Politics

Fani Willis Learns Her Fate As Fulton County Democratic DA Primary Called

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.


Embattled Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis faced voters for the first time on Tuesday since launching her investigation into former President Donald Trump.

Willis, a Democrat, has defeated attorney Christian Wise Smith in the Democratic primary district attorney race.

Willis will face Republican Courtney Kramer, who is running unopposed in the GOP primary, in the November general election. However, it remains to be seen if the general election will be competitive in Fulton County, a deeply Democratic area home to Atlanta.

The primary on Tuesday follows increased scrutiny from some voters regarding her handling of the Trump election interference case in recent months.

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Her case centers on Trump and his allies’ alleged attempts to overturn the outcome of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia, a swing state that narrowly supported President Joe Biden. Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges and accused Willis of targeting him for political reasons.

Willis has had her share of investigations since she decided to prosecute former President Donald Trump and his co-defendants, and the investigations are not stopping.

Her office is now being investigated on allegations that it misused federal funds, The Washington Free Beacon reported.

Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin penned a letter to Willis on Wednesday in which they demanded information about her office’s alleged misuse of federal grant funds.

“The apparent and significant discrepancy between the purpose of the federal award of taxpayer money and the actual use of that money raises alarms that it hasn’t been used as Congress intended. The waste or misuse of taxpayer funds is unacceptable,” the letter said.

“Congress has the right to know where federal tax dollars are sent and how they’re spent,” Sen. Grassley said to The Beacon. “These federal funds were intended to help vulnerable youth and support important law enforcement initiatives, but the Fulton County DA’s office appears to have used them to fulfill their own whims. Any official who squanders taxpayer funds should be held accountable.”

The Beacon said its own investigation discovered misuse of certain funds.

“The Free Beacon uncovered several instances of Willis dipping into federal grants to purchase computers and pay for travel. In 2020, the Justice Department granted the Atlanta Police Department $2 million to help clear its rape kit backlog. County records show Willis’s office pulled nearly $13,000 from that grant to purchase computers, and spent an additional $27,000 on airfare, hotels, and car rentals,” the report said.

The investigation comes as an appeals court will hear an appeal from the former president’s attorneys to have her removed from the case.

Former President Donald Trump’s legal team has informed the Fulton County Superior Court that he will formally appeal the court’s previous ruling allowing District Attorney Fani Willis to remain on her RICO case she filed against him and 18 others alleging interference in the 2020 election.

The issue with Willis began in early January when former White House staff member Michael Roman filed a motion seeking to disqualify DA Willis from prosecuting the case against Trump and his co-defendants. The motion alleged that Willis had an “improper” relationship with then-Special Prosecutor Nathan Wade and claimed that she financially benefited from both the investigation and the relationship.

On March 15, Judge Scott McAfee ruled that Trump and his co-defendants “failed to meet their burden” of proving that the romantic relationship between Willis and Wade constituted a “conflict of interest” or that Willis benefited from it. However, McAfee acknowledged a “significant appearance of impropriety” and decided that either Willis or Wade would need to step aside for the case to proceed in Fulton County. A few hours later, Wade resigned.

On March 18, Trump and several of his co-defendants sought permission from Judge McAfee to appeal his decision, and on March 20, McAfee granted their request. On March 29, attorneys for Trump and his co-defendants filed an application for an interlocutory appeal, arguing that Wade’s departure did not resolve the appearance of impropriety and had “cast a pall over these entire proceedings.”

On May 8, the Georgia Court of Appeals agreed to hear the appeal, giving Trump and his 14 co-defendants 10 days to file a notice of appeal, thus transferring the case from Fulton County Superior Court to the Court of Appeals, Fox 5 reported.

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