Somehow, Fulton County Democrats Choose Fani Willis Again

AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

With all the information that has come to light during Fani Willis’ tenure as district attorney in Fulton County, Ga., it would be understandable to think that voters in the county would be ready for a change. Yet somehow, Democrats in Fulton County have overwhelmingly voted to send her to the general election this November.


Willis defeated her challenger, attorney and writer Christian Wise Smith, to the tune of 89.4% to 10.6%. WSB Radio reports that the Associated Press called the race within a half hour of polls closing.

Willis ran in 2020 as an anti-corruption candidate, positioning herself as an alternative to the then-incumbent prosecutor, Paul Howard. It didn’t take long for her to embed the office in corruption of her own.

Willis was particularly fond of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, and her use of it in high-profile cases eventually became her downfall. Her prosecution of rapper Young Thug and his gang became a comedy of errors, complete with attorneys tipping off gangsters and investigators hitting on witnesses.

And then came her RICO prosecution of Donald Trump, the case that she must have thought would make her a superstar. It was rife with conflicts of interest from day one: she campaigned for Democrat Charlie Bailey for lieutenant governor, so a judge disqualified her from investigating Bailey’s GOP rival, Burt Jones, who won that November. Incidentally, Bailey’s wife works as Willis’ spokesperson.


Related: Fani Willis Claims That Holding Prosecutors Like Her Accountable Is Racist

Willis also hired Nathan Wade, an attorney with little RICO experience, to serve as her special counsel on the Trump case. There was one glaring problem with that hire: Wade was carrying on an affair with Willis. Once that news broke, Willis dug her heels in and became indignant and defensive about her choices. She gave a bizarre speech at a church the Sunday before Martin Luther King Day in which she claimed she was a victim of racism and imagined a conversation between her and God.

The hearing to investigate her conflicts of interest became a popcorn-worthy circus, with details of the Willis-Wade affair airing in the open and discussions of her bizarre habit of carrying stacks of cash around, in her words, “wherever I lay my head.” Judge Scott McAfee gave her an ultimatum: ditch Wade or resign from the case. Wade resigned instead.

Willis has maintained that any efforts to hold her accountable for her actions were unmerited. She refused to cooperate with federal and state investigations, and she told Rachel Maddow on MSNBC that Georgia’s Prosecuting Attorneys Qualifications Commission was a tool to target minority prosecutors. Conditions in Fulton County were so bad that a state legislator sued Willis and others for refusing to prosecute crimes.


Willis was so sure of herself and her ability to avoid accountability that she refused to debate Smith. So Smith appeared at an Atlanta Press Club debate and debated the empty podium behind which Willis was supposed to stand.

Willis will face off against Courtney Kramer, who ran unopposed in the GOP primary, in November. In other news, McAfee, the judge presiding over the Trump case, also won his election handily.


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