Judge rips fake GOP electors over efforts to avoid testimony in Trump probe
August 26, 2022
Also in today’s edition of Swing State Georgia:
Kemp’s lawyers make case against Trump testimony.
White House raps GOP lawmakers over PPP loans.
Herschel gives away more free groceries.
Somewhat lost during a newsy day for the special Georgia grand jury investigating Donald Trump was a scathing order from Judge Robert McBurney that could have significant implications into the ongoing probe.
The three-page order demolished the argument by 11 fake GOP electors who argued prosecutors should be disqualified from seeking criminal charges against them.
Their case rested on McBurney’s earlier decision to exempt state Sen. Burt Jones, another fake elector who is now the GOP nominee for lieutenant governor, from District Attorney Fani Willis’ probe.
But as McBurney noted, that was because of an “obvious and irreconcilable conflict of interest” due to Willis’ financial support for Jones’ Democratic rival Charlie Bailey.
McBurney ruled that the other 11 fake electors are not “similarly situated.” And then he went on to pick apart the argument that Willis is seeking to score political points.
“These electors have provided no evidence that the District Attorney (or any member of her staff) has done anything that suggests a possible political motivation for investigating them, beyond the banal observation that they are Republicans and she is not.”
Particularly noteworthy was a footnote addressing their argument that Willis is targeting “only Republicans.”
The judge wrote it eludes him how “an investigation into allegations of Republican interference in the 2020 general election in Georgia would have any other list of targets than Republicans.”
The order was seen as a warning shot to others seeking to make similar arguments of political bias that it’s not likely to fly with this judge.
MORE SUBPOENAS. In other special grand jury news, prosecutors are now seeking testimony from former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Trump attorney Sidney Powell and other allies.
And Judge McBurney is considering whether to side with Gov. Brian Kemp’s request to quash his subpoena to testify before the special grand jury.
The AJC’s Tamar Hallerman heard more from the two-hour hearing on how Kemp’s testimony suddenly went from scheduled to contested:
Prosecutors Nathan Wade and Donald Wakeford told McBurney that Kemp had voluntarily agreed to be interviewed by prosecutors on July 25. But prosecutors said a turning point occurred on July 20 when Brian F. McEvoy, one of Kemp’s lawyers, told the DA’s office that the governor would only appear if certain requirements were met because the investigation was “politically motivated.” One condition was that neither side could make a video or audio recording of the interview, they said.
“That is not Mr. McEvoy’s call,” Wade said. “That rests solely with the district attorney, and the district attorney has made that decision through the power of the special grand jury.”
If the judge decides Gov. Kemp must testify, he could limit the questions that Kemp is asked or consider delaying any testimony from the governor until after the November election.
LISTEN UP. The Friday edition of our Politically Georgia podcast is now live.
Your Jolters look at Stacey Abrams’ forays into rural red counties, remember former First Lady Sandra Deal, and explore President Joe Biden’s plan to wipe out student debt-- and why U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock says it’s not enough.
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CASHING IN. A day after President Joe Biden announced that he will wipe away up to $20,000 in student loan debt for millions of Americans, Republicans, including U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, sharpened criticism of the measure as wasteful and unfair.
“For our government just to say ok your debt is completely forgiven.. it’s completely unfair,” she told Newsmax.
But the White House quickly pointed out that Greene and many other GOP lawmakers have businesses that applied for Paycheck Protection Program loans in exponentially larger amounts, which have also also been forgiven and will never be paid back.
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