Fox News 2024-02-28 22:34:13


Judge refuses to halt Trump’s $464 million payment while he appeals

A New York Appeals Court judge has denied former President Trump’s request to delay payment of the $464 million owed to the state after Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit, but said he will temporarily allow the 2024 frontrunner and his sons to continue running their business during the appeals process.

Trump and his sons Donald Jr. and Eric Trump were barred earlier this month from operating their business in New York for a range of two to three years. Trump was also found liable for hundreds of millions of dollars in damages in the civil fraud case brought against him, his family and the Trump Organization by New York Attorney General Letitia James. 

TRUMP BARRED FROM OPERATING BUSINESS, ORDERED TO PAY OVER $350 MILLION IN NY CIVIL FRAUD CASE

The former president is appealing the ruling.

On Wednesday, though, a New York Appeals Court judge ruled that the former president must post a bond for the full amount of the judgment and the independent director of compliance will be appointed.   

The judge will temporarily allow Trump and his sons to continue running the business as they appeal the decision.

The filing is a temporary order before the motion goes before the full Appeals Court. Letitia James’ brief to the panel is due March 11, and Trump’s replies are due March 18.

The ruling comes after New York Judge Arthur Engoron handed down his decision earlier in February after a months-long trial beginning in October and stemming from James’ lawsuit alleging the former president inflated his assets and committed fraud. 

Engoron ruled that Trump and defendants were liable for “persistent and repeated fraud,” “falsifying business records,” “issuing false financial statements,” “conspiracy to falsify false financial statements,” “insurance fraud,” and “conspiracy to commit insurance fraud.” 

The judge also barred Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump from serving as an officer or director of any New York corporation or legal entity in New York for two years. 

TRUMP VISITS MANHATTAN COURT TO BLAST NYAG CASE, PRAISES APPELLATE RULING IN HIS FAVOR

Engoron also “permanently” barred defendants Allen Weisselberg, the former chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, and the former corporate controller Jeffrey McConney from “serving in the financial control function of any New York corporation or similar business entity registered and/or licensed in New York State,” and as a director of any New York corporation or other legal entity in New York for three years. 

New York Attorney General Letitia James brought the lawsuit accusing Trump and the Trump Organization of fraudulent business practices. The court proceedings were contentious, with Engoron repeatedly placing Trump under a partial gag order to prevent him from criticizing court staff.

James had sought $370 million, plus 9% interest in penalties from Trump. Any awarded funds would go to the New York State Treasury, unless directed elsewhere by the state comptroller.

Trump dismissed the trial as a “witch hunt” throughout the process, accusing both Engoron and James of serving as political operatives for Democrats. Trump’s legal team also repeatedly blasted the lack of a jury in the trial.

“There was never an option to choose a jury trial,” a Trump spokesperson told Fox News Digital last month. “It is unfortunate that a jury won’t be able to hear how absurd the merits of this case are and conclude no wrongdoing ever happened.”

Trump and his family denied any wrongdoing, with the former president saying his assets had been undervalued. Trump’s legal team insisted that his financial statements had disclaimers, and made it clear to banks that they should conduct their own assessments.

JUDGE IMPOSES PARTIAL GAG ORDER IN TRUMP ORG TRIAL, BLOCKING PARTIES FROM VERBAL ATTACKS AGAINST COURT STAFF

Trump has said his financial statements were “perfect,” and stressed that the bank loans were repaid and “as happy as can be.”  

Throughout the trial, Trump attorneys brought witnesses, including former Deutsche Bank top executives, who testified the banks sought additional business from Trump, whom they viewed as a “whale of a client.”

Trump’s defense also brought in expert witnesses, including New York University accounting professor Eli Bartov, who reviewed the Trump financial statements at issue in the case and said he found no evidence of accounting fraud.

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Bartov testified last month that Trump’s financial statements did not violate accounting principles, and he suggested that anything problematic — like a huge year-to-year leap in the estimated value of his Trump Tower penthouse — was simply an error.

“My main finding is that there is no evidence whatsoever of any accounting fraud,” Bartov testified. Trump’s financial statements, he said, “were not materially misstated.”

