Georgia Gov. Signs Law That Threatens to Remove Fani Willis from Trump Prosecution Case

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a law on Wednesday that allows a state panel to begin acting with the authority to censure and dismiss prosecutors, which poses a threat to Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ trial of President Donald Trump.

“This legislation will help us ensure rogue and incompetent prosecutors are held accountable if they refuse to uphold the law,” Kemp said before signing the bill, flanked by Republican legislative leaders. “As we know all too well, crime has been on the rise across the country, and is especially prevalent in cities where prosecutors are giving criminals a free pass or failing to put them behind bars due to lack of professional conduct.”

Though Kemp signed legislation establishing the Prosecuting Attorneys Qualifications Commission last year, it was unable to function because the state Supreme Court declined to accept regulations limiting its operation in November.

The justices expressed “grave doubts” about their competence to control district attorneys’ activities outside the profession of law. The legislation eliminates the need for Supreme Court approval.

The measure is expected to encounter more legal challenges. Four district attorneys withdrew their prior case against the commission when the Supreme Court overturned it.

The bill would force district attorneys and solicitors general, who prosecute lower-level charges in some counties, to consider each case individually rather than declining to pursue groups of violations. Opponents argue that this would limit prosecutors’ discretion.

Democrats, on the other hand, claim that Republicans are attempting to overturn voters’ decisions and are encouraging misuse by forming a commission without having another body examine its regulations.

Willis and Wade both testified at a hearing last month that they were in a romantic connection, but they denied that Willis unjustly benefitted from it, as attorneys for Trump and other of his co-defendants claimed. Judge Scott McAfee of Fulton County Superior Court has yet to rule whether Willis and Wade may continue with the prosecution.

McAfee dropped some of the counts against Trump and others on Wednesday, but the remainder of the massive racketeering indictment remains in place. He dismissed six counts in the indictment, three of which were against Donald Trump, the expected Republican presidential contender for 2024.

However, he left other counts in place, including 10 against Trump, and warned prosecutors might file a fresh indictment to attempt to reinstate the ones he dismissed.

According to a House report issued on Monday, the J6 select committee shared information with Willis and her office, including allegations made against the former president and his aides about the 2020 Georgia election results.

Willis requested access to any Select Committee records relevant to her investigation into President Trump’s actions to challenge the 2020 presidential election, including “recordings and transcripts of witness interviews and depositions, electronic and print records of communications, and records of travel,” according to a letter she sent to the committee on December 17, 2021.

Apart from the House Administration Committee’s findings, other House Republicans have pressed Willis in recent months. Last month, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, stated that his staff had met with a “whistleblower” who had “raised concerns that Ms. Willis was not following the rules of grant dollars in an appropriate manner.”

Jordan issued a subpoena to Willis a few weeks ago to acquire documents linked to potential abuse of taxpayer funds in her case against President Trump and more than a dozen other co-defendants.

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The letter stated that Willis was “required to produce the following items in your possession, custody, or control, from the period of September 1, 2020, to present in unredacted form.”

Previously, the district attorney’s office criticized House Republicans’ proposals as politically motivated. Last year, she stated that Congress had no constitutional authority to “interfere with a state criminal matter.”

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp’s new law may put an end to this fiasco once and for all.

By Melinda Davies
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