In a significant development from Monday’s hearing, Judge Scott McAfee highlighted that allegations levied against Fani Willis, if proven, could lead to her disqualification from former President Donald Trump’s case in Fulton County. This marks a troubling turn in a scandalous saga for Willis, with the situation seemingly worsening as the days progress.
“I think it’s possible that the facts alleged could result in disqualification [for Fani Willis]. I think an evidentiary hearing must occur to establish the record on those core allegations,” McAfee said in an online court hearing.
The news comes as several whistleblowers have lined up to testify against Willis, telling investigators they believe the Democrat prosecutor misused state and federal funds in her fight against former President Donald Trump.
According to NewsNation, an emergency hearing by the Georgia legislature is scheduled for this week, and lawmakers are saying that quite a few of the whistleblowers are “eager” to share information they claim is being suppressed by Willis.
Ashley Merchant, an attorney representing one of Trump’s co-defendants who accused Willis of hiding an affair with a subordinate, claims the prosecutor lied in an affidavit last week about when the affair began. Since Willis and [Nathan Wade] were not being forthright about their relationship in the first instance, there is no reason to believe they are telling the truth now,” Merchant wrote in a filing this week.
According to documents obtained by Merchant, Wade allegedly billed Willis at least $728,000 while serving as a special prosecutor in the case. Willis, who acknowledged the relationship after weeks of withering criticism, has cast the matter as racially and politically motivated. Her office is seeking to dismiss an evidentiary hearing scheduled for Thursday.
State Senator Bill Cowsert is spearheading the legislature’s probe of Willis, which is being undertaken after appeals to Republican Governor Brian Kemp were ignored. U.S. House Republicans, led by Oversight Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH), have launched a separate investigation into whether Willis misappropriated funds by coordinating her case with a similar federal one brought by the Biden Justice Department.
“You lose the confidence of the public in the fairness of our criminal justice system if they think prosecutors are engaging in prosecution so that their lovers can get rich and they can share in the benefits of that,” Cowsert said to reporters last week, adding that his investigation is “not a political witch hunt.”
While Sen. Cowsert’s panel doesn’t have the power to remove Willis from the case, it does have the power to restrict her access to state funds if there is reason to believe malfeasance has tainted the case.
Since bringing her case against Trump and 18 codefendants last August, Willis has been haunted by repeated attacks on her personal and political motivations for doing so. She launched a revamped campaign website just days before announcing charges and made headlines for promoting her case as the first where Trump would have his mugshot taken.
She has been subpoenaed by Rep. Jordan’s committee to testify on whether, as one whistleblower claims, her office siphoned funds from a youth gang diversion program to continue funding her case against Trump and his allies.
Willis is expected to produce her own evidence against Trump, including testimony given in recent months by U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham that may contain statements about whether President Trump was genuine in his belief that the 2020 election was stolen.