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DA Fani Willis Addresses Allegations; Affirms Prosecutor’s Qualifications in Trump Election Case

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has come forward to defend the qualifications of a special prosecutor she appointed in the case against Donald Trump and others, following allegations of professional impropriety. The case revolves around efforts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia, and Willis made her remarks during a service at the Big Bethel AME Church.

Warm Reception at Big Bethel AME Church

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During the church service, Willis received a warm welcome from the congregation. She expressed gratitude to the church leaders who supported her despite the criticism she faced.

Allegations by Defense Attorney

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Defense attorney Ashleigh Merchant, representing former Trump campaign staffer Michael Roman, filed a motion last week alleging an improper romantic relationship between Willis and special prosecutor Nathan Wade. The motion also questioned Wade’s qualifications for the job and sought the dismissal of the indictment and disqualification of Willis and Wade from the case.

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Awaiting Judge’s Response

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Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee is awaiting a response from the district attorney’s office and is expected to schedule a hearing on the motion in February. Other defense attorneys in the case, including Trump attorney Steve Sadow, are considering joining the motion pending an investigation into the allegations.

Reflecting on Martin Luther King Jr.

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During her speech, Willis drew inspiration from Martin Luther King Jr.’s experiences and her father’s encounters with the civil rights leader. She emphasized that King, though imperfect, answered God’s call.

Personal Struggles and Challenges

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Willis candidly shared her experiences of loneliness and stress in her role as district attorney. She mentioned receiving death threats and being subjected to racial slurs regularly.

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Emergency Incident on Christmas Night

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Willis recounted an emergency incident on Christmas night when her house was surrounded by police due to a false report of a shooting. She expressed the pure fear she felt, believing her daughter was in danger, until it was revealed to be a hoax.

Diverse Hiring for the Election Case

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Willis stated that she hired three special prosecutors for the election case, including a white man, a white woman, and a Black man. She highlighted that they receive the same hourly rate and questioned why the qualifications of the Black lawyer were being questioned.

Praising the Special Prosecutor

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Although not mentioning Nathan Wade by name, Willis referred to him as a “superstar” and a “great lawyer.” She pointed to his achievements and past professional experience.

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Questions About Special Prosecutor’s Qualifications

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Ashleigh Merchant’s motion raised doubts about Wade’s qualifications, particularly his lack of experience in prosecuting felony cases. However, the motion provided no concrete evidence of the alleged relationship or trips mentioned.

Approval and Oath for Special Prosecutor

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Merchant alleged that Willis did not obtain necessary approval from county leaders to hire Wade and that no special prosecutor’s oath had been filed for him. However, Pete Skandalakis, the executive director of the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council, clarified that district attorneys do not require permission to appoint special prosecutors, and the oath requirement seemed not to apply to Wade.

Clarifications and Defense

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Fani Willis defended her decision to appoint Nathan Wade as a special prosecutor and emphasized his qualifications and achievements. She closed her speech with a poignant question: “Is it that some will never see a Black man as qualified, no matter his achievements?”

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