Georgia DA Fani Willis is confident that her Trump probe will take shape

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.

Fani Willis, District Attorney for Fulton County, is in the process of a special grand jury on May 2 to investigate the actions of former President Donald Trump and his supporters in an attempt to overturn the outcome of the 2020 elections. .. (Bengley / AP)

Atlanta-Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis takes a very positive and practical approach to investigating her office against Donald Trump, personally selecting members of a special grand jury and everyone. Sitting on the question while preparing to wage a legal war against. Specific challenges from the former president and rebellious witnesses.

When asked about the selection of a special grand jury who began listening to testimony last week, Willis told Yahoo News that he “really feels great about it.” “So I’m a jury lawyer. And my jury strategy is always to choose a diverse jury. I don’t want all blacks. I don’t want all whites. I’m all I don’t want young people.

“If you put a combination of such people there, they will keep each other honest,” she added. “this [grand] The jury looks like the diversity of my county. And it’s already a good, smart start. … It’s a curious group. It’s a group that takes responsibility seriously and I think Fulton County is in good hands. “

Willis was televised last Friday, the day after Georgia Secretary of State Brad Rafensperger spent five hours testifying in front of a grand jury, and the January 6 committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. A few days before the prime time hearing began, I spoke freely in her office for over an hour. She once again drew national attention to her actions after Trump’s election.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Lafence Purger.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Lafence Purger. (Alyssa Pointer / Reuters)

In an interview, Willis was confident about the direction of her investigation and presented a clearly optimistic schedule that could lead to a decision to prosecute the former president by this fall. She also dispelled her concerns about the expected challenges to the investigation from Trump’s lawyers and Republican state legislators.

“That doesn’t mean anything to the prosecutor,” she said when asked about the prospect of potentially challenging the subpoena. “No one wants to come to our party.”

Willis also provided the most complete defense to date for her decision to undertake the Trump case. This has sparked criticism from both Trump supporters and some community leaders in Fulton County. , Especially prosecution of violent crimes. Willis, 50, an elected Democrat who took office last year as the first black woman to lead the District Attorney’s Office, said a wide range of national votes to protect the holiness of voting rights as Trump tries to thwart results. He cast an investigation as an integral part of his efforts. Of democratic elections.

“I didn’t choose this. I didn’t choose Donald Trump to be on my plate,” she said. But, as he did last year, when Trump called him and begged him to “find” enough votes to flip the election results, La Fence Purger went to his house in Fulton County. Upon discovering that he was sitting, Willis felt he had no choice. Her father, a former Black Panther turned into a lawyer, grew up “in the movement” and “because I was a very little girl, you are drawn into polls.”

Former President Donald Trump.

Former President Donald Trump (Meg Kinard / AP) at a rally in Florence, South Carolina on March 12

“So, very, very early on, you realize that voting is such an essential right,” she said. “So I understand how important someone’s infringement of voting rights is, so I understand the importance.”

While these comments appear to reflect many of her party’s voting messages, Willis is far from the progressive prosecutors inaugurated in many other big cities. Instead, she has a reputation as a tough prosecutor (“the power of nature”, one of her colleagues said about her) and what about bringing about a controversial prosecution that has upset her community. It also does not show responsibility. This includes the 2014 assault on a black teacher accused of fooling a student’s test score (when she was the district attorney’s chief agent) and the popularity associated with violent gang activities. Includes recent accusations against local rap stars.

In planning her strategy for the Trump investigation, Willis relied on the advice of John Floyd, a recognized expert in Georgia’s vast swaying law, who helped guide her in previous cases. increase. “I understood how beautiful a tool it is,” Willis said, after Floyd taught her on a wide range of racket laws.

Experts say Willis goes far beyond the former president’s phone call to La Fence Purger to raise a much broader conspiracy case, including a wide range of actors, including Trump’s chief attorney Rudy Giuliani. It is the law that may allow it. Testimony in front of two legislative committees. Despite a slight victory in Joe Biden’s state, it could also include Republican state legislators who participated in an effort to nominate an alternative slate for Georgia voters who pledged to Trump.

Fani Willis at a hearing in Fulton County Superior Court.

Willis at a 2013 hearing for educators facing allegations of conspiracy to cheat in standardized tests. (David Tulis / AP)

But by doing so, Willis is already facing the threat of legal issues. For example, Willis’s prosecutor recently informed some Republican state legislators to expect a subpoena. This is because there may be a subpoena at a private meeting held at the State Capitol on December 14, 2020.

However, as Yahoo News reported on May 26, GOP leaders at the General Assembly have been empowered by Willis’ summons because of state legislative immunity, similar to the “Speech and Debate” clause of the US Congress. We hired an outside lawyer who was already questioning. .. Willis ignored his dissenting opinion during the interview and said, “We will deal with that as well.”

She said any objection to Willis’ subpoena would be filed in front of Judge Robert McBurney of the Fulton County Superior Court, which presides over the grand jury. But if she wins and the state legislator is still resisting the subpoena, she said she has a standard playbook. “It’s just what you’re doing,” she said. “I’ve been arrested before because the Witness ignored my subpoena. And you don’t expect to have to do that, but I do.”

A spokesman for Georgia Speaker David Ralston, who was asked to comment on her remarks, emailed “Thank you for your inquiry, but no comments on this issue.” Butchmiller’s office, acting on behalf of the Georgia Senate, did not respond.

More importantly, Trump’s legal team is expected to challenge Willis’ authority as a state prosecutor and investigate or prosecute the president. Trump’s lawyers widely apply to federal courts to withdraw the proceedings, claiming that they are exempt from state prosecution of any action taken in their presidency under the Constitution’s supremacy clause. It is expected. Willis and her team state the case, arguing that it is outside the president’s duty to pressure state officials to “find” more votes to overturn a clearly fair election. It will move to remand to the court. However, there is no guarantee.

Judge Robert McBurney of Fulton County Superior Court.

Judge Robert McBurney of Fulton County Superior Court will swear a jury trial candidate on May 2. (Bengley / AP)

“This could be one of the most difficult legal issues in this case,” said Nome Eisen, a senior researcher at the Brookings Institution, who closely monitors Willis’ investigation. “But Trump’s attempt to overturn the election should fail because it has so far been taken out of public responsibility.” But even if she loses the battle, Willis is federal. You can prosecute a case in court. She told Yahoo News that she would “contract with a special counsel” with federal trial experience to assist the prosecution, if necessary.

Still, Willis is confident that she will be able to put together an investigation and make an indictment decision as early as this fall. “I think we can go in and out for 90 days,” she said of her work as a special grand jury. “I don’t think everything will be perfect, because it’s not the mechanics of life. So it can take a little longer …. In a perfect world, it can end in July and August. I think I can do it. “

At that point, the special grand jury will prepare a report on the findings and make recommendations on the indictment. Willis then makes her decision to prosecute the former president and her conspirators — and if she continues, she brings the case to another regular grand jury for prosecution.

Is there a fact that there is a November election factor when she makes her decision to prosecute Trump? “No, not at all,” she said. “It hasn’t led me at all.” She says she won’t file a complaint after early voting in Georgia began in mid-October. But she has plenty of time before that — “and then.”

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