‘Breakdown’ Episode. 2: ‘A force of nature’

Fulton County DA Fani Willis takes the spotlight in Trump probe. Plus, what is a special purpose grand jury?

The second episode of “The Trump Grand Jury,” the ninth season of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Breakdown podcast, focuses on the woman who is overseeing the investigation of former President Donald Trump and his allies.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis grew up in courtrooms, tagging along with her father, an attorney. When Willis became a prosecutor, she rose through the ranks at the Fulton DA’s Office prosecuting homicide and sexual assault cases.

In 2014, Willis oversaw one of the most high-profile cases in state history: the Atlanta Public Schools test-cheating scandal. Thirty-five educators were indicted under the state’s racketeering laws. Many pleaded guilty and of the 12 who went to trial, 11 were convicted.

“I’m still not totally sure how she did it, but she did it,” said Atlanta lawyer John Floyd, a racketeering law expert who assisted Willis in the test-cheating trial. “She was a bit of a force of nature in the sense that she was completely committed to the case.”