Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia signed a new bill in May proposed by Republican state legislators, creating a new commission, the Prosecuting Attorneys Qualifications Commission. Members of the commission will have the power to remove or sanction Georgia prosecutors for neglect or other violations of their duties. Many Georgia state legislators believe the new bill targets Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.
In signing the bill, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said: “I am not going to stand idly by as rogue or incompetent prosecutors refuse to uphold the law,” Kemp said.
The new bill goes into effect October 1, and Republican state lawmaker Clint Dixon said this past Thursday he would file a complaint to have Fani Willis removed from her position because of charges brought against former President Donald Trump. Dixon believes the indictment of Trump is politically motivated and sparked by “Willis’ goal to become some sort of leftist celebrity.”
“Once the Prosecutorial Oversight Committee is appointed in October, we can have them investigate and take action against Fani Willis and her efforts that weaponize the justice system against political opponents. This is our best measure, and I will be ready to call for that investigation,’ Dixon said.
State Democrats are not surprised that Republicans are gearing up to target Willis. Dekalb District Attorney Sherry Boston predicted that a Trump surrogate would use the new law against Willis last week. Other state Democrats have accused Republicans of seeking a path to assist Trump with his Georgia legal troubles. While the southern state has a Republican Governor, he does not have the authority to pardon Trump if convicted in Georgia. Pardon power in Georgia lies with an independent board; however, that board cannot grant preemptive pardons.
Willis called the bill’s timing into question after the state went from five district attorneys who are minorities to 14 who are minorities. Republicans pushed back on her statement, calling it “offensive and a racist statement on its own.”
Also, on Thursday, the Republican House Judiciary Committee led by House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH) sent a letter to Willis asking if she coordinated with the Justice Department on indicting Trump and if she used federal dollars to complete her investigation.
“You did not bring charges until two-and-a-half years later, at a time when the campaign for the Republican presidential nomination is in full swing,” Jordan wrote. Willis has until September 7 to hand over documents related to Jordan’s request.
Former President Donald Trump turned himself in at the Fulton County jail on Thursday after a Fulton County Grand Jury indicted him on charges related to his attempt to reverse Georgia’s 2020 presidential election results. Spending less than one hour at the Georgia jail, Trump was released on a $200,000 consent bond and became the first U.S. President to have a mug shot taken. It is the fourth time Trump has been booked on criminal charges.
Attorneys for the former president are expected to attempt to move his case to federal court, arguing that it relates to conduct he engaged in while president. Trump faces 13 counts of misconduct under Georgia’s racketeering law and, if convicted, could face five to 20 years in prison.