Fani Willis’ 'entire career has been preparing her' to prosecute Trump: report
Fulton County, Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis' "entire career has been preparing her" to ask a grand jury to approve criminal charges against former President Donald Trump for allegedly attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election in the Peach State, according to "colleagues who have worked with her over more than 20 years" that spoke with The Guardian's Jewel Wicker.
Since commencing her investigation immediately upon taking office in 2021, Wicker recalls, Willis has "focused on Trump's efforts to subvert the will of Georgia's voters, including his campaign's plot to assemble a slate of fake electors and Trump's phone call to Georgia's Republican secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, asking him to 'find 11,780 votes,' which would make him the winner over Joe Biden in the state."
Willis "has made no apologies for being a liberal with conservative-leaning views on criminal justice or the fact that she was endorsed and received funding from a police union during her campaign," Wicker continues. "As DA, she's indicted Grammy-award winning rapper Young Thug and his music collective under Georgia's racketeering statute, fought appeals from teachers she previously prosecuted during a high-profile standardized test cheating scandal, and sought the death penalty for a man who murdered four women during a shooting spree that targeted Asian spas in metro Atlanta."
Legal experts anticipate that Willis will prosecute Trump under Georgia's version of the 1970 Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), which Wicker highlights "has a notably narrower scope" than "the federal statute" because "only two related acts are needed to prove a pattern."
Georgia State University law professor Anthony Michael Kreis observed to Wicker that "the 2020 election aftermath and attempts to overthrow the election are very similar" to a RICO case involving "Atlanta public school educators." Kreis explained that "there's a lot of moving parts and a lot of different actors and they all don't necessarily have the same degree of information as all of the others, and they all don't get together to say 'let's do this unlawful thing,' but they know that they're a part of a machine that's doing something that they shouldn't."
While some expressed skepticism regarding Willis' legal strategy, those that know her vigorously defended her integrity and reputation.
Devin Franklin, policy counsel for the Southern Center for Human Rights, described Willis as "a prosecutor through and through" who "wholeheartedly believes in the work, for better or for worse, depending on which side of the lane you fall on." Franklin cautioned, however, that "RICO is so broad in Georgia that it really is a free-for-all" given that "it allows for the substance of the case to become secondary and it allows for prosecutors to just tell a narrative of whatever they want to tell because the pattern of racketeering only has to be two occurrences that don't necessarily have to be related to one another. It just felt abusive and leans into this concept of prosecutors as bullies who just want to get what they want as opposed to using the tools at their disposal to achieve community safety and justice."
Gerald Griggs, 13th President of the State Conference of the Georgia NAACP, "has been critical of her use of the statute," Wicker notes. "Still, Griggs said he credits Willis for the organization and transparency she's brought to the district attorney's office and warned against underestimating how likable she can be with jurors."
View Wicker's article at this link.
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