Hunter expected to testify at public hearing following closed-door deposition

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer said the impeachment inquiry against President Biden will move into its “next phase,” which will include Hunter Biden testifying publicly during an open hearing.

Hunter Biden appeared on Capitol Hill for his closed-door, deposition at the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees on Wednesday.

HUNTER BIDEN TESTIFIES HE ‘DID NOT INVOLVE’ HIS FATHER IN HIS BUSINESSES, CALLS IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY ‘BASELESS’

The first son testified that he “did not involve” his father in his businesses, while blasting House Republicans for having “hunted” him in a “partisan political pursuit” and impeachment inquiry against his father. He also said Republicans have no evidence against his father, the president, “because there isn’t any.” 

Comer, R-Ky., made a public statement Wednesday afternoon, saying that Hunter’s appearance “was a great deposition for us.”

Hunter Biden, however, thought the deposition went well for him. On his way out of the hearing room Wednesday, Hunter Biden told reporters he thought the hearing went “great.”

“It proves several bits of our evidence that we’ve been conducting throughout this investigation,” Comer said. “But there are also some contradictory statements that I think need further review.”

Comer added: “So this impeachment inquiry will now go to the next phase, which will be a public hearing.”

BIDEN MET WITH CHAIRMAN OF CHINESE ENERGY FIRM HUNTER DID BUSINESS WITH IN 2017, EX-ASSOCIATE TESTIFIES

Comer stressed that Hunter Biden and his attorney have “demanded” a public hearing following the deposition.

“Just as I said, when we said we were going to do the deposition first, we will have a public hearing next,” he explained. “So I think that the public hearing hopefully will clear up some discrepancies between some of the statements that were made between some of the associates and what we heard today.”

But Comer said “all in all,” he is “very optimistic, very excited about this deposition.”

“I look forward to releasing the transcripts as soon as both sides agree to that,” Comer said, hinting that the first son’s transcript of his deposition could be released to the public by the end of the week. “Hopefully that’ll be within the next 2 or 3 days.” 

JOE BIDEN ‘ENABLED’ FAMILY TO SELL ACCESS TO ‘DANGEROUS ADVERSARIES,’ TONY BOBULINSKI TESTIFIES

During his opening statement Wednesday, obtained by Fox News, Hunter Biden testified that he was present “to provide the Committees with the one uncontestable fact that should end the false premise of this inquiry: I did not involve my father in my business.”  

“Not while I was a practicing lawyer, not in my investments or transactions domestic or international, not as a board member, and not as an artist. Never,” he stressed. “You do not have evidence to support the baseless and MAGA-motivated conspiracies about my father because there isn’t any.” 

The first son said he hopes his testimony will “put an end to this baseless and destructive political charade.” 

“You have wasted valuable time and resources attacking me and my family for your own political gain when you should be fixing the real problems in this country that desperately need your attention,” he testified. 

FLASHBACK: GOP-LED COMMITTEES RELEASE INTERIM REPORT ON HUNTER BIDEN, BURISMA PROBE

Hunter Biden’s testimony comes after his uncle, President Biden’s younger brother James Biden, testified last week as part of the impeachment inquiry. James Biden testified that President Biden “has never had any involvement or any direct or indirect financial interest” in his business ventures. 

House Republicans have heard testimony from a number of the first son’s former business associates, like Bobulinski, who testified before the committees earlier this month that Joe Biden was involved in the family’s business ventures. He also testified that he personally met with him. 

Days before Bobulinski’s testimony, another former business associate, Rob Walker, testified that Joe Biden met with the chairman of the Chinese energy firm CEFC that his brother and son did business with. 

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After Walker’s testimony, the House Oversight Committee said it was able to “now confirm Joe Biden met with nearly every foreign national who funneled money to his son.” 

House Democrats and the White House have criticized the inquiry as baseless, but Republicans insist they have just scratched the surface of the investigation into Biden family businesses.

Comedian, ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ star dies after suffering heart attack

Richard Lewis, the legendary stand-up comedian who also starred alongside Larry David in “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” has died. He was 76.

According to his publicist, Jeff Abraham of Jonas Public Relations, Lewis died peacefully at his home in Los Angeles Tuesday night after suffering a heart attack.

Abraham stated that “His wife, Joyce Lapinsky, thanks everyone for all the love, friendship and support and asks for privacy at this time.”

