Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Fani Willis announced last week that she will wait to announce any potential charges in the election interference case against Donald Trump until at least July.
The move is the latest sign that Ms. Willis has no substantive evidence against the former president and is, like her far-left compatriot Alvin Bragg in New York, engaged in a partisan charade that does a disserve to honest prosecutors across the country and damages the career I’ve dedicated my life to.
Mr. Bragg’s outrageous persecution of Mr. Trump represents a blatant weaponization of his office against his party’s chief political rival and has exacerbated an ongoing trend of democratic backsliding and misgovernment by left-wing prosecutors who would rather target conservatives than criminals. But perhaps the worst consequence of his actions is that they encourage more grandstanding and political theater from other prosecutors who have set out to “get Trump” — including Ms. Willis.
In February of 2021, Ms. Willis launched an investigation into President Trump’s challenge of the 2020 election results in Georgia that alleges Mr. Trump and his allies violated the law in the process of their inquiry into election procedures.
For more than six months following selection of the jurors in May of last year, Willis’s special grand jury hauled in 75 witnesses and conducted hundreds of hours of interviews. Notably, the special grand jury has no power to indict anyone — it can merely make recommendations to Ms. Willis, who will then decide what charges to bring before a regular grand jury.
In January, the special grand jury finally completed its investigatory work and submitted a report to Ms. Willis’s office. Oddly, however, Ms. Willis asked that the findings of the report be kept secret, going against the special grand jury’s recommendation. As reason for her decision, Ms. Willis cited vague concerns about “fairness” — a move that The Associated Press flagged as highly unusual.
A judge subsequently ordered the release of small portions of the report in February. Missing, however, were any details or specifics about who might be charged with what crimes. Now, Ms. Willis tells us we will have to wait until July at the earliest to learn answers to those questions.
In short, after a two-year-long investigation, and with four months to review the special grand jury report, Ms. Willis has failed to present the public with any hard evidence that President Trump committed a crime. If this evidence existed, shouldn’t we have seen it by now? What new evidence is expected to emerge between now and July?
Ms. Willis is reportedly considering charging Mr. Trump under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations statute, better known as RICO — a state-level version of the federal RICO law that prosecutors have used to target the mob and criminal gangs. The Georgia law notably recommends charging only in “cases where the unlawful conduct was both continuous and egregious.”
Selling a jury — and the public — on the idea that a former President of the United States was involved a mafia-style criminal conspiracy with actions that were “continuous and egregious” is a big lift, even with the backing of the Democrat establishment and the mainstream media.
But whatever reservations Ms. Willis had about prosecuting a former president on shaky legal grounds have no doubt been assuaged by the reckless abandon Mr. Bragg has evinced in his indictment of Mr. Trump. In essence, Mr. Bragg has created a convoluted maze of legal reasoning that requires him to prove Trump tried to cover up crimes that are not actually named in Bragg’s indictment and that Trump has not actually been charged with.
Yet despite his obvious political motivations and the flimsiness of his case, Bragg has become a household name virtually overnight. Even if the case is dismissed by a judge, Bragg has become a hero to the left and has thrust himself into the national conversation.
Can we now expect Ms. Willis — or any other ambitious left-wing district attorney — to arrive at a different conclusion about the benefits of going to whatever legal and ethical lengths necessary to indict Mr. Trump?
Omar Little, an anti-hero gangster in the HBO television show “The Wire,” famously said that “if you come at the king, you best not miss.” Mr. Bragg and Ms. Willis are coming at the leader of the Republican Party with the legal equivalent of a Red Ryder BB gun — and there is no downside for them electorally if they do indeed miss.
But there is a downside for the communities they are sworn to protect. As actual crimes soar, Bragg and Willis are focusing their limited resources and bandwidth on a political opponent that their national benefactors are afraid they cannot beat at the ballot box.
When local prosecutors become Democrat Party operatives with badges, it represents a significant backsliding of the American democratic process. For the sake of prosecutors everywhere, it would be a refreshing approach for Bragg and Willis to get back to prosecuting crimes instead of conservatives.
For the sake of American democracy, it would be wise for all liberal prosecutors to keep to their oaths of office instead of acting as Democrat Party operatives.
Clayton Fuller served as a White House Fellow from 2018-2019 advising senior Trump administration officials on special operations oversight at the Department of Defense and advising the Office of the Vice President on countering the opioid epidemic. He is an experienced federal, military, and local prosecutor as well as a reserve military officer with a decade of national security experience. He currently serves as the District Attorney for the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit in Northwest Georgia. The views are his own and do not represent the Department of Defense or the LMJC DA’s office. Follow him on Twitter @Clay4MainStreet and on Facebook at Clay Fuller: Main Street Patriot.
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