Chief Trump investigator rebuked by Georgia judge
July 22, 2022
Also in today’s edition of Swing State Georgia:
Fake GOP electors are told they must testify in Trump probe.
Herschel says he wants to ‘tag team’ with Gov. Kemp
Different campaign approaches in Georgia on abortion.
For months, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has been playing offense, slapping associates of Donald Trump with subpoenas, and gathering testimony about how Trump tried to overturn his 2020 election loss in Georgia.
But on Thursday, Willis was the one on the defensive in court, as Judge Robert McBurney questioned why she would be hosting a fundraiser for the Democratic Party opponent of GOP state Sen. Burt Jones - who is one of the targets of the Trump investigation that Willis is leading.
Our colleague Tamar Hallerman picks up the story:
The judge said the optics of that June fundraiser, for Democrat Charlie Bailey, were “horrific” and could undermine public confidence in the investigation. Yet he pressed Jones’ attorney, William Dillon, about whether there was enough of an actual conflict to justify disqualifying Willis or her office, at least from questioning Jones, who also served as a Trump elector.
“I don’t know that it’s an actual conflict, but… it’s a ‘what are you thinking’ moment,” McBurney said.
McBurney indicated that he was particularly troubled that the fundraiser was advertised on social media using Willis’ official title.
Jones wants the court to appoint someone other than Willis to lead his questioning. The Judge promised a ruling soon.
In that same court hearing, Judge McBurney said that 11 of the 16 fake GOP electors who were recently deemed targets of Georgia’s Trump investigation would need to honor subpoenas for their testimony.
Attorneys for those Republicans have indicated they will all assert their Fifth Amendment rights, and not answer any questions from the special grand jury in Atlanta.
But the judge said they could not skip their grand jury appearance, which is slated for next week.
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TUNE IN: The newest installment of the Politically Georgia podcast is up this morning, with a look at how the state’s new restrictive abortion law could shake up Georgia’s marquee races.
Plus, we answer your questions from the 24-hour Politically Georgia Hotline! (You can call us at (770) 810-5297.)
SHAFER CHASER? One of the 16 fake GOP electors was Georgia Republican Party Chair David Shafer. He's not only feeling the heat for his role in that Trump scheme, but also for not supporting Gov. Brian Kemp's bid for re-election.
And Shafer's internal GOP troubles are already sparking talk of who might fill that party post in the future.
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