He noted that Lewis announced he was living with Parkinson’s disease in April 2023, and can currently be seen co-starring in the final season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” on HBO with creator and star Larry David.

Larry David, in a statement via an HBO spokesperson, expressed his sadness at the loss of his dear friend and co-star.

“Richard and I were born three days apart in the same hospital and for most of my life he’s been like a brother to me. He had that rare combination of being the funniest person and also the sweetest. But today he made me sob and for that I’ll never forgive him,” David said. 

The network also issued a statement, saying, “We are heartbroken to learn that Richard Lewis has passed away. His comedic brilliance, wit and talent were unmatched. Richard will always be a cherished member of the HBO and ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ families, our heartfelt condolences go out to his family, friends and all the fans who could count on Richard to brighten their days with laughter.”

Lewis was born in New York, New York, in 1947 and raised in New Jersey, the youngest of three children.

His stand-up career took off in the 1970s and 80s, and he earned the nickname “The Prince of Pain” for his melancholy topics and pouring his pain and torment on stage.

Comedy Central named Lewis one of the top 50 stand-up comedians of all time, and he earned a place in GQ magazine’s list of the “20th Century’s Most Influential Humorists.” He lent his humor for charity causes, including Comic Relief and Comedy Gives Back.

In 1989, he delivered a memorable performance at Carnegie Hall, appearing on stage with taped together yellow legal pad papers for a two and a half hour set that led to two standing ovations.

The “Howard Stern” regular also produced comedy specials for HBO and Showtime, including “I’m in Pain,” “I’m Exhausted, I’m Doomed,” and “Richard Lewis: The Magical Misery Tour.”

Ahead of “Curb Your Enthusiasm’s” 12th and final season, Lewis spoke about his Parkinson’s diagnosis and decision to retire from stand up on X (formerly Twitter).

“I’m finished with stand-up, I’m focusing on writing and acting,” he said in the video.

Lewis remained in good spirits, adding, “I have Parkinson’s disease, but I’m under a doctor’s care and everything is cool, and I love my wife, I love my little puppy dog, and I love all my friends and my fans, and now you know where it’s been at the last three and a half years.”

He confirmed in the video he had recently wrapped filming for “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

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Fox News Digital’s Larry Fink and The Associated Press contributed to this report

Widow of former Red Sox player Tim Wakefield dies just 5 months after pitcher’s passing

Stacy Wakefield, the widow of former Boston Red Sox pitcher Tim, died Wednesday.

Tim, notorious for his knuckleball during his 19-year career, died in October after a battle with brain cancer. Stacy, too, was battling cancer.

“It is with deep sadness that we share that our beloved mother, daughter, sister, niece, and aunt, Stacy, passed away today at her home in Massachusetts,” the Wakefield family said in a statement. “She was surrounded by her family and dear friends, as well as her wonderful caretakers and nurses. The loss is unimaginable, especially in the wake of losing Tim just under five months ago. Our hearts are beyond broken.

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“We will remember Stacy as a strong, loving, thoughtful and kind person, who was as down-to-earth as they come. We feel so lucky to have had her in our lives, and we take comfort in the fact that she will be reunited with Tim, the love of her life.

“We would like to thank all of Stacy’s doctors, nurses and caretakers who helped her from diagnosis to today – we are eternally grateful for your unmatched care and support. And to all of you who have sent well wishes over these last several months, we truly appreciate your kindness.”

BLUE JAYS PITCHER’S 4-YEAR-OLD SON IN CRITICAL CONDITION AFTER BEING STRUCK BY VEHICLE

Stacy and Tim were married from 2002 until his passing. They had two children together.

A two-time World Series champion, Tim owned a 4.43 ERA over 3,006 innings in 590 appearances for the Red Sox from 1995-2011. He made his major debut as a Pittsburgh Pirate in 1992, where he spent his first two seasons. 

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He was on the team that broke “The Curse of the Bambino” in 2004 – one year after he allowed a walk-off home run to Aaron Boone of the New York Yankees in the 2003 American League Championship Series. He was also on the 2007 team that defeated the Colorado Rockies in the World Series.

Fox News’ Scott Thompson contributed to this report.

