Opinion | Fani Willis is on a winning streak

Fulton County District Attorney Fani T. Willis has been the target of right-wing venom and legal second-guessing. I was among those who doubted the wisdom of bringing a complex racketeering charge in Georgia, which complicated her opposition to one defendant’s attempt to move the case to federal court.

But consider what she has already accomplished. She indicted former president Donald Trump and 18 co-defendants. She got an Oct. 23 trial date for at least two defendants. And, at least at the district court level, she beat back former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows’s attempt to move his case to federal court (known as “removal”), eliciting an opinion that has grave implications for Trump. She compelled Meadows to admit under cross-examination that he was intimately involved in the phony elector plot and had no reason to believe the election was stolen.

Her written filings have been tightly argued the result, no doubt, of months of preparation. Among her most effective arguments: the Hatch Act, which prohibits White House officials’ political conduct while on duty, means that Meadows’s admittedly campaign-related actions were outside the scope of his official duties.

When, over her objections, the special grand jury’s vote tallies for 39 people were released (a terrible injustice to those who were not charged), the public could see that rather than pursue every possible defendant, Willis exercised appropriate discretion. For example, much as some of his critics would have liked to see Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) in the dock, she apparently came to the conclusion that there was insufficient evidence of criminality and/or that the speech or debate clause would make prosecution too difficult.

She has been so effective that Georgia Republicans have been mulling a maneuver to remove her from office. Fortunately, Gov. Brian Kemp (R) rebuffed that effort forcefully. “The bottom line is that in the state of Georgia, as long as I’m governor, we’re going to follow the law and the Constitution, regardless of who it helps or harms politically,” he declared at a recent news conference. He added, “I have not seen any evidence that DA Willis’s actions or lack thereof warrant action by the prosecuting attorney oversight commission.”

Most recently, in a delightful slapdown of House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Willis penned a letter in response to his attempt to meddle in her case and force her to release the prosecution’s documents. She did not mince words: “There is no justification in the Constitution for Congress to interfere with a state criminal matter, as you attempt to do.” She retorted, “The demands in your letter — and your efforts at intruding upon the State of Georgia’s criminal authority — violate constitutional principles of federalism. Criminal prosecutions under state law are primarily the responsibility of state governments.”

Citing chapter and verse of federal precedent, Willis tersely informed him: “The defendants in this case have been charged under state law with committing state crimes. There is…

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