Georgia's Senate approve committee to investigate Fulton County DA Fani Willis

 January 27, 2024

The Georgia Senate has approved legislation, known as SR 465, to establish the Senate Special Committee on Investigations, aimed at probing allegations of misconduct by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.

The resolution, filed by Sen. Greg Dolezal, was voted on at the Capitol, resulting in a 30-19 decision to create the committee. The move doesn't require approval from the state House or Governor Brian Kemp.

The allegations

The allegations against Willis revolve around potential conflicts of interest connected to her hiring of special prosecutor Nathan Wade.

The motion filed on Jan. 8 by an attorney for Michael Roman, a co-defendant in Fulton County's election interference case against Donald Trump, accuses Willis of having a "romantic relationship" with Wade.

The motion alleges that Willis and Wade profited from the prosecution at the expense of taxpayers, claiming large sums were paid to Wade, who, in turn, used earnings for travel, including trips to Napa Valley, Florida, and the Caribbean.

The financial records

While the motion lacks concrete proof of the alleged relationship, credit card records presented in Wade's divorce case show he bought plane tickets for Willis.

Despite challenges to the motion's credibility, Republican State Sen. Brandon Beach has characterized Willis' employment of Wade as a "prosecution for personal profit scheme," suggesting she prolonged the Trump inquiry to continue paying Wade.

The newly approved panel, the Senate Special Committee on Investigations, will possess subpoena and testimony-compelling powers.

Although it cannot directly sanction Willis, the committee's authority allows for a thorough investigation. Democrats argue that the committee is a partisan move to align with Trump and his supporters, dismissing the need for such an investigation.

Willis and Wade

Willis, yet to publicly respond to the allegations, defended Wade in a speech, describing him as a "superstar, a great friend, and great lawyer."

The situation has raised questions about the potential impact on the Trump election interference case and Willis' continued involvement. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee has set a hearing for Feb. 15 on the motion.

Lawmakers are also exploring the possibility of investigating Willis through Georgia’s new Prosecuting Attorneys Qualification Commission, though a conviction would require a two-thirds majority in the Senate.

As the controversy unfolds, Georgia finds itself grappling with the ethical and legal implications surrounding Willis' conduct, sparking debates about the appropriateness of the Senate Special Committee on Investigations and the potential outcomes of the ongoing investigations into the district attorney's actions.

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