Follow Fox News Digital’s sports coverage on X and subscribe to the Fox News Sports Huddle newsletter.

Prominent lawmaker’s son arrested on multiple felony charges

The eldest son of Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., was arrested Tuesday after several property thefts were reported in Rifle, Colorado, police said. 

Tyler Jay Boebert, 18, faces five felony charges and more than a dozen misdemeanor offenses in connection to a recent string of vehicle trespass and property thefts, the Rifle Police Department said

He is charged with four counts of criminal possession of ID documents belonging to multiple victims, one count of conspiracy to commit a felony and “over 15 additional misdemeanor and petty offenses,” the department stated. 

“This is an ongoing investigation, no further information will be released at this time,” Rifle police said, adding that all suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

REP. LAUREN BOEBERT’S EX-HUSBAND ARRESTED FOLLOWING ALTERCATION WITH CONGRESSWOMAN AT RESTAURANT

Online jail records show the teen is currently in the custody of the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office. There is no bond information listed.

Reached for comment, Rep. Boebert said, “I love my son Tyler, who has been through some very difficult, public challenges for a young man and the subject of attention that he didn’t ask for.”

“It breaks my heart to see my child struggling and, in this situation, especially when he has been provided multiple opportunities to get his life on track,” she said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “I will never give up on him and I will continue to be there for him. As an adult and father, Tyler will take responsibility for his actions and should be held accountable for poor decisions just like any other citizen.”

Boebert, 37, announced last year that her son Tyler, then-17, fathered a baby boy with his girlfriend, making her a grandmother. 

Police were involved with Boebert’s family earlier this year when officers received reports that the congresswoman was fighting with her ex-husband and Tyler’s father, Jayson Boebert.

Jayson was arrested on Jan. 9 following the incident on charges of misdemeanor assault and criminal mischief. He was later released on bail from Garfield County Jail, according to the New York Post

BOEBERT RESPONDS TO REPORTS OF FIGHT WITH EX-HUSBAND AT COLORADO RESTAURANT AFTER POLICE CALLED

A judge granted Boebert a temporary restraining order against her ex-husband earlier this month after she alleged Jayson threatened to harm her and himself. 

In court papers, the lawmaker claimed her former spouse “made multiple suicidal threats and threats to harm me over the past 14 months,” according to the Denver Post. 

LAUREN BOEBERT SWITCHES DISTRICTS, ANNOUNCING RUN FOR COLORADO SEAT BEING VACATED BY KEN BUCK

Jayson told The Associated Press in an interview that he was the victim at the restaurant. “I would never harm Lauren. I just want to move on and be in peace,” he said.

He also accused his ex-wife of using the restraining order to “justify” her move to a new congressional district.

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In her request, Boebert also cited a physical fight between her ex-husband and their 18-year-old son on Jan. 9. As Tyler called authorities, Jayson allegedly grabbed a rifle and left, according to court documents. Jayson was charged with harassment, prohibited use of a weapon and third-degree assault, court documents show. Boebert was not present during that altercation.

A Republican who has served two terms in the U.S. House representing the western side of the state, Boebert announced on Dec. 27 that she was switching congressional districts this year to run for a seat representing the eastern side of Colorado. The 4th Congressional District seat is open with the retirement of Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo.

Fox News Digital’s Timothy H.J. Nerozzi and Danielle Wallace and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Heart-stopping video shows alligator lunging at couple in golf cart

A Florida couple was recently pursued by an alligator while riding in a golf cart, as seen in recently recorded footage.

The video, which was captured by bystander Denise Prues, shows the gator swaggering across residential property in Ave Maria, Florida, on Feb. 16.

The reptile was facing a pond when a couple was driving by in the golf cart.

‘ALLIGATOR’ FLOATING IN ARIZONA POND PROMPTS 911 CALLS FROM CONCERNED LOCALS

The gator is then seen opening its jaws and charging at the couple before the vehicle swerves and nearly capsizes into the water.

The man and woman fled the scene and the gator then entered the pond.

Prues can be heard saying, “Oh my God,” as she captures the frightening footage.

“I heard a noise in the side yard and looked up, and the alligator was slowly walking between the houses,” Prues told Storyful. “I was on my phone so [I] quickly switched over to video.”

