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MSNBC Defends Fani Willis From ‘Smear’ Attack

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MSNBC host Ari Melber discussed the hearing on DA Fani Willis and acknowledged evidence emerged that has been problematic for her office, while also noting there have been “ridiculous” and “harassing” personal attacks against Willis.

Melber said both realities can be true – that the case faces issues but also political targeting of Willis.

Melber said, “There is no simple or single headline. This is a story, and I’ll explain why, where both things can be true. There can be a rather ridiculous, tendentious, almost harassing level of legalistic personal attacks on this person in power, this D.A., and there can also be evidence that has now come to light that has been a bit of a setback or more for her office and thus the RICO case.”

“Both those things happen to be true tonight,” he explained.

“Now, all of this started with what was a long-shot filing, not even by defendant Trump, but by one of his co-defendants, to try to find any muck, mess, smear, or conflict on the part of the prosecutor. And if you follow cases, you watch the news…you may know that it is a rare thing indeed for those things to work. There were the similar type of questions and innuendo raised about Bob Mueller. People have argued maybe Jack Smith has a conflict. Those things don’t usually get very far and removing a prosecutor is very rare,” continued Melber.

Melber claimed, “But this got further along because of evidence that emerged, and then, today, a series of witnesses raised the heat even more. And that is what led to then what we saw this afternoon. Because of testimony about the alleged — I say alleged — possible conflict stemming from a relationship, a romance between D.A. Willis and prosecutor Nathan Wade, the evidence came in.

He explained the conflict allegations stem from Willis’s past relationship but were a longshot initially.

Witnesses increased pressure on Willis, who unexpectedly testified.

He revealed, “There were allegations by at least one individual that her timeline was not 100% accurate and D.A. Willis made a surprise, snap decision to get on the stand, where she was very firm, and, at times, heated in explaining everything.”

Melber explained later in the interview, “[W]hile much of the pressure and the complaints and the questions that the Trump side are launching at the D.A. don’t seem to pile up to that much, especially if you use the Trump standard of everything he’s done, admitted to, and been accused of, but not just that, they don’t necessarily pile up to a clear legal conflict of interest that would strike a prosecutor, which, as mentioned, is a rare thing indeed to do.

“And yet, on the other hand, what we need to get into tonight is, how is this happening, and how does this actually affect the case?” he asked.

While Trump’s side hasn’t clearly shown a legal conflict, Melber questioned if the issues raise disqualification risks and how the fairness of a potential Trump trial would be perceived by the American public not closely watching legal developments.

“Number one, does it make it more likely that this D.A. would be disqualified legally? That’s a question for the judge, and it’s a big question on a case of this magnitude, because there are some problems and some heat. There is a reason she chose to make a surprise move and testify, and it wasn’t because things were going perfectly. And then two, when we do deal with something we’ve been hearing about for years now, what would it mean, as a nation, to put a former president on trial, to ensure the fairness and seriousness of that project? How do Americans, who, quite frankly, might not be like you, watching the news, or like me, poring over legal briefs, how does everyone else perceive and understand what’s happening there?” concluded Melber.

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