Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, currently embroiled in controversy over allegations of misusing public funds and appointing her alleged “secret lover” to a case, faced a similar situation previously when Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney removed her from a case involving the 2020 election results in Georgia.
McBurney’s decision followed Willis’ participation in a fundraiser for Democratic candidate Charlie Bailey, who was contesting a runoff election at the time.
His Honor expressed concerns about Willis’ involvement, suggesting it could be perceived as politically motivated persecution if she were allowed to build a case against Georgia state Sen. Burt Jones who was running for lieutenant governor at the time and was allegedly involved with other Republicans to flip the 2020 election. McBurney ruled that Willis’ involvement in the fundraiser would bias the investigation into Jones.
“Any decision the district attorney makes about Senator Jones in connection with the grand jury investigation is necessarily infected by it,” McBurney stated, as reported by NBC News. McBurney added that Willis’ involvement would prompt “entirely reasonable concerns of politically motivated persecution.”
McBurney also noted that Willis’ donation to a Democratic campaign was not disqualifying in itself, but the donation “added to the weight of the conflict created by the more extensive, direct, public and job-related campaign work the district attorney performed on behalf of candidate Bailey.”
“This choice — which the district attorney was within her rights as an elected official to make — has consequences. She had bestowed her office’s imprimatur upon Senator Jones’s opponent,” he wrote.
Willis had issued subpoenas for Jones and others in the investigation and was permitted to continue her involvement in the investigation of the other “fake electors.” However, McBurney ruled that another prosecutor would have to bring charges against Jones.
Willis is also under scrutiny for allegedly misusing county funds in her decision to appoint her alleged lover, Nathan Wade, as outside counsel in their case against Trump. Willis hired Wade & Campbell Firm, with partner Christopher Campbell to provide services as a “Taint Attorney,” someone who reviews privileged evidence. Bank statements revealed that Wade purchased flight tickets in Willis’ name for personal vacations, and his firm has received approximately $654,000 from Willis’ office since 2022.
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