Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) on Thursday dismissed the idea of calling a special legislative session to oust Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D) over her case against former President Trump.
“There have been calls by one individual in the General Assembly and echoed outside these walls by the former president for a special session that would ignore current Georgia law and directly interfere with the proceedings of a separate but equal branch of government,” he said during a press conference.
Earlier this month, state Sen. Colton Moore (R), who represents the northwest corner of Georgia, said Willis’s “political persecution” of Trump and her behavior following the indictment merits an emergency session to review her actions.
Kemp said history was “trying to repeat itself,” referring to the time shortly after the 2020 election when he dismissed calls to order a special session to overturn the election results. He noted Georgia law outlines legal methods through which constituents can hold their local prosecutor accountable if they believe they are engaging in “unethical or illegal behavior.”
“Up to this point, I have not seen any evidence that DA Willis’s actions or lack thereof warrant action by the prosecuting attorney oversight Commission, but that will ultimately be a decision that the commission will make,” the governor said.
“A special session of the General Assembly to end-run around this law is not feasible and may ultimately prove to be unconstitutional,” he added.
Trump was indicted alongside 18 others earlier this month over their attempts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia. Kemp has pushed back on Trump’s unproven claims that he won the state in 2020, saying earlier this month that the election “was not stolen.”
A handful of Republican state lawmakers have joined Moore’s call for a special session to impeach or defund the elected prosecutor’s office.
“The Legislature has this great check and balance when it comes to controlling the purse,” Moore told The Hill earlier this month. “Ultimately, from what I’ve seen, I think she should completely be defunded of any state dollars. People in northwest Georgia and Georgians all over don’t want their tax dollars going to fund this type of political persecution.”
Georgia House Speaker Jon Burns (R) also pushed back on his colleagues’ efforts to defund Willis amid Hurricane Idalia. He also suggested the move could violate the state constitution’s separation of power clause.
“Targeting one specific DA in this manner certainly flaunts the idea of separation of powers, if not outright violates it,” he wrote in a Wednesday letter to the GOP caucus.
“We as members of the General Assembly have sworn to uphold the Constitution of the State of Georgia, these United States and the laws thereof. We trust that our criminal justice system will deal with this matter impartially and fairly, and we will not improperly intercede in this matter in direct contradiction to the oaths we took.”
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