"Long after these folks are in jail, we will still be practicing law." In a recent email, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis discussed jail time for Donald Trump and his co-defendants as if it were a foregone conclusion.
The district attorney raised the prospect of defendants in prison in a 29 November exchange, which started with Trump's lawyer Steve Sadow complaining about an incomplete Giuliani transcript the defense received in discovery, according to two people with direct knowledge of the emails.
Willis responded that the defense lawyers would receive the full transcript in the next production of discovery and, in increasingly tense exchanges, took offense that she was not being referred to by her formal title as well as the implicit accusation that they were withholding evidence.
"No one placed me here and I have earned this title," Willis said, apparently taking umbrage that she was not referred to specifically as the district attorney, but as a prosecutor. "I've never practiced law by hiding the ball, I've enjoyed beating folks by making sure they have the entire file."
The email took a turn when Willis added that they should remain professional because their legal careers would continue even after the election case co-defendants went to jail. Willis signed off: "yours in service".
Sadow replied: "Thank you for your email."
Oddly, Trump's defense team has decided to be offended that the government's representative would suggest a criminal face jail time. Trump is a Republican; I thought they loved law and order.
The remark about jail caused consternation with some of the defense lawyers, who have been aghast that the district attorney's office would throw around what they took as a prison threat in a cavalier manner, according to multiple people familiar with the situation.