Federal and Local Lawmakers Launch Probes Into Fani Willis Whistleblower Allegations

House Judiciary Committee will investigate embattled Georgia DA following Free Beacon report

Fani Willis (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
February 1, 2024

Federal and local lawmakers are investigating allegations that Fulton County district attorney Fani Willis (D.) fired a whistleblower who tried to stop a top Willis aide from misusing federal funds, the Washington Free Beacon has learned.

The House Judiciary Committee launched an investigation Wednesday into the whistleblower's claims as part of its wider probe into Willis's alleged misuse of federal funds, a spokesman for the committee confirmed. The Free Beacon on Wednesday published audio of the whistleblower, Amanda Timpson, privately informing Willis in November 2021 that she had been demoted after trying to stop Willis aide Michael Cuffee from taking federal grant funds meant for a youth gang prevention initiative to pay for "swag," computers, and travel.

Willis during the secretly recorded meeting did not dispute Timpson's allegations. But less than two months later, in January 2022, Willis abruptly fired the whistleblower and had seven armed investigators escort her out of the office, Timpson says.

Fulton County commissioner Bridget Thorne on Wednesday told the Free Beacon that she too will be looking into Timpson's "concerning" allegations.

Timpson's allegations of financial malfeasance on Willis's watch couldn't have come at a worse time for the embattled Democrat. Willis faces a slew of investigations by local, state, and federal lawmakers into allegations that she also misappropriated taxpayer funds to facilitate her affair with special prosecutor Nathan Wade, a man with scant prosecutorial experience whom she has paid $650,000 to lead her racketeering case against former president Donald Trump. The charges could result in Willis's removal from the case, which many considered to pose the greatest potential danger to the former president out of his four active criminal cases. It's unclear if any other Georgia prosecutor would be willing to take the case in Willis's stead.

At the federal level, Willis faces an ongoing probe by House Judiciary Committee chairman Jim Jordan (R., Ohio) into her alleged misuse of federal money to fund lavish vacations with Wade.

And the Georgia State Senate voted last Friday to convene a special committee with subpoena powers to investigate the allegations.

The committee, which is composed of nine state senators—six Republicans and three Democrats—will hold its first meeting next week.

Willis also faces pressure at the local level. She's due to respond Friday to a demand from the chairman of the Fulton County audit committee, Commissioner Bob Ellis, to come clean about her potential misuse of taxpayer funds.

Her troubles don't end there. Fulton County Superior Court judge Scott McAfee ordered Willis to respond in court to the Wade allegations by Friday. The alleged lovers were also subpoenaed Wednesday to testify at a Feb. 15 hearing on a motion to disqualify the pair from the Trump case. A lawyer for one of the defendants alleged that Willis is intentionally withholding information from an Open Records Act request.

Amid all this, on Tuesday, Wade abruptly reached a temporary settlement in his two-year-old divorce case with his estranged wife, allowing him to escape his scheduled testimony the next day about his alleged affair with Willis.

Willis, who pledged at least twice during her 2020 campaign that she wouldn't sleep with her staffers, hasn't directly addressed the allegations. The embattled district attorney claimed during a sermon in January that she and her alleged paramour were being unfairly targeted because they are black.

Willis has no plans to recuse from her case against Trump, CNN reported Thursday—nor is she planning to deny that she's engaged in an affair with Wade. Rather, the outlet reported, she plans to argue that her conduct doesn't warrant removal from the case.