Willis blasts congressman’s ‘interference’ in Fulton Trump probe



Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis Thursday blasted a congressman who has pledged to investigate her handling of an indictment of former President Donald Trump and others.

U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, recently demanded records of Willis’ communication with Justice Department officials who have also indicted Trump for his role in an alleged scheme to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Jordan suggested Willis is attempting to interfere with the 2024 election – Trump is the front-runner for the Republican nomination. And he said her investigation could infringe on the free speech and other rights of Trump and other defendants.

On Thursday, Willis fired back, saying Jordan’s Aug. 24 letter included “inaccurate information and misleading statements.” She accused Jodan of improperly interfering with a state criminal case and attempting to punish her for personal political gain.

“Its obvious purpose is to obstruct a Georgia criminal proceeding and to advance outrageous misrepresentations,” Willis wrote of Jordan letter. “As I make clear below, there is no justification in the Constitution for Congress to interfere with a state criminal matter, as you attempt to do.”

Jordan’s letter came 10 days after a Fulton County grand jury indicted Trump and 18 others for their roles in an alleged scheme to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

A spokesperson for Jordan’s office did notrespond to a request for comment.

The exchange between Willis and Jordan is the latest evidence that prosecutions of Trump have become political dynamite in Georgia and in Washington, D.C.

Trump faces charges in four separate criminal cases even as he solidifies his place as the leading Republican candidate for president next year. Many Republicans believe the prosecutions are political.

In recent days, some Georgia Republicans have pushed to impeach or sanction Willis, though Gov. Brian Kemp has rejected such proposals. In Washington, Jordan’s committee has launched an investigation to determine whether federal and Fulton County authorities have coordinated their Trump prosecutions.

In his letter, Jordan noted that Willis began her investigation of Trump in February 2021 but “did not bring charges until two-and-a-half years later, at a time when the campaign for the Republican presidential nomination is in full swing.

“Moreover, you have requested that the trial in this matter begin on March 4, 2024, the day before Super Tuesday and eight days before the Georgia presidential primary,” Jordan wrote. “It is therefore unsurprising many have speculated that this indictment and prosecution are designed to interfere with the 2024 presidential election.”

In her response, Willis said Jordan’s concerns about the timing of the investigation are unfounded. She noted that many witnesses were uncooperative, requiring subpoenas to compel their testimony. She said that forced her to seek judicial approval to convene a special grand jury to compel testimony and the production of documentary evidence. Even then, she said, some witnesses resisted, requiring further delays.

Willis also responded to allegations she is unfairly targeting Trump. She said his “status as a political candidate cannot make him legally immune from criminal prosecution.” She noted the special grand jury recommended charges in the case, and a separate jury issued indictments.

“Face this reality, Chairman Jordan: the select group of defendants who you fret over in my jurisdiction are like every other defendant, entitled to no worse or better treatment than any other American citizen,” she wrote.

Willis blasted Jordan’s request for information as illegal and improper.

“Your letter makes clear that you lack a basic understanding of the law, its practice and the ethical obligations of attorneys generally and prosecutors specifically,” she wrote.

Willis also addressed Jordan’s inquiry about her office’s use of federal funds. She detailed her office’s use of federal grants to process “long-neglected sexual assault kits and prosecute dangerous sexual offenders who are identified via DNA results.” She also cited grants for prosecuting hate crimes, preventing community violence and aiding at-risk children.

“If you and your colleagues follow through on your threats to deny this office federal funds, please be aware that you will be deciding to allow serial rapists to go unprosecuted, hate crimes to be unaddressed, and to cancel programs for at-risk children,” Willis wrote. “Such vengeful, uncalled for legislative action would impose serious harm on the citizens we serve, including the fact that it will make them less safe.”