Fani Willis Investigated by Republican Senators Over Alleged Misuse of Federal Funds

The two Republican senators said they want her to provide documents by later this month.
Fani Willis Investigated by Republican Senators Over Alleged Misuse of Federal Funds
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis testifies during a hearing in the case of the State of Georgia v. Donald John Trump at the Fulton County Courthouse in Atlanta on Feb. 15, 2024. (Alyssa Pointer/Pool via Getty Images)
Jack Phillips

Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) said they are investigating whether Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis misused federal funds, according to a recent letter.

The two Republican senators made reference to several public reports that claimed Ms. Willis’ office, which currently has a case against former President Donald Trump, is squandering federal funds, including for a Department of Justice juveniles program for unrelated travel and frivolous purchases, their letter said.

The Department of Justice “awarded Fulton County nearly $500,000 to establish the Fulton County Center of Youth Empowerment and Gang Prevention,” the letter to Ms. Willis said. “The Center has yet to open and the ‘building meant to house it is closed to the public, its gates padlocked.'”

Their letter cited claims from a former Fulton County District Attorney employee, who was later allegedly fired, that were published in a Washington Free Beacon article earlier this year. “The waste or misuse of taxpayer funds is unacceptable,” the Republican senators wrote.

In another instance, the district attorney’s office reported obtained $2 million in federal funds from a Sexual Assault Kit Initiative but spent much of it on travel and other expenses over three years, according to their letter.

“The apparent and significant discrepancy between the purpose of the federal award of taxpayer money and the actual use of that money raises alarms that it hasn’t been used as Congress intended,” they wrote.

The Epoch Times contacted Ms. Willis’ office for comment. The two senators gave her until May 29 to comply with their deadline to provide a list of grants the district attorney’s office obtained since the fiscal year 2019, although Ms. Willis was elected to her position in 2021.

House Judiciary Chairman Also investigating

Ms. Willis is also being investigated by House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) under similar pretenses. The lawmaker has sent multiple letters to her this year, asking Ms. Willis to comply, and threatened to hold her in contempt of Congress in March.

In a statement later that month, Ms. Willis said in a letter back to Mr. Jordan that she “categorically reject[s] the assertion that this office is deficient in responding to the Committee’s subpoena dated February.” She described his demands of her office as “unreasonable and uncustomary.”

“As you note in your letter, we have already provided you with substantial information about our programs that are funded via federal grants. Further, as I expressed to you in my letter dated February 23, 2024, this office is in the process of producing relevant documents to you on a rolling basis and is undertaking a good faith approach to provide you with responsive information about our federal grant funding,” the letter continued.

The Georgia state Senate also launched an investigation into her office several weeks ago, while Ms. Willis suggested in a recent news conference that she won’t testify before a panel.

“First of all, I don’t think they even have the authority to subpoena me, but they need to learn the law,” Ms. Willis said, suggesting that she believes the investigation goes against the law.

“I will not appear to anything that is unlawful, and I have not broken the law,” she continued. “I’ve said it amongst these leaders, I’m sorry folks get [angry] that everybody gets treated equally.”

That prompted a response last week from Georgia Lt. Gov. Burt Jones, a Republican, who wrote on social media that “if subpoenaed by the Committee, [Ms. Willis] will be required to appear or she will be in violation of Georgia law.”

“This is what treating everybody evenly looks like, even if DA Willis doesn’t like being held accountable,” he said.

It comes as Georgia’s appeals court on May 8 agreed to take up an appeal filed by former President Trump’s and other co-defendants in the alleged election interference case brought by Ms. Willis’ office. His attorneys are seeking to disqualify her over allegations surrounding her relationship with her former special prosecutor, Nathan Wade, who resigned in March after a judge ordered it.

Late last week, President Trump’s attorneys filed a notice to a Fulton County court that they will appeal the judge’s order that allowed her to remain on the case.

Those allegations against Ms. Willis, which are separate from the ones that are being foisted by the Republican senators, first surfaced in a motion filed in early January by a Trump co-defendant. It claimed that Ms. Willis and Mr. Wade both financially benefitted from their relationship, which the two both denied during a court hearing earlier this year.

The two have maintained that their relationship did not start until spring 2022, or several months after Mr. Wade was hired in the Trump case. Their romance, they added, also ended in the summer of 2023.

For the Trump case in Fulton County, there is currently no trial date set.

Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X: