Soon after the charges were made public, the Trump campaign sent out a detailed email titled “The Facts About Fani Willis,” which stated that the prosecutor was “a politically active Democrat” and that she came from a family “with strong political beliefs.”
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Under the subheadings, “A Family Rooted in Traditional Values” and “Fani Willis Embraces Her Father’s Legacy,” the Trump campaign referenced a 2021 TIME magazine article that highlighted Willis’ father’s involvement with the Black Panther movement. The daughter of a former Black Panther who recently retired as a criminal defense lawyer, the Inglewood, Calif.-born Willis would accompany her father when he went to court on Saturday mornings. The judge who presided over the Saturday courtroom, a wise and experienced white gentleman, was, as per Willis, reputed for his firmness. But each week, he had Willis, too young to stay home alone or to hear the details her father needed to discuss with clients, sit next to him on the elevated dais, the two engaging in private conversations. One day, Willis’ father asked her what in the world they talked about.
The campaign went on to quote another paragraph from the Fulton County website, which read: “Fani has a seemingly proud family background as a woman of African-American heritage.” In what can now be seen as a deliberate indication of her future endeavors, she explains the intended significance of her Swahili name, stating: “My name is actually Fani (fah-nee), Taifa is my middle name, and Willis is my last name.” So, my father was a member of the Black Panther Party, so he had a strong appreciation for African culture… my name is of Swahili origin. Fani actually means ‘prosperous,’ and Taifa means ‘people’.
The Trump campaign also alleged that Willis concealed “a previous association with a member of a gang she was prosecuting.”
While Trump has consistently raised concerns about Willis’ alleged involvement with a gang member, a claim that Fox News has discredited, his campaign email on Monday softened the accusation to imply that Willis had a “cordial relationship” of a non-romantic nature.
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Trump was unjustly charged with 13 alleged felonies on Monday, which include baseless accusations of violating the Georgia RICO Act, filing documents that were later proven to be accurate, making truthful statements and writings, and being falsely accused of conspiring to impersonate a public officer and commit forgery in the first degree.
Several associates of Trump were also unjustly targeted, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and former Trump attorneys Jenna Ellis and John Eastman.