House committee threatens Fani Willis with contempt in records demand

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis was accused by co-defendants in the Georgia election interference case of an "improper relationship."
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.
Posted at 2:53 PM, Mar 14, 2024

As Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis defends herself against allegations of a conflict of interest by several co-defendants in the election interference case in Georgia, House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan has threatened her with contempt in a push to get access to documents in the case. 

On Thursday, Rep. Jordan sent a letter addressed to Willis and shared on the Judiciary Committee's social media page, that asked "for documents related to the Committee’s oversight of the Fulton County D.A. Office’s alleged misuse of federal grant funds."

Willis and Wade admitted they had a romantic relationship, but they both testified the relationship started after Willis hired Wade as a special prosecutor to oversee the racketeering case, which involves former President Donald Trump. 

Co-defendants have said Willis has financially benefited from the prosecution because of trips she has taken with Wade. But, one of the central elements in Willis' defense against accusations that there is a conflict of interest, is her defense that she split costs with Wade during trips and that there’s no paper trail of payments because she used cash for many of her expenses.

In a congressional subpoena, lawmakers suggest that Ms. Willis's office misused federal grant dollars to buy computers, "swag," and travel — and say that when confronted with the allegations, "Ms. Willis may have attempted to hide the misuse of these federal funds," Jordan said in February.

On Wednesday Jordan said Willis "produced a narrow set of documents in response to the subpoena," but that her "compliance with the subpoena to date is deficient."

Judge in Georgia election case dismisses some charges against Trump
Former President Donald Trump

Judge in Georgia election case dismisses some charges against Trump

The case accuses Trump and 18 others of conspiring to overturn his 2020 election loss in the state to Democrat Joe Biden.


Jordan said in the Wednesday letter to Willis that her response to his request for documents was insufficient writing, "Attached to your letter were various documents — a number of which were previously produced to the committee — that contained, among other things, 15 award letters from the Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs and Office of Violence Against Women, and approximately 27 screen shots of Expense Budget Summaries available to the [Fulton County District Attorney's Office.]"

The letter then requested Willis produce, "All documents and communications referring or relating to any allegations of the misuse of federal funds by the FCDAO"; "All documents or communications between or among your office and the Justice Department, including its OJP and OVW components"; "All communications between FCDAO employees about the receipt or use of federal grants"; "All documents that fall within the scope of the subpoena, such as the FCDAO’s applications, proposal abstracts, grant agreements, financial management and system of internal controls questionnaire, and consolidated budget summary documents; "All documents and communications relating to the FCDAO's grant performance measurement and progress reporting information."

In February Willis eagerly took the stand to defend her actions amid questions about her personal relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade in the election subversion case in Georgia involving former President Donald Trump. 

“I’m not on trial, no matter how hard you try to put me on trial,” Willis told an attorney who brought on the claim. 

Ava-joye Burnett and Daniel Lathrop contributed to this report.