AMERICA’S STRANGEST ALLIGATOR ENCOUNTERS: SEE THESE 13 STARTLING STORIES

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) website has advice on how Sunshine State residents can stay safe from alligator attacks.

“Be aware of the possibility of alligators when you are in or near fresh or brackish water,” a brochure that’s published on the FWC’s website reads. “Bites may occur when people do not pay close enough attention to their surroundings when working or recreating near water.”

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The agency says that alligators rarely cause serious injuries in Florida, despite unwanted encounters with residents. Residents who spot alligators that may pose a threat to them are encouraged to call 866-392-4286.

“Generally, alligators less than four feet in length are not large enough to be dangerous unless handled,” the FWC advises.

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Fox News Digital reached out to the FWC for comment. 

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.

Panera reportedly exempt from $20 minimum wage law after owner donated to Newsom

A major donor to Democrat California Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to reap the benefit of an obscure exemption to the state’s new $20 minimum wage regulations for the fast food industry that will allow some of his restaurants to continue paying lower wages.

Newsom pushed for the exemption, which allows restaurants baking and selling bread as a standalone item to continue paying the current rate of $16 to its employees. That means billionaire Greg Flynn, a longtime donor to the governor, could save hundreds of thousands of dollars a year per each of his two-dozen Panera Bread franchise locations across California, according to a report from Bloomberg.

The report noted that Flynn was previously involved in business dealings with Newsom, and had contributed to his political campaigns. It also noted his opposition to the law that originally included the new regulations, known as the FAST Act, which led him to lobby Newsom’s office to exclude Panera Bread as a fast food chain, sources told Bloomberg.

CALIFORNIA GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM FACING ANOTHER RECALL THREAT, GROUP SAYS HE’S ‘ABANDONED’ STATE

Talks between labor groups and the fast food industry ultimately lead to a repeal of the law last year — which originally set the minimum wage higher than $20 — and the implementation of compromised regulations that included the bread exemption and the $20 minimum wage.

According to the report, Flynn is the largest franchisee in the U.S., and owns thousands of Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Wendy’s, Panera Bread and Applebee’s locations.

Flynn has been a prolific donor to Newsom’s campaigns. State records show he gave $8,400 to Newsom’s 2018 candidacy and later came to his rescue during his 2021 recall election with other big-name contributors.

DOMINO’S RAISES MENU PRICES MODESTLY, CALIFORNIA TO SEE BIGGER JUMP

In June 2021, Flynn donated $100,000 to the Stop the Republican Recall of Governor Newsom committee, putting him among its most prominent individual backers alongside other billionaires such as Netflix executive chairman Reed Hastings and financier George Soros. The effort to recall Newsom ultimately failed by almost 24 points. 

Flynn later provided a combined $64,800 to Newsom’s 2022 campaign. He’s also contributed thousands of dollars more to other powerful Democrats in the Golden State, such as Attorney General Rob Bonta and Treasurer Fiona Ma.

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When reached for comment, a spokesperson for Newsom told Fox News Digital, “This legislation was the result of countless hours of negotiations with dozens of stakeholders over two years. The Governor’s office met with labor unions, business leaders and dozens of franchise owners through the course of negotiations. No one person or company held sway over the final outcome.”

Fox News Digital has also reached out to Flynn’s holding company and Panera Bread for comment. Flynn told Bloomberg he played no role in formulating the exemption.

Star witness in Fani Willis case mutters ‘dang’ when confronted with texts about Wade affair

Former law firm partner and divorce attorney Terrance Bradley on Tuesday testified under oath regarding what he knew about Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Fani Willis and special prosector Nathan Wade’s personal relationship. Bradley took the stand after Judge Scott McAfee determined Bradley couldn’t claim attorney-client privilege.

Bradley, when pressed under oath, said he couldn’t recall several details and timelines about conversations he had with former client Wade about Wade’s romantic relationship with Willis.

Defense attorney Ashleigh Merchant at one point referenced text messages between her and Bradley in which she had asked Bradley if he thought the relationship started before Willis hired Wade in 2021. Bradley responded “absolutely” in the text exchange.

When confronted with a record of those texts in court Tuesday, Bradley appeared to mutter “dang.” But then he said he was “speculating” in those comments. 

