Jordan threatens Fani Willis with contempt over subpoena on federal grants

House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) threatened possible contempt proceedings against Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D) over a subpoena requesting information about her use of federal funds.

Willis’s office has already sent information in response to the February subpoena, but the GOP leader complains she failed to turn over documents related to allegations from a now-terminated employee who flagged another former employee’s desire to misuse federal grant money.

“We appreciate that you have produced a narrow set of documents in response to the subpoena, but your compliance with the subpoena to date is deficient,” Jordan wrote in the letter.

“If you fail to do so, the Committee will consider taking further action, such as the invocation of contempt of Congress proceedings.”

The allegations center on a former employee to Willis who said the district attorney fired her shortly after she raised concerns about how a Willis campaign aide-turned county employee hoped to use federal grants for items outside the scope of a youth violence gang and prevention program.

It’s not clear that the federal funds in question were ultimately spent inappropriately. 

In a recording of the whistleblower’s conversation with Willis, the district attorney does not dispute that the other employee’s desires to spend grant money on laptops and “swag” would be inappropriate.

Willis denied any wrongdoing when the subpoena was first issued in February.

“These false allegations are included in baseless litigation filed by a holdover employee from the previous administration who was terminated for cause. The courts that have ruled found no merit in these claims. We expect the same result in any pending litigation. Any examination of the records of our grant programs will find that they are highly effective and conducted in cooperation with the Department of Justice and in compliance with all Department of Justice requirements,” Willis said in a statement.

Her office did not immediately respond to request for comment Thursday.

Thursday’s letter from Jordan indicates he remains focused largely on any documents that could be related to the whistleblower’s claims, including her office’s coordination with the Justice Department offices that oversee the grant funding.

“The allegations in the public realm about your misuse of federal grant funding are concerning, and the Committee has an obligation to examine them,” Jordan wrote.

According to Jordan, Willis’s office turned over “15 award letters from the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) and Office of Violence Against (OVW), and approximately 27 screenshots of Expense Budget Summaries.”

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