When Layers Lie on the Stand for All to See

A gavel
When you are in court, it behooves you to tell the truth.

Have you watched any of the testimony from the Fani Willis case? For a bunch of lawyers, who you assume would be smart, Willis, Nathan Wade, and Wade’s former divorce attorney, Terrence Bradley, look pretty stupid. OK, it’s worse than that. They look like three people who have circled the wagons and will lie, commit perjury, and claim they “don’t recall” until the cows come home. All it does is make them look guilty, just as Willis’ anger and combativeness did when she was on the stand.

In one example, they gave Bradley a copy of a text he sent to an attorney who asked if Willis and Wade’s relationship started before Willis appointed him as independent prosecutor. “Absolutely,” Bradley texted back and added details. It’s right there in black and white. Yet when questioned on the stand, Bradley says he was speculating. The text doesn’t sound very speculative; it sounds declarative. Yet now, months later, he says he was speculating. And when he says it, it doesn’t just roll off his tongue. He pauses first, looking like a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar, and reportedly mutters, “Oh, dang.” Then you can see the gears turning as he tries to think of how he can get out of the jam without looking like a liar.

The situation is akin to this: It’s like you are in a hit-and-run and you say the car that hit you was blue. You don’t leave any wiggle room and say, “I think it was blue” or “It was a blue-ish.” Neither do you say, “It was a dark car, it might have been blue.” You just say it was a blue car. You can’t turn around weeks later and say you were speculating when you said the car was blue. That’s what Bradley tried to do on Tuesday, and it made him look like desperate and stupid. Not a winning combination.

Here is one of many videos in which you can judge for yourself how Bradley behaved while on the stand.

Cascading Lies

For the sake of argument, let’s assume that the affair started back in 2019, while Wade was still married and before Willis appointed him to prosecute Trump. If so, that means that Wade and Willis both lied on their depositions and in their testimony in court. It would also appear that Wade lied in his divorce case.

It’s been said that if you get caught telling one lie, you are branded a liar for life. I have seen a deputy lie on the stand and get caught in the lie by the defense attorney. She was fired by the department because she lied, but also because she could never testify in court again without this incident coming up and casting doubt on her statements. Her career as a deputy was over. I expect these three lawyers are experiencing a similar career-ending scenario.

Beyond lying, the damaging issue is that Wade paid for Willis to go on flights to vacations to California wine country, a cruise, and other vacation activities, which the prosecution says demonstrates Willis benefitted by appointing Wade to his position. That’s now allowed. Wade testified that he paid for the tickets because it was convenient, and Willis paid him back in cash. Willis also testified that she paid him back in cash. Neither presented a paper trail showing large withdrawals made by Willis or corresponding deposits made by Wade.

As a result, it may appear that they lied and colluded in coming up with this story, but it is difficult to prove. But once it becomes clear both Willis and Wade lied about the date their relationship started, then they lose the benefit of the doubt. The veracity of their other testimony will be in doubt because the court will view it as coming from a liar.

After watching testimony, I think all three of these characters should have their law licenses suspended while they are investigated by the state. If the investigation warrants it, they should be charged, prosecuted, fined, fired, and disbarred.

Getting Away with It

Continuing with the assumption outlined above, it is natural to ask, how many times have they done this before? How many times have they made up a story to get away with something illegal, immoral, or at least contrary to the oath of office they swore when they became an attorney? For example, did Wade and Willis lie to others to hide their affair? Did they lie to Wade’s wife?

How far back does this kind of behavior go? For example, did they take bribes when they were judges? Did they hide exculpatory evidence when they were prosecutors? Did they make decisions not based on the rule of law but based on what would benefit them personally or uphold their political beliefs? Or are we to believe they have been honest upstanding citizens who suddenly went bad?

Our legal system is based on trust and the expectation of honesty. We expect criminals to lie, but we trust lawyers, judges, cops, and others in the judicial system to be honest. The foundation of that trust is the oath people swear when they are sworn in. Seems like fewer people are taking their oath seriously these days; probably a sign of society’s impending collapse.

Broadening the Scope

Let’s broaden the scope here. If these few people are getting away with it, how many people in Fani’s office follow her lead? For example, how many pad their billable hours? How many lie and cheat? Does this go beyond her office to infect others? Is it a common problem across the state or the country?

I hope that it is not, but it does seem these days that everyone is out for themselves. People may still become lawyers to see justice done, but in many cases, they want to see justice done their way. Too many are willing to do whatever it takes to get the result they want, whether the facts of the case support that conclusion or not.

Lessons Learned

One lesson from this case confirms what Ben Franklin said about secrets applies equally to lies: “Three can keep a secret if two of them are dead.” One witness testified and texts from another state that the affair started before Wade and Willis say it did. Clearly, they could not keep a secret or hide a lie.

Another lesson here is that lying on the stand will work against you and could ruin you. You may not get caught every time, but if you lie enough, you will get caught eventually. There goes your credibility and possibly your career.

If you don’t want to lie on the stand, take the fifth or make a plea deal. Better yet, do the honorable thing and tell the truth.

Keep in mind that like people in the TV Show COPS, the folks mentioned above are innocent until proven guilty.