Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis on Thursday did not spell out whether former President Donald Trump would face jail time over his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election result in Georgia, but said “no one gets a special break because of their status.”
During a holiday toy giveaway event also attended by former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal, Willis said her team is continuing to work the case but there’s still a long way to go.
“I know that in the media and even in the world we like instant gratification,” Willis told reporters. “The judicial process is a long process and so we’ll be here with that case for a while.”
Asked if the former president will see prison time, Willis said she doesn’t factor in a person’s status when prosecuting them, and cited the charges she brought against Trump and 18 of his allies this year as an example of that. Trump was charged with 13 counts ranging from racketeering to filing false documents and writings.
“I think that everyone in society is the same, and I don’t know why that’s such a difficult concept for people,” she said. “You can look at the charges and based on those charges, we’ll be recommending appropriate sentences. No one gets a special break because of their status.”
Earlier this week, Trump sought a dismissal of his indictment in the case on First Amendment grounds.
“President Trump enjoys the same robust First Amendment rights as every other American,” his lawyers wrote. “The indictment here does not merely criminalize conduct with an incidental impact on protected speech; instead, it directly targets core protected political speech and activity.”
Willis is pushing for an August 2024 trial date, which would be three months before the upcoming presidential election. Trump’s lawyers have objected to that timing, saying it would amount to election interference.
Willis rejected the suggestion, telling The Associated Press earlier this month that it was a “silly motion” that a criminal case should stop because the defendant is running for office.
Trump is currently the front-runner in the GOP presidential primary race, which is set to officially begin next month in Iowa.
At least four of the defendants in Willis’ case have accepted plea deals so far, including Trump lawyers Kenneth Chesebro, Sidney Powell and Jenna Ellis, and bail bondsman Scott Hall.
Meanwhile, Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s former personal attorney who was also indicted in the Georgia election case, filed for bankruptcy Thursday, a day after he was ordered to immediately start paying damages to two election workers he was found liable for defaming.
The jury awarded Ruby Freeman and her daughter, Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, $148 million in damages last week. The two testified to being subject to vile death threats as a result of Giuliani falsely claiming they interfered with the 2020 election result. U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell reduced that amount by about $2 million, citing the settlement agreement the two women reached with the other defendant in the case, the OAN cable network.
Willis, who appeared to welcome the verdict, said some of the evidence in that case is also relevant to her probe.
“I think it’s very evident that some of the facts are the same,” she said. “Those are two beautiful human beings, really, really beautiful human beings. If you have older people in your life you know that so many of them, so often will take their time and be election workers. No one should ever suffer abuse.”