Judge Hands Fani Willis a Win in Trump Election Interference Case

After months of legal arguments, Judge McAfee decides to allow Fulton County DA Fani Willis to remain on the Trump case.


MAR 26, 2024

Wrong Speak Publishing

On March 15th, 2024, the long-awaited verdict of Fulton County Judge Scott McAfee was finally released. His decision:

“The prosecution of this case cannot proceed until the State selects one of two options. The District Attorney may choose to step aside, along with the whole of her office, and refer the prosecution to the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council for reassignment. See O.C.G.A. § 15-18-5. Alternatively, SADA Wade can withdraw, allowing the District Attorney, the Defendants, and the public to move forward without his presence or remuneration distracting from and potentially compromising the merits of this case.

In other words, if Trump’s Special Prosecutor Nathan Wade or Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis stepped down, all would be well; and one of them did step down, Nathan Wade, only a few hours after the decision was released.

How We Got Here

Since the Bush vs Gore drama that took place in the early aughts, questioning the results of U.S. elections has been somewhat of a norm. This is to say that after this election people in the United States, and more specifically American political actors, began to feel like they could be more open about their doubts when it came to our electoral system than they had in the past. Fast forward twenty-four years later and very little has changed.

On November 3rd, 2020, Joe Biden beat Donald Trump in the presidential election. This surprised many right-wing voters because before they went to bed that night Trump seemed to be strongly in the lead. However, in the early morning hours the next day, Biden saw an immense spike in ballots swinging his way, and this spike eventually gave him enough of an edge to eke out an electoral victory.

What followed this early morning shift was half of the electorate and many right-wing politicians/pundits I might add, declared that foul play was afoot. Donald Trump was among those casting doubt on the results of the election posting on his social media on November 6th, only three days later, that there was a plethora of “missing military ballots” from Georgia, a traditionally red state, that ultimately would have led to his victory.

Despite these calls from the right side of the aisle that something corrupt was going on, to put it bluntly, nothing happened and the Georgia election results were certified on November 20th by Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Georgia Governor Brian Kemp. Shortly thereafter Trump’s legal team filed a lawsuit in that same state against Kemp, a Republican, claiming that there had been “massive election fraud.”

Now if Trump’s social media posts and lawsuit had been the sum of his efforts to challenge the election results, things would likely have ended there. But this was not the case and instead, Trump began reaching out to the Georgia legislature directly. On December 5th he called Kemp and urged him to conduct an audit of Georgia’s mail-in ballots. Kemp refused. 

Then, on December 23rd Trump calls one of the prosecutors from Raffensperger’s office, Francis Watson, and encourages her to uncover fraudulent activity. Finally, on January 2nd, 2021, Trump called the Georgia Secretary of State himself, Brad Raffensperger, and told him “All I want to do is this, I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state.”

This last call is, in hindsight, what led to Trump being in hot water, legally speaking, within the state. Put another way, it is because of this phone call, and likely the events of January 6th, that newly appointed District Attorney of Fulton County Fani Willis felt she had a case against the former president. 

Flash forward to August 14th, 2023, and Willis officially files charges against former President Trump and 18 of his associates, with the claim being that Trump was running a “criminal enterprise” that sought to illegally overturn the 2020 presidential election.

At this time Trump was already facing three criminal lawsuits in the country, so needless to say this was a significant blow to his already strenuous efforts to remain on the 2024 ballot. With this said, though, it did not take long until things started to fall apart.

Earlier this year rumors began to spread that Fanni Willis had been engaged in an improper relationship with the man she had positioned as lead prosecutor in the Trump election case, a man by the name of Nathan Wade. The accusation is that Willis funneled money through Wade, the man we now know she was in fact in a relationship with at the time, to the tune of $653,881, with some of this money coming from the seized property. According to Newsweek, examples of this “seized property” include jewelry confiscated from famous rapper Young Thug. Newsweek also said that this occurrence is, from a legal perspective, highly inappropriate.

Things got even more dicey, again, from a legal perspective, when the Trump team started to publicly state that some of these funds, which Wade was given from November 1, 2021, to December 31, 2023, had been used to pay for lavish vacations the two aforementioned prosecutors went on together.

To put it lightly, after this relationship, and the financial incentives associated with it came to light, a spotlight was inadvertently pointed at the Fulton County district attorney’s office. As a result, Fani Willis and Nathan Wade were called to testify.

