OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
The Georgia district attorney who filed RICO charges against former President Donald Trump and more than a dozen others stemming from the 2020 election may yet find herself in front of a judge explaining details of another new scandal.
Fulton County DA Fani Willis and a whistleblower identified as Amanda Timpson can be heard on a 2021 audio recording discussing alleged misconduct by Michael Cuffee, Willis’ campaign social media manager, involving the possible misuse of federal funds, the New York Post reported.
In the audio recording, Timpson courageously expresses her apprehensions regarding Cuffee’s efforts to redirect some of a nearly $500,000 grant for purposes completely unrelated to their designated use, such as acquiring “MacBooks, swag, and travel expenses.”
“He wanted to do things with grants that were impossible, and I kept telling him, like, ‘We can’t do that,’” Timpson is heard telling Willis in the recording. “He told everybody … ‘We’re going to get MacBooks, we’re going to get swag, we’re going to use it for travel.’ I said, ‘You cannot do that. It’s a very, very specific grant.’”
She then told Willis, “When I questioned him, he took me off of projects because I questioned him.”
After she reached out to Willis, however, she said that Cuffee warned her: “You think your word is safe. When you reached out to Ms. Willis, she called me and told me everything. So once you reach out to her, she’s going to reach back out to me.”
That revelation effectively isolated Timpson within Willis’ office. The Washington Free Beacon first obtained the recording.
BREAKING NEWS: Audio leaks of the whistleblower warning Fani Willis in 2021 that an aide was attempting to misuse federal funds. Willis would later fire the whistleblower! Source: @FreeBeacon
Does this prove corruption by Fani Willis’ office?
— Conservative Brief (@ConservBrief) January 31, 2024
“So, I respect that is your assessment,” Willis replied. “And I’m not saying that your assessment is wrong.”
Willis also noted in the recording that she had at least “three supervisors … who have failed” her office and called Cuffee’s threats against Timpson for drawing attention to the abuse “an intimidation tactic.”
However, on January 14, 2022, Willis terminated Timpson’s employment. Timpson, who was responsible for managing the office’s juvenile diversion program, was escorted out of the premises by seven armed investigators, she told the Free Beacon.
In an interview with the publication, Timpson remarked that the alleged misuse of the grant funds was “very similar” to the allegations of Willis’ office indulging in extravagant vacations with private attorney Nathan Wade. It was suggested that Willis and Wade were involved in a “clandestine” relationship.
“My case and Nathan Wade’s case are very similar when you break them down point by point,” Timpson told the outlet. “Ethical violations, abuse of power, and the misuse of county, state, and federal funds.”
Last month, a co-defendant in the case claimed in a court filing that Nathan Wade, a private attorney who is acting as a special prosecutor in the case, paid for vacations he allegedly took with Willis using money the county paid his law firm as compensation for work on the case. The report said that his firm has been paid around $650,000.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the motion was filed on behalf of co-defendant Michael Roman, a former Trump campaign official. The paper said that the filing, however, “offers no concrete proof of the romantic ties between Willis and Wade, except to say ‘sources close to both the special prosecutor and the district attorney have confirmed they had an ongoing, personal relationship.’”
The motion requests that the court dismiss all charges against Roman and for Wade, as well as the DA’s entire team, be “disqualified from further prosecution of the case,” the paper continued.
The motion also claimed that some of the alleged activity could constitute “honest services fraud, a federal crime in which a vendor gives kickbacks to an employer.”