FACT CHECK: Viral Post Claims Fulton County DA Is Going To Charge Trump For Sullying Her Image

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A post shared on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, claims Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is going to charge former President Donald Trump for sullying her image and that Trump would be unable to run for office if convicted.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence that Trump is going to “face charges for sullying” Willis’s image. Trump likely cannot be disqualified from running for president if convicted on a criminal charge, according to experts.

Fact Check:

Trump claimed in early August that Willis had an affair with a gang member she was investigating, according to Factcheck.org. These ads are not substantiated by any evidence, the fact-checking outlet reported.

Social media users have been sharing claims that Willis “challenges” Trump to prove the accusation or be charged with “sullying the image of a prosecutor.” The post also claims that Trump would be unable to run for office if convicted.

There is no evidence for this claim. If Willis had said that she would charge Trump for sullying the image of a prosecutor, media outlets would have covered it, yet none have. Willis said in an email to her office not to respond to the “false accusations,” according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Stephen Fowler, a reporter with Georgia Public Broadcasting, debunked the claim in a tweet. (RELATED: No, Ukraine Did Not Ask Canada To Send 30,000 Military Age Men To Fight Russia)

“I see we’re also at the “anonymous resister lib fanfic” section of the pre-indictment news cycle, complete with nonsense about “charges for sullying the image of a prosecutor” and alleging Trump couldn’t run for office if convicted, with no source (because it doesn’t exist),” Fowler tweeted.

Trump likely cannot be disqualified from running for president even if he is convicted of a crime.

“Neither conviction for defamation nor for the charges that may be included in a future indictment being pursued by Fani Willis would keep Trump from continuing his campaign or from potentially being elected president. If elected, it is hard to imagine him being extradited to GA to serve time if he were convicted, but, of course, this has never been tested in court,” Charles Bullock, a political science professor at the University of Georgia, told Check Your Fact in an email.

“It’s pretty widely accepted that the list of qualifications in the Constitution is exclusive — that is, Congress or states can’t add qualifications to those listed in the Constitution. It’s something that really doesn’t affect your ability to run as a candidate, to appear on the ballot, or to even win the election,” Derek Muller, a law professor at the University of Iowa, told CBS News in June 2023.

“There’s nothing barring Trump from running. Even a federal conviction doesn’t prevent that. … Even if he were mentally insane. The Supreme Court has said what’s in the Constitution are the only requirements you need to run for federal office,” Eugune Mazo, a Seton Hall University law professor, told Politico in April 2023.

Check Your Fact also looked at the Georgia Secretary of State’s list of “general disqualifications.” Every federal and state office had a “general disqualifications” subsection except for the office of the President.

Check Your Fact reached out to the George Secretary of State’s office and a spokesperson for the Fulton County District Attorney’s office.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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