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Home High profile A lawsuit alleges that Fani Willis may have wrongly denied having communications with special counsel Jack Smith and the Jan. 6 committee

A lawsuit alleges that Fani Willis may have wrongly denied having communications with special counsel Jack Smith and the Jan. 6 committee

“Even though the County told the plaintiff that it didn't have any records that fit the request, it is believed that the County and Willis do have such records but haven't shown them.

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Left: Fani Willis; Right: Jack Smith

Left: Fani Willis is shown during a hearing on the Georgia election interference case on March 1, 2024, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Alex Slitz, Pool). Right: Jack Smith speaks about an indictment of former President Donald Trump on Aug. 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File).

The district attorney for Fulton County Fani Willis is being accused of not following Georgia's open records law by refusing to provide documents related to her communications with special counsel Jack Smith and the House select committee that was investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

In the a 16-page document that was submitted to the court., a government accountability group called Judicial Watch accuses Willis, and the broader Fulton County, of making claims about not having these documents that are probably not true.

“Fani Willis and Fulton County appear to have given false information about not having any records of conversations with Jack Smith and the Pelosi January 6 committee,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton in a press release about the lawsuit. a public statement released to the press to announce the lawsuit.

On Aug. 22, 2023, the watchdog group requested all documents and communication sent to, received from, or relating to Smith, his office employees, and the House committee investigating the pro-Donald Trump riots at the U.S. Capitol.

After acknowledging the request, Fulton County responded by saying they did not have the requested records, as per the lawsuit.

On March 5, the conservative watchdog group filed the lawsuit in Fulton County Superior Court, alleging that new information shows that such records, to some extent, are actually in Fulton County’s possession.

The lawsuit notes that Willis had previously written a letter to then-Jan. 6 committee chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., showing communication between them.

In December 2021, Willis sent a letter to Thompson regarding her ongoing racketeering (RICO) and election subversion investigation into the 45th president and others. at that time

A part of the letter read:

As you may be aware, I am conducting a criminal investigation of possible attempts to illegally interfere with the administration of Georgia’s 2020 General Election. Through news reports, we are aware that your committee has interviewed witnesses relevant to our investigation. We understand from the same reports that your committee’ s investigators may have collected records relevant to our investigation.

Please accept this letter as an official request from me for access to records that may be relevant to our criminal investigation. Those record include but are not limited to recordings and transcripts of witness interviews and depositions, electronic and print records of communications, and records of travel.

It may well be most efficient for your staff and effective for our understanding for my staff and me to meet with your Investigators In person. We are able to travel to Washington any time between January 31, 2022 and February 25, 2022. We will do our best to accommodate the schedule of the committee.

The lawsuit states that Fulton County is unlawfully withholding public records related to the Trump RICO case, and alleges that the documents are about the district attorney allegedly having a romantic relationship with a special prosecutor she hired.

The letter Willis sent to Thompson was identified as noteworthy late last year. pointed out late last year

Judicial Watch claims that the letter's existence proves that Willis and Fulton County did not fully comply with the open records request.

“Willis’ letter to Chairman Thompson is obviously a response to the request, but it was not provided to the plaintiff as part of the request, and it wasn’t indicated to be exempt from the Open Records Act,” the lawsuit states.

Citing According to a Politico report, the lawsuit also alleges that some of Willis’ staff traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with the House Jan. 6 committee in April, May, and November 2022.

“These meetings had to be coordinated and probably led to communications, if not other records, about or memorializing these meetings,” the lawsuit continues. “Such records would also be responsive to the plaintiff’s request. Even though the defendants said they had no records related to the request, it is believed that the County and Willis have such records but have not provided them. At no time did the defendants claim that any records in their possession were exempt from production under the Open Records Act.

The legal case asks for the disputed documents to be made, a statement that Willis and Fulton County broke the law, a order to stop keeping back such documents, and lawyer fees.

Law&Crime contacted Willis for a comment on this story but did not receive an immediate response at the time of publication.

 
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