Georgia's Trump probe expected to spill into 2023
August 30, 2022
Also in today’s edition of Swing State Georgia:
McConnell expresses confidence in Herschel.
Gov. Kemp will testify on Trump after the election.
Still no Walker-Warnock debates set in stone.
With the January 6 investigation in Congress taking a summer break, the special Georgia probe of former President Donald Trump’s effort to overturn his election defeat continues to get a lot of the national spotlight.
But how long will this investigation go on?
On Monday, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis indicated it’s very likely the probe will be over by January - though she acknowledged that timeline could still slip.
“There can’t be any predictions. As you know, many people are unsuccessfully fighting our subpoenas,” Willis told reporters, referring to a parade of GOP officials who have tried to get out of testifying.
“We will continue to fight to make sure that the grand jury and the public gets the truth. And I am very hopeful by the end of the year that I’ll be able to send this grand jury on their way.”
At a news conference on other local matters on Monday, Willis said the special grand jury had plowed through about 60% of its growing list of witnesses and she was happy with the pace of the inquest.
Willis bristled at the suggestion she was politicizing the investigation, noting that she waited until after the May primary to summon her first witnesses.
“I’ve been very specific and determined to get rid of that accusation that this is just some political stunt and we were trying to impact the election,” she said.
The remarks from Willis came shortly after Judge Robert McBurney rejected Gov. Brian Kemp’s attempt to block his testimony — but the judge agreed that Kemp’s grand jury appearance should be postponed until after the November election.
It was a partial victory for the Governor - who has tried in recent weeks to get his subpoena dismissed.
Kemp is in a tricky political spot on this probe. He has managed to reach an effective truce with Donald Trump, who has stopped calling for Kemp’s defeat over the last few months.
But Kemp’s supporters worry that appearing as if he’s cooperating with a Trump investigation risks antagonizing die-hard supporters of the former President - and that’s not a good recipe in a close election.
Jason Carter, the Democratic nominee for Governor in 2014, said Kemp is “terrified of angering Trump and getting bullied again.”
“The question for Kemp is the same as ever: Do you stand with truth or Trump? You can’t have it both ways,” said Carter, a former state senator. “And the sad thing is, he knows it. He knows Trump is a dangerous bully and he still won’t stand up to him.”
Sooner or later, the Governor will testify. Sooner or later, we will find out about how Kemp navigated that post-election time in Georgia.
And if all goes to her schedule, Willis may be deciding in 2023 whether to seek charges against Trump or members of his inner circle per the grand jury’s recommendation.
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TEAM HERSCHEL. After hosting Georgia GOP Senate hopeful Herschel Walker for a fundraiser in Kentucky on Friday, U.S. Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday that he's confident about the chances of Walker in November.
McConnell included two other GOP Senate hopefuls in that statement - Dr. Mehmet Oz of Pennsylvania, and U.S. Rep. Ted Budd of North Carolina.
"I have great confidence," McConnell said to reporters in his home state. "I think Oz