Warnock defends Fani Willis: ‘Never surprised’ by ‘Donald Trump attacking women, especially black women’

Sen. Raphael Warnock fired back at former President Donald Trump for disparaging embattled Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.

“I’m never surprised when I’ve seen Donald Trump attacking women, especially black women. This is who he is,” Warnock (D-Ga.) told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday.

“Donald Trump deserves a hearing before a jury of his peers,” he went on. “I’m going to allow the judicial process to proceed.”

Warnock was evasive about whether he believes Willis should remain in charge of the 13-count indictment against Trump amid controversy over her relationship with one of her subordinates, insisting that a judge will determine that.

A judge is expected to determine this week whether or not Fani Willis should be kicked off the election racketeering case. AP
Raphael Warnock was evasive about whether Fani Willis should remain on the case, arguing that the judge will determine that. Getty Images

Willis, a Democrat, has been engulfed in controversy over her relationship with Nathan Wade, whom she appointed to lead the prosecution in the sprawling racketeering case that includes Trump.

At the heart of the ordeal is a question over whether Willis and Wade began a romantic relationship before she appointed him to lead the case in November 2021, as well as whether she misappropriated taxpayer funds during their relationship.

Both Willis and Wade have maintained that their relationship began after his appointment and the district attorney has strenuously denied accusations of misappropriating funds.

But multiple witnesses have come forward with contradictory claims.

Presiding Judge Scott McAfee has set this Friday as a deadline to rule on whether she can remain on the Georgia election tampering case that targets Trump and over a dozen others.

Trump, 77, faces 13 charges in the Georgia case, including violating the state’s anti-racketeering law. He has denied wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Fani Willis has blasted the efforts by defendants including Donald Trump to disqualify her. AP

On Saturday, during a rally in Rome, Georgia, Trump seethed at Willis. His expected general election foe President Biden was roughly 70 miles away campaigning in Atlanta that same day.

“Corrupt Fani Willis hired her lover Nathan Wade so they could fraudulently make money together,” Trump said, imitating the two having romantic banter. “Let’s go after Trump.”

Willis’ lengthy investigation into Trump that culminated in an indictment was sparked by his phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in January 2021, in which he stressed the need to “find” 11,780 votes required to overturn his election loss.

Last week, Nikki Haley dropped out of the 2024 race, further cementing Donald Trump’s status as the de facto Republican nominee. AFP via Getty Images

Trump again reiterated Saturday that it was a “perfect” phone call and that he did “nothing wrong.”

Warnock famously flipped a Georgia Senate seat blue in 2020 and defended it in 2022, despite the state being very competitive.

“We’ve seen both of these men serve in the White House. That choice is clearly Joe Biden. And Georgians will get it right for Joe Biden just as they got it right for me,” he predicted.

The Peach State Democrat also indicated that he would like to see Biden debate Trump, who has repeatedly goaded his successor to square off with him.

Raphael Warnock is optimistic about President Biden’s chances of winning Georgia in November. AP

“I support debates. But I’m not a part of the president’s campaign. I represent the people of Georgia in the United States Senate. And I think we’re going to hear a fierce argument in the months ahead,” he told NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday.

In response to Warnock’s comments, the Trump campaign quickly fired back with a rebuke of the junior senator.

“Rafael Warnock is a loser who is trying to cope with a severe case of Trump Derangement Syndrome because President Trump is crushing Crooked Joe Biden in the polls in Georgia and other battleground states,” Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung told The Post.

As a senator from Georgia, Warnock represents the home state of Laken Riley, the 22-year-old nursing student who was brutally murdered last month, allegedly by an illegal immigrant.

The suspect is José Antonio Ibarra, 26, from Venezuela, who had been released on parole due to prison overcrowding in 2022. He had several run-ins with law enforcement prior to the killing of Riley.

Biden mentioned her during his State of the Union address Thursday, amid attacks from Republican lawmakers in the audience, mostly prominently Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who demanded he say her name.  

“My heart goes out to this family — the family of Laken Riley,” Warnock said on CNN.

“It’s unfortunate that in this moment of grief, there are those who are trying to score cheap political points,” he added. “The border must be secured. We know this. There’s agreement about that on both sides.”

Trump met with Riley’s parents before speaking at the rally in Rome on Saturday.

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