Fulton County DA Fani Willis says ‘the train is coming’ for Trump and his co-defendants

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said Saturday that “the train is coming,” referring to her team’s preparation for the case against former President Donald Trump and his 14 co-defendants and whether she was slowed down by attempts to remove her from the case.

Willis, who avoided being disqualified from the election subversion case after more than two months of hearings and court action over her romantic relationship with her lead prosecutor, told CNN she was still working on the case during that time.

“While that was going on, we were writing responsive briefs, we were still doing the case in a way that it needed to be done. I don’t feel like we’ve been slowed down at all. I do think there are efforts to slow down this train, but the train is coming,” she said while attending an Atlanta-area Easter basket giveaway.

“We’re not going to miss or skip a beat because of all the noise or distraction on one case. We’re going to continue to do our work,” Willis said.

But the DA’s office still faces legal hurdles in the case over alleged efforts to overturn the former president’s 2020 electoral defeat. On Wednesday, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee granted requests from Trump and his co-defendants to appeal the decision to allow Willis to continue prosecuting the case.

It is now up to the Georgia Court of Appeals to review the decision not to disqualify Willis. Trump and his co-defendants have argued that a romantic relationship between Willis and the now-former lead prosecutor on the case, Nathan Wade, created a conflict of interest that should disqualify them both.

CNN previously reported the DA’s intention to go to trial before the November election. Willis on Saturday said the original request, which was never granted, was to have the trial in August. “We may ask for that date again,” she said, “but we do understand a case has to go through the steps and go through the process.”

“I’m also realistic that one of the defendants has multiple cases going on and some of them have trial dates that are ahead of ours. So, I’m always going to be respectful of sister jurisdictions,” she said.

The DA said she feels “more loved” by the community after receiving a wave of negative attention over her relationship with Wade, adding that she has felt specifically supported by women.

“I think that women feel like women are treated differently when they’re professionals and they’re proud to see someone that is strong and trying to do the right job,” she said.

Willis said she doesn’t feel as though she needs to rehabilitate her reputation with Fulton County residents, adding, “I’m not embarrassed by anything I’ve done. I guess my greatest crime is I had a relationship with a man, but that’s not something I find embarrassing in any way. And I know that I have not done anything that’s illegal.”

Willis said going forward, all eyes should be on “the charges, the facts and the law, and leave all the drama behind.”

Four people have pleaded guilty in the case. Regarding whether she would consider a plea deal with Trump or any of the remaining co-defendants, Willis said, “If defendants come to us and they decide that they want to resolve their case, I’m always open-minded and reasonable, and we will listen to those explanations.”

She noted that after Wade’s resignation, the DA will now spearhead any potential plea deals. “Now those conversations will be with me and not Mr. Wade, she emphasized, before adding, “I hope that was good for everyone.”

Surrounded by members of the community at Laster Chapel United Methodist Church, posing for selfies with parents and handing out baskets to children for Easter, Willis told CNN, “I am not a perfect human being, but what I am is a hard-working human being, and a human being that loves the community I serve and who understands this seat does not belong to me, it belongs to the people. And as long as I’m here, I’m going to try to do the job in a way that’s honorable.”

CNN’s Jason Morris and Zachary Cohen contributed to this report.

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