However, this is not the first time Willis has been the subject of national attention. When Willis was assistant district attorney in 2014, Willis led the historic prosecution of a dozen public school educators in Atlanta for allegedly engaging in a “widespread, cleverly disguised” conspiracy to cheat standardized test scores to protect and win their jobs Administrator bonuses. In her opening speech, Willis described “scam parties” where educators erased students’ wrong answers and replaced them with correct ones at dinner of fish and semolina. “I can’t make this up,” she told the jury.
Eleven of the twelve accused were eventually convicted in what the New York Times dubbed “the largest fraud scandal in the nation’s history.”
After defeating her former boss in the Democratic primary with 73% of the vote and cruising to victory in the heavily Democratic Fulton County in November, Willis Howard became the first woman to be elected district attorney. “Y’all we did Herstory,” Willis told her campaigners and supporters after the first win in August. “My co-workers and I will do the right thing every time and at all times, whether the news cameras are on us or we are working on a case that no one knows but us and this family.”
At that victory celebration, Willis nodded to another black woman who rose to political notoriety 17 years earlier by also defeating her former boss to win a DA race in California: Kamala Harris. She told the crowd that she and Joe Biden’s newly named runner-up shared an alma mater. “Let me say something else,” Willis said to her cheering followers. “Isn’t it good to be a Howard University alumni?”
According to their campaign website, Willis joined the prosecution in 2002 after graduating from Emory Law School and doing a few years of private practice, initially working in the major case and cold case departments. She was later promoted to assistant district attorney for the Complex Trial Division. In 2018, she left the prosecutor’s office and opened her own practice.
This week, Willis, who told Maddow that she and her family have seen death threats since her investigation was announced, indicated that the investigation into her office won’t be limited to just Donald Trump. “The investigation appears to be just about that one call we were discussing,” Willis said on MSNBC.
Senator Lindsey Graham is expected to receive a postal ballot call at Raffensperger in November. the sudden removal last month of Byung J. Pak, US attorney for the Georgia Northern District, who also denied Trump’s allegations of election fraud; and the false claims that Rudolph W. Giuliani, the President’s personal attorney, made before state legislative committees.
“An investigation is like an onion,” Willis told the New York Times. “You never know. You pull something back and then you find something else.” She added, “Anything relevant to attempts to disrupt the Georgia elections will be reviewed.”