Fani Willis

Nonprofit Seeks “Default Judgment” After Fani Willis Withholds Public Records Related to Jack Smith and the J6 Committee

(The Epoch Times)—Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis failed to answer a public records lawsuit from activist foundation Judicial Watch, triggering the organization to file a motion seeking a ruling in its favor by default.

The motion was filed after Ms. Willis did not respond to a lawsuit seeking certain records. The documents were related to special counsel Jack Smith and the Jan. 6 committee.

Judicial Watch asked for a “default judgment” in the motion.

“I think this is the first time in Judicial Watch’s 30 years that a government official failed to answer an open records lawsuit in court,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

“This further shows Ms. Willis has something to hide about her collusion with the Biden administration and Nancy Pelosi’s Congress on her unprecedented and compromised ‘get-Trump’ prosecution.”

Ms. Willis’s case charges President Trump and over a dozen co-defendants with allegedly attempting illegally to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential race in Fulton County.

On March 5, Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit against Ms. Willis and Fulton County, Georgia, seeking to make the defendants comply with the Georgia Open Records Act. The lawsuit was filed after Judicial Watch had requested the county back on Aug. 22, 2023, to provide certain documents. The county acknowledged receipt of the request the same day.

The request sought all documents and communications (a) related to Special Counsel Jack Smith or any employees in his office and (b) sent or received from the House Jan. 6 committee or any of its employees.

On Aug. 23, Judicial Watch received an email from the county confirming that the District Attorney “is in receipt of your open records request.” Later on the same day, the county sent a second email stating, “After carefully reviewing, your request[,] [w]e do not have the responsive records.”

“Plaintiff has since learned that the County’s representation about not having records responsive to the request is likely false,” Judicial Watch said in the lawsuit.

The organization pointed out that on Dec. 17, 2021, Ms. Willis sent a letter to Jan. 6 committee chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), requesting access to “relevant records” crucial to her investigation into illegal attempts to interfere in the 2020 election in Georgia.

“Those records include but are not limited to recordings and transcripts of witness interviews and depositions, electronic and print records of communications, and records of travel,” the Dec. 17 letter stated.

Ms. Willis also suggested dates when she and her staff could travel to Washington, D.C. to meet with the committee staff.

The lawsuit cited news reports and other records indicating that Ms. Willis’ office traveled to Washington and met with Jan. 6 committee staffers.

“Accordingly, despite its representation to Plaintiff that it possessed no records responsive to the request, on information and belief the County and Willis possess such records but have failed to produce them,” the lawsuit stated.

“At no point did Defendants represent to Plaintiff that any records it possessed were exempt from production under the Open Records Act.”

The organization asked the court to declare that the defendants violated the Open Records Act and order them to submit the requested records.

The Motion, GOP inquiry

Judicial Watch filed an affidavit of service to Ms. Willis on March 13, notifying her of the lawsuit.

On May 6, the organization sought a “default judgment” in a motion submitted to the Superior Court of Fulton County.

“Defendant has not filed an answer and no answer has been served upon Plaintiff,” the motion said. “Defendant’s answer was due 30 days after service, or on April 10, 2024. … The case automatically became in default when an answer was not filed by the due date.”

“Defendant was permitted as a matter of right to open the default within 15 days of the day of default, or by April 25, 2024 … when Defendant did not exercise her right to open the default, Plaintiff became entitled to verdict and judgment by default,” Judicial Watch argued.

Back in December, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) launched an inquiry on potential collusion between Ms. Willis and the Jan. 6 committee after learning that the district attorney’s office “coordinated its investigative actions with the partisan Select Committee,” said a Dec. 5 press release.

Such coordination “should be concerning to everyone,” said Mr. Loudermilk.

“This new information raises questions about Willis’ and Thompson’s commitment to due process, and whether House Rules were violated when the Select Committee failed to properly disclose this material. We have serious concerns about this behavior and we are seeking the truth.”

The Epoch Times reached out to Fulton County for comment.

There have been attempts to disqualify Ms. Willis from the case after allegations that she had romantic relations with special prosecutor Nathan Wade. Following a court ruling, Mr. Wade stepped down from the post and Ms. Willis continued with her case against the former president.

On March 29, President Trump’s attorneys appealed the decision to allow Ms. Willis to continue handling the case.

Ms. Willis asked the court to dismiss President Trump’s appeal. A ruling on the appeal is due to be made by May 13.