'Anticipation is rising': GA GOP officials hurry to rein in prosecutors as possible Trump indictment looms
With Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis expected to announce sometime in May whether she will indict Donald Trump and possibly some close associates over 2020 presidential election tampering, Republican lawmakers in the Georgia legislature are racing to pass new laws that would hamper prosecutorial discretion in the state.
According to a report from the New York Times, one of those laws would make it easier to recall prosecutors, dropping the number of required signatures "from the current 30 percent, which is standard for local elected offices, to just 2 percent," the report states.
Willis already has a special grand jury report in hand that made the case that perjury indictments should be considered, without naming names, and now she is presenting the report to another grand jury.
As the Times reported, "Ms. Willis has said she is considering building a racketeering or conspiracy case. Anticipation is rising, particularly since the forewoman of a special grand jury charged with looking into the matter spoke publicly last month, saying that the jury’s final report, which is still largely under wraps, recommended indictments for more than a dozen people."
The report added, "In the Republican-controlled legislature, as of Friday afternoon, the prospects seemed favorable for the bills creating an oversight committee. They were dimmer for the recall election bill, which would lower the number of registered voters required to sign a petition to prompt a recall of prosecutors from the current 30 percent, which is standard for local elected offices, to just 2 percent. The measure was introduced after some high-profile Trump supporters in Georgia promoted the idea of a recall campaign against Ms. Willis, even though such an effort would be unlikely to succeed in Fulton County, a Democratic stronghold."
According to State Senator Randy Robertson (R), who is sponsoring one of the bills, the timing is coincidental and "was inspired by the case of Mark Jones, a prosecutor from Mr. Robertson’s district who was imprisoned in 2021 for public corruption."
Defending their plans, Robertson explained, "Leading up to that, everybody was kind of scrambling around, saying, 'How do we — you know, this guy’s doing a terrible job, how do we get rid of him?'"
The report adds, "But the burst of legislative support for such efforts is hard to disentangle from the Trump inquiry. Lieutenant Gov. Burt Jones, a Republican publicly supportive of the bills, has been told by Ms. Willis’s office that he is a target of its investigation; he was among a group of bogus pro-Trump Georgia electors who were part of a multistate plot to overturn President Biden’s victory."
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