New York Magazine Posts Poorly Timed Defense of Fani Willis, Right Before the Phone Data

February 25th, 2024 6:03 AM

Wow! Talk about poor timing! On late Thursday afternoon, New York magazine published in its section "The Cut" an impassioned defense of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis by Laura Bassett, "Fani Willis Didn’t Stand a Chance."

The very next morning the stunning news broke that the defense team in the RICO prosecution of Donald Trump had obtained cell data from the phone of Nathan Wade that he visited Willis 35 times in 2021 and also stayed overnight at her home. In addition, the data revealed 2000 calls and 12,000 texts between Wade and Willis in 2021. As you can guess, Bassett would have definitely been better off if she had slept on her story overnight before submitting it.

However, since her Willis defense is out there for the entertainment of the world, let us take a look at Bassett's pleas on her behalf before the sad news arrived hours later:

...Fulton County district attorney Fani Willis, had been hailed as a national hero for having the guts to prosecute 19 people at once, for extracting multiple guilty pleas, and for having the potential to put Trump behind bars.

But the narrative around the case has taken a sharp turn in the past two weeks. After one of Trump’s co-defendants complained that Willis had dated a prosecutor she hired to help with the case, the judge has effectively put Willis on trial for being unethical. He set up a separate hearing to assess team Trump’s claims that Willis and her ex, Nathan Wade, had incentive to draw out the case to fund their lavish vacations together. Now, headlines about the case are focused almost entirely on Willis’s personal life instead of the former president’s attempts to overturn an election.

News flash, Laura. The case has taken an even sharper turn in just the past few hours.

Willis held up impressively well during her testimony, though she betrayed more than a few times how ridiculous she found the entire line of questioning to be. When exactly did her relationship with Wade begin, a Trump lawyer asked? Sometime in early 2022, she said — months after she hired Wade to work with her on the case, though she couldn’t offer a specific date. “It’s not like when you’re in grade school and you send a little letter saying ‘will you be my girlfriend?’ and you check it,” she said.

Willis held up impressively well? Are you sure you watched the same courtroom scene as everybody else or did you leave the room to get a snack those times Willis went into meltdown mode starting when she first sat down in the witness chair?

The bottom line, according to legal experts interviewed by the Times, is that Willis has not done anything illegal. She has just created a perception problem. A problem that likely wouldn’t exist — or at least would be considered much less consequential — if she didn’t happen to be a Black woman prosecuting Trump. Black women are more likely to have their judgment questioned at work and tend to be scrutinized or penalized in the workplace for things that have nothing to do with their job performance.

A district attorney lying on the stand has nothing to do with her job performance? Perhaps you should check back with those same legal experts now that the Wade cell phone data has been released. Maybe one or more of them can wildly spin a race card defense as you have done, Laura.

It will be interesting to find out how Laura Bassett herself processes the Wade cell phone data revelations. Will she retract her defense of Willis? That could happen but it could be a bad career move. More likely we will be treated to even more absurd but entertaining spin control by her or perhaps she could even just send Fani Willis down the memory hole.