FANI WILLIS’ TESTIMONY WAS ‘BELLIGERENT’ AND COULD DAMAGE HER CREDIBILITY, FORMER PROSECUTOR SAYS

Attorney Richard Rice later asked Bradley if he makes a habit of passing on “lies about your friends.” 

“Do you tell lies about your friends? About a case of national importance?” Rice asked. 

“I could have had, I don’t know,” Bradley responded. 

Bradely said he couldn’t recall key details or specific information more than two dozen times in the roughly two-hour testimony in Fulton County Superior Court on Tuesday. He also said he had only ever discussed Wade’s relationship with Willis once with Wade.

FULTON COUNTY DA FANI WILLIS ACCUSED OF LYING ABOUT TIMING OF AFFAIR WITH TRUMP PROSECUTOR

Bradley this month avoided answering certain questions, citing attorney-client privilege. McAfee said he would hold an “in-camera” meeting with Bradley to determine if his privilege assertions are accurate. He said it appeared that Bradley may have been misusing his attorney-client privilege.

Bradley is the former law firm partner of Wade, who is accused of having an affair that financially benefited Willis after she hired him to help prosecute the election interference case against former President Donald Trump.

On Tuesday, Bradley said he hadn’t spoken to Wade in two years after having been friends for more than 10 years.

Bradley had refused to answer some of the questions asked by defense counsel about what he knew about Wade and Willis’ relationship and when he knew, citing attorney-client privilege. Bradley, for a brief time, was Wade’s lawyer during Wade’s divorce.

McAfee determined after the in-camera meeting that Bradley’s testimony was not covered by privilege, leading to Tuesday’s testimony, which is likely the last installment of evidentiary hearings before both sides present final arguments Friday.

Lawyers for Trump and his co-defendants who are accusing Willis of having had an “improper” affair with Wade will try to connect evidence that Willis and Wade lied about when their relationship began and should therefore be disqualified from the case. 

Earlier this month, Willis’ father, John C. Floyd III, took the stand and confirmed what Willis testified to — that her father taught her to keep large amounts of cash on hand at all times. She said it was from these funds that she reimbursed Wade for luxury trips, which is why she had no record of the payments.

Floyd also said he did not meet Wade until 2023 and that he was unaware his daughter had a romantic relationship with Wade until about seven weeks ago, when allegations of Willis’ impropriety were first made in court filings.

During their romantic relationship, which ended last summer, Wade and Willis vacationed in wine country in California, the Caribbean and other destinations. 

Michael Roman, a GOP political operative and co-defendant in the Trump case, first alleged that Willis had a conflict of interest in the case because she benefited financially from hiring her lover. Four co-defendants have made similar accusations.

The crux of the defense’s case is whether it can prove with a money trail that Willis has a conflict of interest in the case against Trump and should thus be disqualified.

GEORGIA DA FANI WILLIS WILL NOT TESTIFY FOR SECOND DAY ON ‘IMPROPER’ AFFAIR WITH NATHAN WADE

Willis testified that she reimbursed Wade for her share of vacation expenses in cash, but she and Wade testified there were no receipts for those transactions.

The defense, led by Merchant, is also trying to prove Willis and Wade were romantically involved prior to Wade’s employment in the DA’s office.

Both Willis and Wade insisted that their relationship started in 2022, after Wade was hired. But they contradicted testimony from Robin Yeartie, a former “good friend” of Willis and past employee at the DA’s office.

Yeartie said she had “no doubt” Willis and Wade’s relationship started in 2019, after the two met at a conference. 

She testified to observing Willis and Wade “hugging” and “kissing” and showing “affection” prior to November 2021 and that she had no doubt that the two were in a “romantic” relationship starting in 2019 and lasting until she and Willis last spoke in 2022.

Willis dismissed Yeartie’s testimony and said she no longer considers Yeartie a friend.

The highlight of the two-day proceeding was Willis’ own — and unexpected — testimony, which was described by one expert as “belligerent.”

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She verbally sparred with lawyers for hours, at one point prompting the judge to threaten to strike her testimony. She also raised eyebrows by appearing to wear her dress backward. She did not return to the witness stand the following day. 

