Jim Jordan Threatens To Hold Fani Willis in Contempt of Congress

Fani Willis (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
March 14, 2024

The House Judiciary Committee could soon hold Fulton County district attorney Fani Willis (D.) in contempt of Congress for her "deficient" response to a subpoena for documents pertaining to allegations that she fired a whistleblower, committee chairman Jim Jordan (R., Ohio) warned in a letter Thursday.

Jordan said in the letter that he will consider invoking contempt of Congress proceedings against Willis after she responded to his Feb. 2 subpoena with a "narrow set of documents" that omitted any relevant information about the allegations from Amanda Timpson, a former Willis employee who said she was fired after trying to stop Willis's top aide from misusing a $488,000 federal youth gang prevention grant to pay for "swag," travel, and computers. Jordan said contempt proceedings could be initiated if Willis fails to fully comply with his subpoena by March 28.

Jordan's contempt of Congress threat comes as Willis waits to learn if Fulton County Superior Court judge Scott McAfee will disqualify her from her election interference case against former president Donald Trump. McAfee is expected to rule on the case, which revolves around Willis's alleged inappropriate relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade, this week.

Though Willis failed to provide all requested documents to the Judiciary Committee in her "narrow" Feb. 23 production, the embattled district attorney in a letter to the committee that day found the time to attack Timpson, calling the whistleblower a "holdover employee who has filed repeated, meritless lawsuits advancing similar assertions since her termination for cause." Willis urged Jordan's committee not to provide Timpson "a forum to air erroneous claims merely because it seeks to continue its partisan efforts to target and interfere with this Office."

Willis had a much different assessment of Timpson before abruptly firing the whistleblower in January 2022 and reportedly having her escorted from her office by seven armed investigators. Emails obtained by the Washington Free Beacon show that Willis named Timpson to her 2021 Executive Leadership Team in December 2020, saying she bested 400 applicants to secure a role in the elite group of employees. Later, on Sept. 9, 2021, Willis in a staff-wide email praised Timpson's "dynamic" skillset. On Aug. 28, 2021, Willis personally nominated Timpson to be the featured employee in her monthly District Attorney Dispatch newsletter.

Willis provided no reason for Timpson's abrupt termination on Jan. 14, 2022, writing in a signed separation notice that Timpson was an "at-will" employee whose services were no longer needed. The move came less than two months after Timpson had secretly recorded herself warning Willis that she was facing retaliation for trying to put a stop to federal grant misappropriation in Willis's office.

"I respect that is your assessment," Willis told the whistleblower during the recorded November 2021 meeting. "And I'm not saying that your assessment is wrong."

Jordan said in his letter Thursday to Willis that he would not entertain her smears against Timpson.

"We will not dignify your attacks on this brave whistleblower, or your continued attempts to distract from your conduct through misdirection and personal insults," Jordan said. "The allegations in the public realm about your misuse of federal grant funding are concerning, and the Committee has an obligation to examine them."