Fulton D.A. talks Trump investigation, with charging decisions expected this summer

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis appears in a courtroom on Jan. 24, 2023. (Matthew Pearson/WABE)

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis says she was paying attention last month when Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg indicted former President Trump in a case related to hush money payments around the 2016 campaign.

“Well, certainly the citizens that elected the D.A. in Fulton have a district attorney that pays attention, so let’s just say I paid attention,” she said in an interview with WABE on Tuesday.

Willis plans to announce charging decisions this summer following her investigation into efforts to overturn Georgia’s 2020 election.

On the sidelines of an event at Atlanta City Hall, the district attorney was tight-lipped about whether she’s decided to ask a grand jury for any indictments.

“I haven’t made any decisions regarding charging, at all, at least none that I’m willing to make public at this time,” Willis says.

Willis was on hand to thank volunteer court watchers — citizens trained by her office to observe bond hearings, trials and sentencings. 

But she is also in the thick of a case that’s far from ordinary as she weighs criminal charges against the former president and his allies. Willis says she will announce her plans during the next grand jury term, which begins in July.

Recently, she warned law enforcement officials to prepare for potential security threats. 

“No matter what decision I make in that case, emotions are going to be high, and people may want to do things that would be harmful,” Willis says. “I always tell my staff if you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready.”

Willis says she’s still working the case, now four months since a special grand jury completed its investigation. 

Trump’s lawyers have moved to quash the report and disqualify Willis from prosecuting anyone connected to the 2020 election fallout, saying the investigation violated “all notions of fundamental fairness” and calling the panel’s recommendations “fruit of the poisonous tree.”

“I do understand that the country is interested in this,” Willis says. “It’s always been interesting to me, like how much the country is paying attention. But for me, everyone is entitled to dignity. Everyone is entitled to being treated fairly. So we want to make sure that we don’t do anything differently in this case than we would in others.” 

Though this one could potentially entangle a former president of the United States.