Disqualification Isn’t the Only Threat to Fani Willis’s Prosecution

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A special committee of the Georgia State Senate held a hearing last week into accusations of misconduct by the Fulton County district attorney, Fani T. Willis, making it clear that the effort to disqualify her from the prosecution of Donald J. Trump is not the only threat to her case against the former president.

Ms. Willis faces a series of inquiries that could perpetuate questions about her character and uncertainty around the Trump case for months to come.

The prosecution of Mr. Trump and his allies for conspiring to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia was upended in January after an attorney for one of Mr. Trump’s co-defendants revealed in a court filing that Ms. Willis had engaged in a romantic relationship with Nathan J. Wade, the lawyer she hired to manage the Trump case.

Defense attorneys accused Ms. Willis of “self-dealing” because she took a number of vacations with Mr. Wade after hiring him, while using public funds to pay him more than $650,000 to date.

Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, a Trump ally and the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has used the conflict-of-interest allegations to seek more records as part of the committee’s ongoing investigation of the district attorney’s office.

Georgia Republicans are in the process of empowering a prosecutorial oversight commission that is also likely to review the matter The commission is expected to have the authority to remove district attorneys.

The Republican-controlled Georgia Senate created its special committee to investigate Ms. Willis soon after defense attorneys filed a motion to disqualify her. The committee has no power to punish the district attorney. But with the ability to issue subpoenas, it can embarrass her.

That could help Mr. Trump as he seeks to win Georgia in the presidential election. Negative headlines about Ms. Willis generated by the committee’s work could also influence potential jurors if the Trump case ends up going to trial.


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