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    Dr. Adrienne Jones shares insights with THE NEW YORK TIMES about Fulton County district attorney, Fani willis

    February 19, 2024

    Originally published on

    It has been a rare point of consensus about the case brought by Georgia prosecutors against former President Donald J. Trump: the Fulton County district attorney, Fani T. Willis, probably made a mistake by having a romantic relationship with a co-worker.But the agreement ends there.

    As people in Atlanta and its suburbs digested gripping and emotional testimony, what they saw wasn’t just the behavior of Ms. Willis, but a test for their views on race, gender, justice and the city they call home.

    Ms. Willis’s sharpest critics, backers of the former president, relished what they saw as the error that could pull her off the case — endangering, if not entirely torpedoing, a prosecution that some legal experts regard as one of the strongest ones against Mr. Trump. The biggest fear of some of her supporters is that those critics are correct.

    “I just wish she would’ve made better decisions,” said Andrea Maia, a recent college graduate living in Atlanta, who is otherwise sympathetic to and supportive of Ms. Willis. “I wouldn’t have done it.”

    Fani T. Willis, the Fulton County district attorney.

    Fani T. Willis, the Fulton County district attorney, during the hearing on Thursday.Credit...Pool photo by Alyssa Pointer

    The testimony came as part of a hearing this week to decide whether Ms. Willis’s romantic and financial relationship with Nathan Wade, an outside lawyer she hired to help lead the prosecution, amounted to a conflict of interest and whether she should be removed from the case.

    The hearing — and the broader turbulence over the relationship — has been closely watched by many in Fulton County, who would make up the jury pool in a trial and will ultimately decide whether Ms. Willis, who is up for re-election, should remain in office.

    “I think some people are probably going to come away from this testimony with more faith in Fani Willis,” said Adrienne Jones, a political science professor at Morehouse College in Atlanta, who followed the testimony and was disturbed by the spectacle that surrounded it.

    “She braved the breach and said I’m going to speak for myself here and tell you what’s going on,” Professor Jones said. “Some people are going to respect that.”

    Read the full article here

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