For Georgia’s first prosecutor, Fanny Willis, historic decision looms over Trump election investigation


A prosecutor overseeing an investigation into former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election could face perhaps the biggest decision of her career. Special Purpose Grand Jury Report about the problem.

Fulton County District Attorney Fanny Willis received the findings from a special purpose grand jury two weeks ago. The panel’s report follows months of investigation that included testimony from dozens of eyewitnesses.

Willis, who is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday for a hearing before Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, has remained tight-lipped about any potential actions her office might take. ‘s office could file criminal charges based on the report’s findings, which could include charges against Trump.

No former president in American history has been indicted.

If Willis Indicts Former Presidents and Current Presidential Candidates 2024 nominations — She could stand to launch high-profile prosecutions in county courts that previously allowed cameras and live television coverage. cannot be ignored.

Georgia Election Survey
FILE: Fulton County District Attorney Fanny Willis (right) speaks with members of her team during the process of installing a special purpose grand jury on May 2, 2022, before Donald Trump after the 2020 election. We are investigating the actions of the president and his supporters. .

Ben Gray/AP

Among other things, the study focused on a January 2, 2021, by phone In it, Trump told the Georgia Secretary of State Brad Ravensperger“We just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have.” In addition to Trump, Willis’ office said others also faced legal scrutiny in the probe. I have shown that alternative electoral systemand a former Trump attorney Rudy Giulianiaccording to court filings.

State and federal officials interviewed for the investigation include Raffensperger, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, and South Carolina. Senator Lindsay Graham, Trump’s best friend.

In an emailed statement, Trump’s attorney said, “I will not attend and will not participate in the hearing on Tuesday.

“To date, we have never been a part of this process. The grand jury coerced the testimony of dozens of other, often high-ranking officials during the investigation, but said it was important to speak with the president.” I never thought,” said the lawyer. Drew Findling, Marissa Goldberg, Jennifer Little. “He has never been voluntarily summoned or called to appear by this grand jury or anyone in the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office. It concluded that there was no violation of the law by President Trump.”

The Fulton County investigation and determination of Willis, if indicted, is likely to be the most scrutinized action in her two years as a district attorney and her previous 17 years as a prosecutor in that office. prize.

Willis graduated from Howard University in Washington DC in 1992 and Emory University Law School in 1996. He started working for the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office in 2001 and has worked his way up through nearly two decades, working in nearly every department. She has been the lead prosecutor in over 100 of her jury trials and has prosecuted hundreds of murders and other high-profile cases.

Charlie Bailey, a former prosecutor who worked for Willis for four years, said, “The best trial attorneys have the ability to quickly take in a complex set of facts and quickly identify the core issues. “Girlfriend [has] Its ability is a spade. ”

Bailey said Willis was the person the young Fulton County prosecutor turned to for her unfiltered advice.

“She had this corner office with people outside waiting in line. I did,” Bailey said.

In one of Willis’ most high-profile cases, in 2015, 12 educators at Atlanta Public Schools were indicted for conspiring to inflate student results on standardized tests. All but one of the defendants were convicted of racketeering and other crimes.

“She was no nonsense, determined, intelligent, and driven,” said Linda Danikoski, who co-prosecuted the Atlanta Public Schools scandal with Willis and is now an assistant district attorney for Cobb County, Georgia. Told. “[The prosecution] Controversial. People said teachers can’t be criminals.”

Willis left the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office in 2018 to open his own law firm focused on criminal defense and family law. Two years later, she ran for district attorney, challenging her longtime boss and mentor and her six-term incumbent Paul Her Howard, who was embroiled in multiple scandals.

Bailey told her before running, “Only you can do this. You have to run and you will win.”

“It’s no small thing to fight someone you’ve worked with for a long time, but she really felt like she had no choice. It was very tough and she didn’t punch,” Bailey said. said.

She won and became the first woman in Georgia’s most populous county.

Two years after Willis took office, Trump called Raffensberger on Jan. 2, 2021, asking him to “find” the votes needed to change the outcome of Georgia’s presidential election. It hadn’t been a day.

Dunikoski believes Willis had no choice but to investigate the phone.

“When elected officials bring a crime to their attention, they have an obligation to investigate and that’s what she did. She did the right thing,” Dunikoski said.

On February 10, 2021, Willis wrote to Raffensperger and other state officials informing them that her office was investigating possible election fraud, false statements, conspiracy and extortion. rice field.

“You can’t come to Fulton County and commit a crime. Anyone who comes to Fulton County and commits a crime should be held accountable for their actions,” Dunikoski said.

Critics of Willis have accused Democrats of going after Trump to boost her national profile and further her political ambitions. He said the investigation was a “strictly political witch hunt”.

Her political career collided with an investigation in her office in July, when a judge overseeing a special-purpose grand jury named Bailey, then the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor competing in the primary. accused Willis of hosting a fundraiser for

Judge Robert McBurney called the optics of Willis’ participation in the fundraiser “terrifying.” McBurney blocked Willis’ investigation of then-state senator Bert Jones, the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor. Jones won Bailey in his November 8 election.

However, Bailey said he did not believe politics would drive Willis’ decision in the investigation.

“She believes Lady Justice is blind, and it doesn’t matter if the crime you are talking about was allegedly committed by the president.” It looks like a crime could have been committed, at least enough where it needs to be investigated, and I have to do it.”


What do you think?

Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

Leave a Reply

Des Moines school shooting: 2 students dead, 1 adult hurt after gunman opens fire

How to hear WXRT’s tribute to Lin Brehmer after the death of the legendary Chicago DJ