Atlanta Mayor: Motion Opposing Willis is a Distraction — I Lack Legal Expertise to Address Criticisms

During an appearance on CNN’s “OutFront” on Monday, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens dismissed the attempt to disqualify Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis as a mere distraction. When asked about criticism regarding his decision to testify, he emphasized his non-legal background and expressed the importance of the D.A. focusing on ongoing cases in Atlanta and Fulton County.

Dickens began by saying that “Women are under attack across America.” And “Fani Willis is not on trial. This is a trial about Donald Trump and the attempt to steal an election, him and 18 co-defendants and four of them have pled guilty. So, this is all a distraction. This is something that’s — when Donald Trump is in trouble, he throws dirt on anybody and tries to find victims.”

Host Brianna Keilar then asked, “Well, multiple things can be true, right? What you said, the fact that she has been attacked, she has been attacked personally, she has been attacked when it comes to her race and her gender. She also had a relationship with a prosecutor who, — and, obviously, the timeline is fuzzy — but who was on this case. The former DeKalb County solicitor general said, ‘[Y]ou’re a person, prosecutor, and politician, right? And so, the prosecutor, the lawyer should listen to the people that are advising you and you should very clinically apply the law, which would be like, don’t say anything, let your people do their job. But the person and the politician who has to run for office and the person who was personally offended feels the need to respond[,]’ being critical of Fani Willis. What do you say to that?”

Dickens responded, “I’m no lawyer and I don’t even like to go to court. I went there the other day to look at somebody that just needed to know that people were supporting them. What I am is the chief executive of this city that has done a whole lot to make sure that we brought down violent crime and a part of that is needing a D.A. that has been extremely helpful in focusing on making sure that violent criminals are arrested and dealt with. And so, together, with the Atlanta Police Department, D.A. Fani Willis, and GBI, FBI, and others, we have had the third-highest drop in violent crime across the nation, a 21% reduction in homicides. So, what I need a D.A. to do is to continue to focus on the cases before us in the city of Atlanta and in Fulton County.”