Monday at 1:30 p.m. ET for the so-called in camera review that’s conducted in the judge’s chambers, the sources said.

This headline and story have been updated with additional developments.

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