McAfee said at the start of the proceedings this month that it’s “clear that disqualification can occur if evidence is produced demonstrating an actual conflict or the appearance of one.”

Fox News Digital’s Chris Pandolfo contributed to this report.

Police confirm Laken Riley tried to reach 911 during deadly encounter with illegal suspect

FIRST ON FOX: Georgia nursing student Laken Riley tried calling 911 last week when a Venezuelan national allegedly attacked her on the University of Georgia campus, according to Athens-Clarke County police, who declined to release the call in response to public records requests.

The revelation explains one of the charges against murder suspect Jose Antonio Ibarra filed Friday related to violently interfering with a 911 call. Police had previously said they received a non-emergency call from a friend of Riley’s reporting her missing when she failed to return from her morning run Thursday.

Authorities did release other documents in the case, however, revealing the suspected killer’s brother Diego Ibarra, another illegal immigrant from Venezuela, showed he had little regard for the law between his arrival in the U.S. and when he allegedly handed police a fraudulent green card that had two mismatched birth dates printed on it, according to police documents obtained by Fox News Digital.

LAKEN RILEY CASE: HECKLERS SHOUT DOWN ATHENS MAYOR AS HE DENIES SANCTUARY CITY, ANNOUNCES PUBLIC SAFETY FUNDS

In his first encounter with Athens-Clarke County police, he allegedly sped past an officer on Atlanta Highway near Epps Bridge Road going 80 mph in a 40 mph zone, with no license or insurance, and sipping from an ice-cold can of Bud Light.

“I opened the driver’s door and ordered him to step out of the vehicle, but he turned and began reaching inside of the vehicle, so I forcibly pulled him out,” the investigating officer wrote of the Sept. 24, 2023 stop, according to police documents obtained by Fox News Digital. 

“The driver struggled and was brought to the ground, where there was a short struggle to handcuff him.”

In Spanish, he allegedly admitted to drinking seven beers before the stop, and he did not have a driver’s license.

LAKEN RILEY MURDER IGNITES DEMANDS TO HIRE MORE CBP AGENTS, REDIRECT $15B DEMOCRAT IRS PAYDAY TO BORDER

Police report: Diego Ibarra’s DUI arrest

Federal prosecutors announced charges against Diego last week after he allegedly handed over a fake green card to police officers who were on the hunt for his brother in connection with Riley’s brutal murder.

Two Athens-Clarke police officers stopped Diego because he matched his brother’s physical description and appeared to be wearing the same hat they saw on their suspect in surveillance video, the documents reveal.

GEORGIA STUDENT MURDER SUSPECT CONFIRMED TO BE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT

He told them he didn’t speak English and allegedly handed over a green card that had two separate dates of birth listed alongside his photo and fingerprint. The officers contacted Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Diego is currently facing federal fraud charges for the incident.

Diego entered the country illegally in April 2023. Days after the DUI charges, police responded to his apartment for a domestic disturbance, but did not arrest him, the documents reveal.

Both brothers were cited on Oct. 27, 2023, for allegedly stealing more than $200 from an Athens Walmart. 

LAKEN RILEY CASE: GEORGIA AUTHORITIES IDENTIFY MURDER SUSPECT IN CUSTODY IN NURSING STUDENT’S SLAYING

Police report: Diego Ibarra banned from Walmart

But the records show Diego returned on Dec. 8 and allegedly stole more items, this time getting banned from Walmart stores for a two-year period and booked into county jail.

His brother Jose Ibarra, Riley’s suspected killer, entered the country illegally in 2022 but was freed on border parole, which allowed him to travel to New York City and then Athens, according to authorities.

Police report: Diego Ibarra’s fraudulent green card case

Athens Mayor Kelly Girtz on Wednesday faced protests at a news briefing on public safety in the city, which is about 70 miles east of Atlanta.

Hecklers called for his resignation when he denied Athens is a sanctuary city and shouted him down when he blamed a 2019 resolution supporting undocumented foreigners on then-President Trump.

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“While 2019 was not that long ago, you might remember the dynamic we were living in, in the late teens in this country where you had the president of the United States speaking in the most vile terms about people who were foreign born,” he said. “And you had that notion metastasizing in places like Charlottesville.”

“This is an invasion,” a man shouted.