Fani Willis Appears to Defy Judge, Talks About Race Again
Fani Willis Appears to Defy Judge, Talks About Race Again

By Jack Phillips

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis publicly discussed race again apparently in response to a Georgia judge’s rebuke over her previous race-related comments.

Fulton County Judge Scott McAfee ruled that Ms. Willis, an elected Democrat, can remain the prosecutor in her Trump election case after allegations surfaced that she engaged in an affair with her then-special prosecutor, Nathan Wade, who later resigned. The judge, however, rebuked Ms. Willis for her comments in January after the initial relationship claim.

“It’s hard out here always having to prove yourself two and three times,” Ms. Willis said last week at a Fulton County event. “Recently they tell me they don’t like me to talk about race. Well, I’m gonna talk about it anyway. Truth is, is some challenges that come to being black. And I see so much greatness in this city that has so many great African-American leaders. And I appreciate all of the sacrifice that you all have had to make to be in these positions.”

During a church event in January, Ms. Willis suggested that the allegations about her relationship with Mr. Wade were motivated by racism. Both Ms. Willis and Mr. Wade are black.

She asked at the time that “isn’t it them playing the race card when they constantly think I need someone from some other jurisdiction in some other state to tell me how to do a job I’ve been doing almost 30 years.” Her remarks came just a few days after a Trump co-defendant filed a court motion revealing her relationship with Mr. Wade, which the two later confirmed but denied allegations that she financially benefitted from the arrangement.

Lawyers for former President Donald Trump previously highlighted her comments in court papers, arguing that she should be dismissed from the case because she is improperly injecting racial animus into the case.

In last month’s order, the Fulton County judge wrote that her January church comments were “legally improper,” although he did not penalize her in any meaningful manner. He also issued no warnings to her about what he would do should she continue.

“In these public and televised comments, the District Attorney complained that a Fulton County Commissioner ‘and so many others’ questioned her decision to hire SADA Wade,” Judge McAfee wrote. “When referring to her detractors throughout the speech, she frequently utilized the plural ‘they.’ The State argues the speech was not aimed at any of the Defendants in this case. Maybe so. But maybe not. Therein lies the danger of public comment by a prosecuting attorney.”

Although Ms. Wade did not specifically make reference to the allegations against her, the district attorney “went on to frequently refer to [special counsel] Wade as the ‘black man’ while her other unchallenged [special counsels] were labeled ‘one white woman’ and ‘one white man.’ The effect of this speech was to cast racial aspersions at an indicted Defendant’s decision to file this pretrial motion.”

In January, President  Trump’s attorneys asked Judge McAfee to disqualify Ms. Willis based on those remarks for “wrongfully inserting racial animus into this case to publicly denounce and rebuke the defendants, and to defend her personal and political reputation against the numerous and diverse allegations” made in the initial court filing to dismiss her.

The Epoch Times reached out to Ms. Willis’s office for comment.

Appeal Launched

In a new court filing on March 29, President Trump’s attorney’s officially appealed Judge McAfee’s decision to keep Ms. Willis on the case, arguing that the court erred by not disqualifying her.

“Dismissal is the truly appropriate remedy because the disqualification of DA Willis and her office cannot fully undo the damage caused to Defendants and their due process rights,” the appeal said. “But her disqualification is the minimum that must be done to remove the stain of her legally improper and plainly unethical conduct from the remainder of the case.”

President Trump and more than a dozen others were indicted last year, accused of participating in a plan to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia. He has pleaded not guilty, saying the case is a politically motivated attempt to prevent him from returning to office.

All of the defendants were charged with violating Georgia’s anti-racketeering law along with other alleged crimes. No trial date has been set in the case, although Ms. Willis has asked the judge for the trial to begin in August.

Following the judge’s decision, Ms. Willis signaled that she would not step down from the case. Instead, she told CNN about a week ago that the case is still going and warned the former president.

“While that was going on, we were writing responsive briefs, we were still doing the case in a way that it needed to be done. I don’t feel like we’ve been slowed down at all. I do think there are efforts to slow down this train, but the train is coming,” the district attorney said, adding: “We’re not going to miss or skip a beat because of all the noise or distraction on one case. We’re going to continue to do our work.”

Earlier this month, the judge also dismissed 6 of the 41 counts in the indictment, including three counts against President Trump. Prosecutors did not provide enough detail about the alleged criminal activity, he wrote.

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