The Rise And Fall of Fani Willis' Case Against Former President Trump

The Rise And Fall of Fani Willis’ Case Against Former President Trump

The anticipation is over, there’s finally a ruling in the motion to dismiss Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis from the Georgia election interference case against former President Donald Trump and his co-defendants. On Friday, a Georgia Judge ruled that Willis could remain on the case — but there’s a catch.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee ruled that Willis’ relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade had the “appearance of impropriety.” McAfee left Willis with two options: either Willis or Wade needs to go — meaning Wade will likely be the one to go.

Former San Francisco Prosecutor Paul Henderson says overall the ruling isn’t a significant mark against her. “From my perspective, it’s a vindication of her that she was not removed, which is exactly what they were seeking,” he said. “Appearance of impropriety, is not as significant as a ruling as impropriety. So I don’t think that it is a big slam or a big mark against her.”

Henderson notes that this outcome didn’t come completely out of left field. In fact, he and other experts told The Root last month that they predicted that Willis would not be removed from the case.

“They could not prove when the relationship began, they could not prove that there was a presumptive monetary exchange that benefitted Fani,” said Henderson. “And to me, these were the things that were the smoking guns… that just never materialized, and they couldn’t prove either bias or benefit.”

Henderson, who is Black, says that the media was too quick to assume that she was going down over this relationship. “I always thought that the conversations were too heavily made with a presumption of guilt about her and the proceedings and what the likely outcome was,” he says, “in part because it was Trump, but in part because of race and gender.”

The former San Francisco prosecutor says the likely outcome of this ruling is that Wade steps aside. “She’s not stepping aside, nor should she,” he said. “She is more important in her role in prosecuting the case than he is.”

Attorneys for the defendants in the case also weighed-in on the ruling. “While we believe the court should have disqualified Willis’ office entirely, this opinion is a vindication that everything put forth by the defense was true, accurate and relevant to the issues surrounding our clients right to a fair trial,” wrote Ashleigh Merchant, the attorney for defendant Michael Roman, who filed the original motion to disqualify Willis, in a statement obtained by Fox News. “The judge clearly agreed with the defense that the actions of Willis are a result of her poor judgment and that there is a risk to the future of this case if she doesn’t quickly work to cure her conflict.”

Ambassador Norman Eisen (ret.), a senior fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institute and an expert in law, ethics, and anti-corruption, had a different reaction to the ruling.

“Judge McAfee has continued his run of Solomonic decisions by declining to force Fulton County DA Fani Willis off the case. There simply are no grounds to do that under GA law or the evidence presented,” wrote Eisen in a statement. “But at the same time, he’s recognized that her relationship with Special Counsel Nathan Wade is an ongoing distraction and that Wade must go, or Willis and her whole office are removed. Mr. Wade has an outstanding record as an attorney, including a series of successes in this case before the controversy emerged.”

Both Eisen and Henderson agree that the real meat of this case is about Trump. “[The ruling] is an opportunity for her to prove her case and validate her instincts by continuing the case,” said Henderson. “And that brings up the ultimate issue that the media keeps avoiding. Did he do it? Did he commit the crime?” Is he guilty? And will he be held accountable?”

 

Ye Drops Surprise Endorsement Of Donald Trump Despite Past Beef 

Ye Drops Surprise Endorsement Of Donald Trump Despite Past Beef 

Ye gave Republican former President Donald Trump his endorsement for the 2024 presidential election. In a video circulating on social media, Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, said Donald Trump will have his support in November 2024. When someone asked the Chicago-born artist if he was still supporting Trump, he responded, “Yeah, of course, it’s Trump all day, what you talking about? You know what it is!”

The Late Registration rapper first pledged his allegiance to Trump after infamously appearing at the White House in 2018 sporting a red “Make America Great Again” hat. Lunch with the then-president turned into a bizarre press conference on appearances and deals. “What I need ‘SNL’ and liberals to improve on is, if he don’t look good, we don’t look good. He has to be the freshest, the flyest, have the flyest planes. He has to look good!” Ye said. “When we make everything in China and not America, we’re cheating on our country.”

