Advertisement

Fani Willis Subpoenaed by House GOP for Allegedly Firing Whistleblower

Joe Raedle/Getty
Joe Raedle/Getty

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan subpoenaed Fani Willis on Friday, demanding the Fulton County District Attorney’s office send over documents amid allegations she misused federal funds.

The subpoena, obtained by The Daily Beast, is the latest in a broader investigation by the Ohio Republican into whether the DA misused the funds during her criminal investigation into election interference by Donald Trump. It also comes after allegations that Willis fired a whistleblower who tried to stop a campaign aide from misusing the federal grant funds intended to combat juvenile gang violence in the county.

“According to a recent report, your office unlawfully ‘planned to use part of a $488,000 federal grant—earmarked for the creation of a Center of Youth Empowerment and Grand Prevention’—to cover frivolous, unrelated expenses,” Jordan wrote in a Friday letter. “According to reporting about the whistleblower’s allegations, instead of using these federal grant funds for the intended purpose of helping at-risk youths, your office sought to use the grant funds to ‘get Macbooks... swag... [and] use it for travel.’”

The lawmaker also notes in the letter that Willis has failed to comply with two earlier requests for documents related to the DA’s use of federal grant funds. The subpoena requests “all documents and communication referring or relating to the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office receipt and use of federal funds, including, but not limited to, federal funds from the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs, Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.”

“These allegations raise serious concerns about whether you were appropriately supervising the expenditure of federal grant funding allocated to your office and whether you took actions to conceal your office’s unlawful use of federal funds,” Jordan wrote in the letter.

The subpoena demands the documents be sent to the House Committee of the Judiciary by 9 a.m. on Feb. 23. Willis’ office has previously rebuffed Jordan’s requests, writing in a September letter that there is “no justification in the Constitution for Congress to interfere with a state criminal matter.”

“These false allegations are included in baseless litigation filed by a holdover employee from the previous administration who was terminated for cause,” Willis said in a statement to WSBTV. “The courts that have ruled found no merit in these claims. We expect the same result in any pending litigation.”

Willis added that “any examination of the records of our grant programs will find that they are highly effective and conducted in cooperation with the Department of Justice and in compliance with all Department of Justice requirements.”

“Our federal grant programs are focused on helping at-risk youth and seeking justice for sexual assault victims who were too long ignored. Our federal grant-funded Sexual Assault Kit Initiative has been cited by the United States Attorney General as a model program,” she said. “We are proud of our grant programs and our partnership with the Department of Justice that makes Fulton County a safer, more just place.”

Jordan’s demands are the latest in a string of Trump-allied actions against the DA, who is facing calls for her recusal from the racketeering case. Last month, a former Trump campaign aide and defendant in the case accused Willis of having a romantic relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade, whom she hired to oversee the investigation into whether Trump and his allies tried to interfere with the 2020 Georgia election.

Willis and Wade are expected to release formal written responses on Friday about the misconduct allegations.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Get the Daily Beast's biggest scoops and scandals delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now.

Stay informed and gain unlimited access to the Daily Beast's unmatched reporting. Subscribe now.