Home U.S. News Trump’s attacks on Fani Willis follow familiar lines.

Trump’s attacks on Fani Willis follow familiar lines.

Trump’s attacks on Fani Willis follow familiar lines.

As former President Donald J. Trump waits to learn if he will be indicted in Georgia over election interference in 2020, he has ramped up his verbal attacks on the prosecutor leading the investigation, Fani T. Willis, the Fulton County district attorney.

In an all-caps post on his social media platform, Truth Social on Monday, Mr. Trump wrote that Ms. Willis was out to “get Trump” and accused her of prosecutorial misconduct. As he has before, he criticized her time in office, arguing that she was overly lenient on crime and had “allowed Atlanta to become one of the most dangerous cities anywhere in the world.”

Mr. Trump’s attacks have been sharply personal. He has frequently attacked Ms. Willis with unsubstantiated claims, including an oft-repeated accusation that Ms. Willis, the first Black woman to hold her position, is racist.

Ms. Willis has previously dismissed Mr. Trump’s attacks. In an email to her colleagues last week that was published by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Ms. Willis called Mr. Trump’s recent comments “derogatory and false” and urged restraint, writing that “we have no personal feelings against those we investigate or prosecute and we should not express any.”

Mr. Trump has for years shown a tendency to aggressively denigrate his political opponents in an effort to discredit them. As he faces mounting legal woes, the former president has waged a similarly pugnacious campaign against the prosecutors who have investigated and accused him of misconduct. All of them have faced similar personal attacks from him.

Last week, Mr. Trump’s campaign began running an ad in which he dubs four prosecutors — Ms. Willis; Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney; Letitia James, New York’s attorney general; and Jack Smith, the special counsel who brought two federal indictments against him — a “Fraud Squad.”

According to the ad, all four lawyers are corrupt and “unscrupulous” allies of President Biden who are trying to keep Mr. Trump from winning the 2024 election. Ms. Willis, the advertisement says, is “Biden’s newest lackey.”

In schoolyard fashion, the former president has given Ms. Willis and the other prosecutors nicknames. He calls Ms. Willis “Phoney Fani.” He has clarified that the misspelling is intentional: Ms. Willis has been investigating a phone call in which Mr. Trump pushed Georgia’s secretary of state to overturn the state’s election results.

Mr. Smith has been dubbed “Deranged Jack Smith.” Mr. Trump has also referred to him on social media as a “lunatic,” a “thug” and a “psycho.”

Ms. James, who filed a lawsuit accusing Mr. Trump of fraudulently overvaluing his assets, was labeled “Peekaboo,” a nickname Mr. Trump has yet to fully explain.

Some of Mr. Trump’s attacks call attention to race.

Mr. Trump has often called the three Black prosecutors investigating him — Mr. Bragg, Ms. James and Ms. Willis — racist, though he does not cite any specific evidence. Earlier this year, Mr. Trump called Mr. Bragg an “animal” backed by George Soros, the financier and Democratic donor. A group of civil rights leaders condemned the remarks as racist and said they veered into antisemitic conspiracy theories surrounding Mr. Soros, who is Jewish.

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