Sources close to Fulton County Prosecutor Fani Willis have said that she will not be stepping down from her case against former President Donald Trump despite allegations of corruption surrounding the probe.
— Forbes (@Forbes) February 1, 2024
Per CNN, sources familiar with the DA’s office’s dynamic revealed that she will be moving on with her prosecution of Trump in which he and 18 co-defendants are charged with racketeering and other crimes related to his alleged efforts to overturn the presidential election results in Georgia in 2020 when Trump went against President Joe Biden.
Willis is accused of benefiting financially from a romantic relationship with lead prosecutor Nathan Wade. According to Trump’s co-defendant Mike Rowan’s allegation in a court filing in January, Willis violated ethical standards and created an “impermissible conflict of interest” by hiring Wade after she had a “clandestine” relationship with him. Since then, there have been calls for her to remove herself from the case as the allegations raise ethical questions.
Last week, the GOP-led legislature in Georgia voted to form a special committee to investigate her. They also passed a bill on Monday to bring back a panel that can remove or punish elected prosecutors.
The state’s House speaker John Burns (R-GA) explained the bill’s aim, saying, “Today, the House passed HB 881 to hold district attorneys and solicitors general across Georgia accountable. Georgians deserve district attorneys who are focused on upholding their oath of office, prosecuting criminals, and doing their job to keep our communities safe – and I am confident that the Prosecuting Attorneys Qualifications Commission will ensure that happens.”
While a hearing has been set for Feb. 15 for her and Trump’s co-defendant Mike Rowan to present evidence related to the accusations, Willis is insisting that she did not violate any law that would require her to step down from the case.
She has so far not directly responded to the accusations save for a statement she made on Jan. 14 before a church congregation, in which she accused her critics of “playing the race card.”
Defending her decision to hire Wade, she stated, “I appointed three special counsellors. It’s my right to do. Paid them all the same hourly rate. They only attacked one.”
If Willis agrees to recuse herself from the case, the case could be delayed and the trial pushed beyond November, when the presidential election is scheduled to be held.