By Ryan Morgan
Former President Donald Trump is, for a second time, requesting that a Georgia court shut down an investigation into allegations he interfered in the state’s elections in 2020.
On Thursday, Mr. Trump’s legal team asked the Superior Court for Fulton County, Georgia, to quash a report prepared by a special purpose grand jury (SPGJ) involved in the months-long investigation. Mr. Trump’s lawyers also called on the court to block any evidence obtained through that special purpose grand jury from being reintroduced in court and asked to disqualify Democratic Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis from any further proceedings involving the former president.
The Fulton County SPGJ had been empaneled for eight months as Ms. Willis investigated allegations that laws were broken as Mr. Trump and his allies disputed Georgia’s 2020 election results.
Mr. Trump’s legal team had filed a petition earlier in March, seeking to quash elements of the case. At the time, the former president’s legal team argued that Ms. Willis had made investigating Mr. Trump part of her district attorney election campaign and that this presented a conflict of interest in her handling of the case. The March court petition also argued that the judicial and legal integrity of the case had been compromised when jury forewoman Emily Kohrs began appearing for news interviews to describe the case and indicated she and her fellow jurors had recommended indictments against several people.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney has not yet ruled on the Trump team’s initial petition to quash the case. The new petition now requests to throw out the SPGJ report and disqualify Ms. Willis in order to preempt a criminal indictment, arguing that the SPGJ proceedings went beyond their lawful purpose.
“Mr. Trump now sits on a precipice. A regular Fulton County grand jury could return an indictment any day that will have been based on a report and predicate investigative process that were wholly without authority,” the new petition (pdf) states.
Mr. Trump’s legal team noted Mr. McBurney had impaneled new grand juries while Mr. Trump’s original motion to quash had yet to be decided. The court filing argues that “between the District Attorney’s driving the process and the Supervising Judge’s inaction, Mr. Trump is at the mercy of State actors who have heretofore paid no regard to his rights, even his right to have his motion heard and ruled upon.”
The new petition again cites Ms. Willis’s alleged conflicts of interest in the case, as well as media appearances by members of the special purpose grand jury.
NTD reached out for comment from the Fulton County DA’s office but did not receive a response by the time this article was published.
After Mr. Trump’s first motion to quash, Ms. Willis’s office argued in a May response filing that Mr. Trump’s motion lacked standing and had other procedural flaws. The DA’s May response (pdf) balanced on the fact that no one has actually been indicted or named to be indicted in the SPGJ report and thus argued that Mr. Trump’s team is relying on conjecture to say they’ve been negatively implicated by the court proceedings.
“Mr. Trump asserts that he has been ‘inextricably intertwined with this investigation since its inception’ in early 2021, also observing that he participated in the event which precipitated the investigation, a phone call in January of 2021. However, as he acknowledges, he was never a witness before the SPGJ,” Ms. Willis’ office argued. “Because the Movants’ arguments do not demonstrate individualized injuries or injuries-in-fact rather than injuries-in-conjecture, they lack standing to challenge the constitutionality of the pertinent statutes.”
Later on in the May response filing, Ms. Willis’s office argued, “If an investigation results in actual criminal charges against Mr. Trump, the justice system ensures they will have no shortage of available remedies to pursue.”
From NTD News