ATLANTA — Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is speaking about the threats she said she has been receiving since she announced that she was opening a case to look into potential interference in the 2020 election here in Georgia by former President Donald Trump and his allies.
Charges in that case could be coming shortly. And as the decision gets closer, Willis told Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne that the comments are getting worse and worse.
“They’re very grotesque things. We’re on family television. I don’t even know that I like to say all of them but “slave whore” is one of them. I’ve been called pretty much everything but a child of God,” Willis said.
“To clarify, you’re receiving threats in connection with the grand jury investigation of the 2020 election in Georgia?” Winne asked Willis.
“I’m receiving phone calls and emails and communications that are derogatory in nature. They don’t always state what the reason is that their calling. But I’ve probably been called the N word more times in the last two-and-a-half years than most — a hundred people combined,” Willis said.
“Are some of these menacing phone calls mentioning the Trump investigation?” Winne asked Willis.
“They certainly mention different things that would lead you to concern that maybe that’s what their concern is,” Willis said.
Willis said Thursday’s visit to Atlanta Technical College represented two dimensions of her tenure as Fulton County DA.
One of those dimensions is the threats or menacing communications she’s received as she’s pursued a number of high-profile cases, including one pending now.
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- Main street in front of Fulton County courthouse to shut down next week
- TIMELINE: Fulton County grand jury investigation into potential interference in Georgia elections
- Grand juries seated in case to consider charges against former President Donald Trump
- Grand jury selection to start in Georgia election interference case tied to Trump
Her office has confirmed a decision on charges from a Fulton County grand jury arising from the investigation into possible criminal attempts to interfere with the 2020 election in Georgia will be announced before Sept. 1.
“No slight, but when the media covers the office or when people seem to be reminded that this investigation is going on the calls, the nastiness, the derogatory comments, they elevate,” Willis said.
But Willis said she is keenly aware of the counterbalance to the meanness.
“I’ve received very kind messages as well. And I thank the people that send them. They send very encouraging messages about the work we’re doing, the things that we’re doing to keep our community safe. About events like we’re seeing here today, pouring into our children,” Willis said.
“We truly transform lives with the power of technical education,” Atlanta Tech President Dr. Victoria Seals said.
Willis said the event at Atlanta Tech was for the signing of an agreement to allow kids the DA’s REACH program, a sort of anti-gang program for kids the gangs haven’t gotten to, to attend the college.
“They say in the Bible when two join and agree, we can just make things greater and greater, and that is truly what I see this partnership,” Willis said.
Willis said programs like REACH make the threats and slurs worth it.
“I thought maybe y’all were going to get too caught up in the Trump stuff and forget about we got children which is more important,” Aakeem Woodard with the REACH program.
The DA’s office said while it doesn’t want to go into specifics that would undermine its effectiveness, Willis and her office have tight security -- about 90 sworn officers on staff and considerable technical expertise to track threats and when necessary, prosecute those responsible.
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