The hearings that this call led to were not dull affairs, and at one point the judge even had to call a recess, but overall the result was what one would have expected. Willis denied all the claims against her and instead tried to turn the tables on the prosecution by stating that she was not the one on trial and that she was in the courtroom voluntarily. Well, perhaps this won over the Democrats watching the hearing, but on the right, it was instead seen as a filibustering technique. Ergo, it did not get her out of the proverbial frying pan. Not with Judge McAfee, and not with the Trump legal team.

On February 23rd, 2024, the testimony of Fani Willis and Nathan Wade suffered what was, in some ways, seen as a lethal blow. On that somewhat quiet Friday the Trump legal team requested to submit new evidence. According to ABC News, that evidence was a collection of phone records indicating that Wade had visited “the area of the home of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis approximately 35 times during an 11-month period in 2021.”  Two of these times had been overnight. 

In the immediate aftermath of this new information not much changed in the Trump election case, but fears from the left that this occurrence would disqualify Willis, and the entire Fulton County DA’s office for that matter, from the case lingered.

Of course, at the end of the day, the fact remained that no one knew what to think. Earlier this month a Fulton County ethics board gave Willis a legal win by dropping complaints against her that they were set to have a hearing for. Shortly after this decision the judge overseeing the case, Scott McAfee, decided to hand the Trump team a victory by also dropping six of the previously filed charges against him and his associates, essentially, out of the blue.

What Happens To Willis?

As we have seen thus far, Fani Willis has and will continue to receive an outpouring of support from Democrats, despite her documented impropriety. After all, the left side of the political aisle, as it currently stands, is forced to support her, if for nothing else, then that she is a black woman. But be this as it may, she is still not in the free and clear, legally speaking that is.

Aside from Judge McAfee’s scathing remarks about Willis, which will undoubtedly throw doubt on her competency, the embattled Fulton County DA also has to face lawfare from the House Judiciary Committee and a special committee drafted by the Georgia Senate. Both of these entities possess subpoena power, and the former has already threatened to hold Willis in contempt of court, should she deny this authority. But perhaps even worse for her, even the mainstream media has seemingly lost faith in her, at least compared to a few months ago. The most recent example of this is famous CNN analyst Jeffrey Toobin, who recently stated that the Fani Willis case is “going nowhere.”

Of course, despite all of these hurdles she will have to jump through, Willis is still on the case and, presumably, will continue to pursue Trump full steam ahead.

What Happens to Trump?

Even if Trump had “won” the Fani Willis case, it is still likely that not much would have changed for him. Even if the aforementioned DA had been disqualified, another simply could have taken her place. So, Trump is not out of the woods, but he was never going to be, regardless of what McAfee decided.

But all is not lost for the Trump legal team. As of March 20, 2024, McAfee has approved a “certificate of immediate review,” which functions similarly to a normal appeals process. This does not guarantee a future win for the Trump team, but it does mean that their legal avenues for recourse are far from exhausted.

While Trump did not score a victory in this case, given the canvas of his current legal battles, nothing is off the table. Even though this Fulton County case could provide an additional mental and financial drain on the former president, it will still probably not keep him off of any ballots, or from winning the 2024 presidential election, assuming he gets the votes.

What Happens to The Legal Landscape?

How this election interference case, and this decision in particular, affects the legal landscape is not yet known. With that said, though, it seems quite possible that if nothing else, other states may be forced to think carefully about whether they want to bring similar charges in the future. Fani Willis did win this specific case, but she still has a long road ahead of her. Furthermore, her reputation, even in the aftermath of this victory, may never fully recover. Forever more she will be seen, by at least half of the electorate, as a partisan hack who will do whatever is necessary to score a win for their political party. To anyone considering launching an unprecedented lawsuit against Donald Trump, at this point, it is clear that if they do, they will be opening themselves up to a high level of scrutiny, something many prosecutors may shy away from. 

Of course, given the bravado of prosecutors in solidly blue states when it comes to Trump, like New York, for instance, perhaps this will not be the national deterrent from engaging in significantly politicized lawfare that many on the right think it is. Rather, maybe it just means that, for now, whether or not one decides to open a highly politicized case will be determined by the partisanship of their state legislature. Either way, one thing is clear: the idea of a non-political legal system, broadly speaking, is a thing of the past. So, standby for what comes next, because as the 2024 election season moves on there is without a doubt going to be more of these types of cases coming down the pike.