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Georgia prosecutors received deluge of harassing calls after cell phone records leaked, sources say

By Zachary Cohen, Nick Valencia and Jason Morris, CNN

(CNN) — Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and the top prosecutor on the Georgia 2020 election subversion case received an onslaught of harassing phone calls over the weekend after their personal contact information was cited in legal paperwork from Donald Trump’s defense lawyer, sources with knowledge of the matter told CNN.

Willis and special prosecutor Nathan Wade were both forced to change their phone numbers because of an “explosion” of calls they received after their contact information appeared in an early version of a motion that was shared with counsel on both sides and with a reporter, one of the sources told CNN.

That version included hundreds of pages of unredacted cell phone records that were attached as exhibits. Some of those records were leaked, though it’s unclear by whom, and appeared on right-wing social media accounts.

Steve Sadow, the former president’s lead attorney in the Georgia case, told the DA’s office he mistakenly shared the unredacted cell phone records with a reporter before the motion was filed.

“When I realized the error, I immediately contacted him and told him explicitly not to disclose them to anyone else and not to publish the cell phone numbers or any other protected information,” Sadow wrote in an email to the DA’s office that was included in the state’s response to the original filing on Friday.

“It was my mistake alone,” he added.

The reporter did not publish the phone numbers, as requested, and the prosecutors’ contact information was redacted in the eight-page motion that was ultimately filed publicly.

But cell phone records “with personal identifying information,” still appeared on social media, according to the district attorney’s filing on Friday. As a result, sources said, both Willis and Wade received an influx of hostile calls over the weekend.

Trump’s team had hired a private investigator to analyze Wade’s cell phone data. The investigator said the data showed Wade made several visits to the area where Willis lived in late 2021, well before the two say their romantic relationship began. The relationship – and its origins – are at the center of efforts to disqualify Willis.

Willis’ office says the data, which can’t pinpoint locations, doesn’t prove anything and should not be admitted as evidence in the proceedings over allegations the relationship created a conflict of interest.

Willis has been targeted with threats before. CNN previously reported she was assigned additional security protection near her Georgia residence after indicting the former president and some of his closest allies. Willis also has said she received racist threats against her and her family that were “very troubling,” and escalated by Trump’s rhetoric.

In early 2022, Willis asked the FBI for help for help in providing security for buildings and Fulton County staff one day after Trump called prosecutors investigating him “racists.”

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