The “Jesus Walks” emcee’s tone changed in 2022 during a dinner at Trump’s Mar-A-Lago, where Ye allegedly asked Trump to be his 2024 running mate. But things took a negative turn once Trump insulted Ye’s ex-wife, Kim Kardashian, calling her “the World’s most overrated celebrity.” Trump also accused Kardashian of voting for “crooked Joe.” According to 2023’s tell-all book Tired of Winning: Donald Trump and the End of the Grand Old Party, Trump said he “did help with prisoner commutation, but only if deserving, and much more so for Kanye West than for Kim, who probably voted for Crooked Joe Biden, and look at the mess our Country is in now.” Since then, Trump has been drowning in a slew of legal battles for defamation and sexual assault. Shortly after the release of his album Vultures I, a collaboration with singer and rapper Ty Dolla $ign, Ye was called out by the estate of the late Donna Summer and by rock legend Ozzy Osbourne for using their music samples without receiving clearance. Vultures 1 was removed from but later reinstated on iApple Music and Spotify.

 

 

Like Claudine Gay, Fani Willis is Learning the Hard Way: When You’re Black and Famous, Keep Your House Clean

Like Claudine Gay, Fani Willis is Learning the Hard Way: When You’re Black and Famous, Keep Your House Clean

Remember how Donald Trump did everything wrong that a budding politician could muster?

All of his racist, sexist and anti-LGBT invective delivered at a third-grade reading level? His comments about grabbing a woman’s you-know-what? Remember how, despite all of that, he steamrolled over his competition and spread his plague throughout the Oval Office seven years ago this month?

On Monday, former Trump campaign staff member Michael Roman, one of the 18 Trump co-defendants whom Willis indicted last August over election tampering, made a court filing accusing Willis of “an act to defraud the public of honest services” for her failure to disclose her engagement in a “personal, romantic relationship” with attorney Nathan Wade, whom Willis hired for the case when they already had relations.

Wade has allegedly earned more than $650,000 since starting on the case in January 2022 – money from Fulton County taxpayers on which Willis signs off and which she’s allegedly benefited from by way of luxurious trips with Wade.

Making matters stickier is the discovery that Wade billed $4,000 for two eight-hour meetings with President Joe Biden’s White House in 2022. Any perception that the White House is coordinating the investigation and not Willis’ office brings the whole affair under further scrutiny. Willis, Wade and the White House have not responded to press inquires as of Wednesday morning.

Roman is leveraging these discoveries to get his case dismissed, and you can only imagine the field day Trump supporters (and general racists) are having at Willis’ expense on Elon Musk’s former Twitter.

We all love Willis here at The Root, which is why she got the top spot at last month’s The Root 100 ceremony. But she absolutely should’ve known better than to put herself in this position. There were countless elite attorneys who would’ve frothed at the mouth to take down Trump and his Trumpettes — and she picked the dude with whom she’s messing around??

Though she’s making headlines for all the wrong reasons, Willis’ career might survive the legal and ethical implications of this week’s discoveries. But what Claudine Gay did also wasn’t illegal or unethical, and she had to step down as president of Harvard University president unfold because of her own lapses in judgment – or perhaps because she didn’t have enough Black friends to help steer her clear of the coming alabaster attack.

It’s as if these incredibly successful and intelligent Black folks have blinders up that make them forget that their houses must be twice as clean as those of their white counterparts.

Or they forget what happens to prominent Black folks who mess up, like disgraced former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick: His operation was undeniably corrupt, but they threw the book at him with a 28-year federal sentence that was a hell of a lot harsher than what fallen white politicians received for similar crimes. (Trump commuted Kilpatrick’s sentence in 2018.)

We see it unfolding with Eric Adams, New York City’s first Black mayor since 1993, who caught every shred of legal Hell late last year. Adams’ list of alleged crimes is a Post-It Note in comparison to Trump’s, but you wanna bet which one will see the inside of a prison cell first…?

And don’t get me going on Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), who was caught on video pulling a fire alarm at a federal building, claimed he didn’t realize it was a fire alarm that a blind 5-year-old could’ve parsed out and blamed racism for the “attack” on him. Anyone think his silly Black ass will ever move up in politics after that?

The sad part is that Willis is being oversexualized by the right on social media as I type, which is par for the Black woman course in America. She said during her Root 100 acceptance speech: “There is no room to hate someone because of the skin God put them in, and it aint none of yo’ business who they love at night!”

She’s right, but she should’ve known that’s not the reality of the country in which we live – especially for Black women. We hope that her poor decision making won’t destroy her career or allow Trump’s people to go free.