April 12, 2024

DOJ appears to confirm whistleblower allegations against DA Willis, reveals 'inconsistencies' in reported use of federal grant funds

Fani Willis, the Fulton County district attorney in Georgia, was previously accused of misusing federal grant funds by a former staffer turned whistleblower.

Those allegations appear to have been confirmed as a Justice Department spokesperson revealed last week that "inconsistencies" were discovered in a review of Willis' office and its reported use of federal grant funding, according to Breitbart.

That revelation spells potential trouble for the Atlanta prosecutor who was already facing scrutiny from the House Judiciary Committee and Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) over the same alleged misconduct.

DOJ found "inconsistencies" in its review

The Washington Free Beacon reported on Wednesday that a DOJ spokesperson seemingly confirmed the allegations of misuse of federal grant funds by DA Willis' office -- allegations from a former staffer turned whistleblower that the outlet had first reported on months earlier and raised directly with the DOJ.

In a statement provided to the outlet last Friday, the DOJ spokesperson said, "During our review of the award to respond to this inquiry, we have noticed some inconsistencies in what Fulton County has reported to [the Federal Subaward Reporting System] and we are working with them to update their reporting accordingly."

The grant in question totaled $488,594 and was awarded to the Fulton County DA's Office in October 2020 for the purpose of preventing youths from joining gangs with the construction and funding of a Center for Youth Empowerment and Gang Prevention in Atlanta. However, no such center was ever opened and the federal grant ended in September 2023.

Whistleblower fired after voicing concerns about alleged misuse of federal funds

In January, the Free Beacon first reported on the allegations made by Amanda Timpson, a former staffer who claims DA Willis fired her in January 2022 after she raised concerns a few months earlier about the apparent misuse of federal grant funds for unauthorized purchases, such as for computers, travel, and other "swag."

Willis dismissed those concerns, and Timpson, who'd already been demoted earlier in 2021 for raising similar concerns about a different federal grant, was abruptly fired by email and escorted out of the building by armed investigators after she pressed the matter to no avail in December 2021.

The Free Beacon conducted its own review of publicly available records for the Fulton County DA's Office and reported that it found evidence that seemingly supports Timpson's claims that the office misuses federal funds earmarked for a specific purpose for other unauthorized purchases.

Willis facing scrutiny, possible contempt charge, from House Judiciary Committee

The whistleblower's allegations against DA Willis were picked up by the House Judiciary Committee, which issued a subpoena in February for the prosecutor's office to turn over all relevant documents and communications concerning its receipt and use of federal grant funds, according to the Free Beacon.

Willis was defiant in her response to the "unreasonable and uncustomary" demands made by Chairman Jordan, which she asserted were only intended to interfere with her ongoing prosecution of former President Donald Trump, and as such, only turned over a "narrow set of documents" that were completely unrelated to the whistleblower's allegations.

In response to that defiance of a congressional subpoena, Jordan announced in March that Willis would face the threat of being held in contempt of Congress if she continued to refuse to cooperate with the committee's lawful requests as part of its investigation into her office's use of federal funds.

That deadline for Willis to make good on complying with the subpoena came and went about two weeks ago, but it is unclear if she did so or if the committee has begun the threatened contempt proceedings.

Jordan did post a link to the Free Beacon's latest story on his X account, though, and wrote, "Were any federal funds used in Fani Willis’s investigation of President Trump? Were any federal funds MISUSED? Something isn’t adding up here. And taxpayers deserve answers."

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