Trump seeks disqualification of Georgia election probe prosecutor

Former US President and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event on July 7, 2023 in Council Bluffs, Iowa.  Reuters/File
Former US President and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event on July 7, 2023 in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Reuters/File

Trump’s lawyers are urging the Georgia Supreme Court to block Fannie Willis, the district attorney, from prosecuting him and to dismiss a special grand jury report related to the investigation of his actions after the 2020 election.

Willis is investigating whether Trump and his allies violated any laws in their efforts to reverse his election loss in Georgia. She has indicated that she may seek charges from a grand jury soon.

Trump’s legal team filed petitions in both the Georgia Supreme Court and Fulton County Superior Court, naming Willis and Judge Robert McBurney, who oversees the special grand jury. The filing is unusual but necessary due to the urgency of the situation. Willis plans to use the special grand jury report to seek an indictment within weeks, and two new regular grand juries have been convened, one of which is expected to hear the case.

Trump’s lawyers argue that the proceedings did not follow normal procedures and contained inconsistencies, which suggest bias against Trump. The purpose of the petitions is to bar Willis and his office from prosecuting the case and to quash the special grand jury report. They also want to bar prosecutors from using evidence from the investigation in a regular grand jury.

In previous filings, Trump’s lawyers had requested that a different judge hear their claims, but Willis rejected those arguments. McBurney has not yet ruled on the requests, according to his attorneys, leaving Trump “caught” between the judge’s delay and a possible indictment.

Willis launched the investigation after Trump’s call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, in which he asked Raffensperger to find enough votes to reverse his election loss. He convened a special grand jury with subpoena power to compel witnesses to testify.

The special grand jury, which could not issue an indictment, completed its work last January, submitting a report with recommendations. Although much of the report remains confidential, the foreperson revealed that several individuals had been recommended for charges.

Trump’s lawyers argue that the special grand jury proceedings lacked clarity, inconsistent application of constitutional protections and conflicts of interest within the prosecutor’s office. Willis refuted these arguments, saying that they do not meet the standards necessary to disqualify a prosecutor or prove a violation of due process or unconstitutional conduct.

According to Trump’s lawyers, Willis and McBurney violated procedural safeguards, making the entire process legally unfair and lacking in public respect.


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