And while Trump and the Republicans are targeting Fannie Willis of Georgia for revenge, the state’s governor is choosing not to participate
ATLANTA (AP) — Some Republicans in Washington and Georgia have gone on the offensive Fulton County District Attorney Fanny Willis immediately after its announcement August 14 indictment to Former President Donald Trump on charges of conspiring to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. But others, including Governor Brian Kemp, have been clear that they do not want to continue.
Kemp, who has previously survived stinging attacks from Trump over his refusal to endorse the former president’s false claims about the election, declined to comment on the indictment against Trump and 18 others at the conference. Conservative political conference It is hosted by radio host and Kemp ally Eric Erickson.
Noting that he was called before a special grand jury to testify during the investigation, Kemp stated forcefully Democratic President Joe Biden is the legitimate winner of Georgia’s 16 electoral votes, and said highlighting Trump’s legal troubles would be a mistake.
“The Democrats want us to focus on things like this, so we don’t focus on Joe Biden’s record,” Kemp told Erickson Aug. 18.
Meanwhile, Trump continued his violent attacks on both Willis and Kemp.
“Governor Kemp is fighting desperately against the impeachment of the corrupt, incompetent, and highly partisan District Attorney of Fulton County, Fanny Willis, who allowed murders and other violent crimes to mount on a massive scale,” the former president wrote on Aug. 21 on his website The Truth. social platform. “Crime in Atlanta is the worst in the country. She should be impeached for many reasons, not just for the witch hunt (I did nothing wrong!).”
There is little evidence to support Trump’s claim that crime is on the rise. The number of murders has dropped sharply in Atlanta this year.
Other Georgia Republicans did not hesitate to attack Willis, and some joined Trump in calling for the Atlanta-based attorney general’s impeachment.
The US Republican representative said: “Fanny Willis should be ashamed of herself, and she will lose her job.” Marjorie Taylor Green is from Georgia. “We will make sure of that.”
Green spoke to reporters last Thursday outside the Fulton County Jail, shortly before Trump arrived in a motorcade to submit to custody and pose for a photo. On the same day, House Republicans in Washington announced their own investigation of Willis.
By then, few Georgia GOP lawmakers were calling for a special session to impeach Willis or defund her office. Others have suggested amending the state constitution to allow Kemp to pardon Trump.
Both are far-reaching possibilities.
The Georgia General Assembly hasn’t impeached anyone in more than 50 years, and with Republicans getting less than the two-thirds majority needed in the Senate to convict Willis, they’ll have to convince Democrats.
Colton Moore, a Republican state senator whose pristine conservative brand has won him few allies, has launched a petition for lawmakers to call themselves into a special session, requiring the signature of three-fifths of both chambers. This, too, requires some democratic support.
Georgia voters amended the state constitution to shift pardon power from the governor to the parole board in the 1940s after the governor was accused of selling pardons. It would take a two-thirds vote in both houses to put a measure before the electorate to change that situation, which again would require the support of Democrats.
It is not clear that Kemp would pardon Trump even if he had that power. Kemp and Trump were on bad terms even before Kemp rejected Trump’s calls to cancel the 2020 Georgia presidential election. Relations cooled after Trump recruited former Sen. David Perdue to run an embarrassingly unsuccessful Republican primary challenge for Kemp’s re-election in 2022. And now Kemp argues publicly, like some other Republican governors, that his party needs to get ahead of Trump.
At least one senior Republican in Georgia, Speaker of the State House of Representatives John Burns, is with Kemp in opposing a special session. In a letter to fellow Republicans, he stopped talking about a special session, writing that he wanted to aspire towards “a positive vision that prepares for the bright future that our children and grandchildren deserve.”
“All defendants are innocent until proven guilty, and I am sure that both sides will ensure that this matter is thoroughly considered by the courts,” Burns wrote, saying he would not comment further.
Burns’ comments drew derision from Amy Cramer, the Republican activist in suburban Atlanta who helped make it happen. Organizing January 6 “Stop theft” March on Washington leading to the attack on the US Capitol.
“We need to turn these corrupt Reno seats into real conservatives who will work and fight for the people,” Cramer wrote on social media. “very embarrassing.”
Looking for other options for prosecuting Willis, some Georgia Republicans are rallying around a plan to seek her removal by a new state prosecutors oversight panel that begins on Oct. 1.
A Prosecution Attorney Qualifications Committee has been established in cooperation with for the purpose of discipline or removal deviant plaintiffs. Republicans fought hard for the law because they said some Democratic prosecutors were incompetent or petting criminals, inappropriately refusing to prosecute entire categories of crimes, including marijuana possession.
Democrats countered that Republicans had politicized the prosecutions, and some saw the law as Republican retaliation against Willis. and criticized Consider it a racist attack After voters elected 14 non-white DAs in the state.
The law allows the commission to sanction prosecutors for “willful misconduct in office” or “undue bias or prejudice against the accused or in favor of persons having interests contrary to the accused.” It is not clear how the Commission will interpret these terms, as it has not yet established rules.
Kemp, Burns, and Republican Governor Bert Jones appointed a five-member investigative committee to examine the complaints. They also appoint a three-member hearing committee that decides the charges brought by the investigation committee.
Some prosecutors, not including Willis, They are already suing to overturn the law. Barring court intervention, people can start filing complaints on October 1st for alleged misconduct that occurred after July 1st.
Such complaints could ease the political pressure on Georgia Republicans.
“District Attorney General Fanny Willis has proven to be nothing more than a liberal activist trying to twist the law to fit a narrative she spent an enormous amount of taxpayer resources crafting,” Sen. Jason Anevitart wrote on social media, encouragingly. People to complain.
But if the commission’s first course of action is to go after Willis, critics say it will prove to be nothing more than a political tool to force GOP rule in Georgia.
DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston, a Democrat and plaintiff in the lawsuit challenging the law, told The Associated Press on Monday that using the commission against Willis would confirm that it is what her opponents have warned of — “an assault on prosecutorial independence and the latest attempt to subvert democracy in Georgia.”
This article originally appeared on apnews.com