Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis on Wednesday told colleagues to ignore the “false and derogatory information” Donald Trump is spreading about her in a new ad. The former president has ramped up his attacks on the Georgia prosecutor as she reportedly prepares to present a case against him to a grand jury next week.
Willis said she was notified of an ad buy in the Atlanta market, which will be aired in the state over the course of five days, featuring lies, including that she hid her relationship with a gang member.
But Willis told her staff they “should feel no need to defend” her.
“Many of you are quite kind to me, very protective, and will become very defensive if someone attempts to attack me, the office or your colleagues,” she wrote in an email that was published by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “You may not comment in any way on the ad or any of the negativity that may be expressed against me, your colleagues, this office in coming days, weeks or months.”
She continued: “We have no personal feelings against those we investigate or prosecute and we should not express any. This is business, it will never be personal.”
The ad titled “The Fraud Squad” has also been posted on Trump’s YouTube channel. Besides Willis, it attacks President Joe Biden and three other prosecutors with cases against the former president: Alvin Bragg, Letitia James and Jack Smith.
In the ad, Willis is referred to as Biden’s “newest lackey.” The video calls the Fulton County DA “so corrupt” and claims, without evidence, that she had an affair with a gang member.
The video cites a Rolling Stone article. However, that piece ― based on an interview with YSL Mondo, who Willis represented as a client in an aggravated assault case when she held her own private practice ― doesn’t mention a romantic relationship between the two.
According to the report, Mondo created the Young Slime Life music crew with Young Thug, who Willis prosecuted along with 27 other members of the Young Slime Life criminal gang for gang-related charges and violations of Georgia’s criminal racketeering law.
Mondo told Rolling Stone that Willis as a prosecutor was a different person from when she represented him as his attorney, saying the two at the time had “auntie-to-nephew, mother-to-son type of talks.”
The new attack ad comes as reports suggest that Willis is set to make her case about Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election to a Georgia grand jury over the course of two days next week. She is expected to seek over 12 indictments, according to CNN.
Trump has decried the probe as a “witch hunt,” and called Willis, who is Black, “a young racist in Atlanta” during a New Hampshire campaign event on Tuesday.
“She’s got a lot of problems,” Trump told the audience. “But she wants to indict me to try to run for some other office.”
Willis has been the target of racist emails and voicemails over the course of her investigation into Trump.
Trump has already been indicted three times: in Manhattan over his role in a hush money payment scheme in a case led by District Attorney Bragg, and then in two separate federal cases overseen by special counsel Smith over his alleged mishandling of classified documents and his efforts to undo Biden’s 2020 election win.
James, the New York attorney general, has sued Trump, his business and three of his children, accusing them of tax fraud. The case is set to go on trial in October.