Fani Willis (Fulton County DA): The Fast Facts That May Surprise You

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Fani Willis is an American attorney and prosecutor who gained national attention for her role as the Fulton County District Attorney in Georgia who indicted former President Donald Trump.

Forbes named her one of their 50 over 50 because of this achievement. 

Here are some more facts about Fani Willis that may surprise you

1. Her Dad Was A Black Panther

 Fani T. Willis was born in Inglewood, California, in 1971. Her father was a criminal defense lawyer and a member of the Black Panthers, a Black rights and advocacy organization. 

In an interview with South Atlanta Magazine Willis said, “My father was a Black Panther. That was before he went to law school but kind of post-college. And so, yes, it’s something in our history I’m very proud of. He would come back here to the South and other places. In fact, his experiences of Georgia are that of the South. So, he’s kind of amazed at what he sees today.”

Willis graduated from Howard University in 1993. Subsequently, according to the BBC, she attended Emory University School of Law in Georgia, where she earned her law degree in 1996. 

Willis is divorced and has two adult daughters.

2. She’s A Fan Of RICO

Willis joined the Fulton County District Attorney’s office five years after graduation and served in several different divisions until 2018. She led more than 100 jury trials, including a criminal trial in which she used the RICO Act, a tool created to fight organized crime, against public school officials accused of cheating on standardized tests. 

Willis recently used the same act to indict President Trump and 18 of his allies of alleged conspiracy charges in relation to the 2020 election. 

“I’m a fan of RICO,” Willis said during a news conference in August 2022. At the time, she was using the statute against two dozen alleged gang members, according to the AP

In 2020, Willis ran for the position of Fulton County District Attorney against the incumbent, Paul Howard. She won the runoff election with 73% of the votes, making her the first Black woman to serve as Fulton County’s top prosecutor.

3. She Charged The President For Tweeting

Willis’ case against Trump and his co-defendants is built on the assertion that they collaborated “with knowledge and intent” in a comprehensive scheme to actively overturn the outcomes of the 2020 presidential election.

Integral to this alleged conspiracy, Willis contends, is a collection of “overt acts,” including tweets by the president questioning the vote-counting process.

In the section detailing the specific acts of racketeering allegedly committed, “Act 22” accuses Trump of tweeting, ‘Georgia hearings now on @OANN. Amazing!’

OANN is a conservative news network.

According to the indictment, “This was an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy.”

4. She Has Some Questionable Social Media Posts Of Her Own

Interestingly, a series of unearthed Facebook posts by Willis reveal that she herself questioned the counting process, including the infamous water leaks. 

Conservative commentator Benny Johnson posted an X thread, captioned, “BREAKING: Fulton County DA Fani Willis regularly questioned election results & used her office to push unfounded election conspiracies. On the eve of Trump’s arrest in Georgia for “challenging” an election — a deep dive into the prosecutor’s history of doing the *same* thing.”

5. She Is Being Investigated By Congress

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan and others in the House are now looking into Willis’ interactions with federal officials regarding her prosecution of former President Donald Trump. 

Jordan is questioning the timing of the charges, noting that Willis began her investigation in February 2021 but only filed charges two-and-a-half years later when the Republican presidential nomination campaign was active. 

He pointed out that the trial is scheduled to start on March 4, 2024, just before Super Tuesday and the Georgia presidential primary, leading to speculation that the case might be aimed at influencing the 2024 election.

Rachel Emmanuel

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