Georgia Republicans are in a state of confusion as right-wing conservatives in both Congress and the Georgia General Assembly are pressuring Republican leaders to continue their efforts to appoint Democratic District Attorney Fani Willis of Fulton County, Georgia, for the criminal charges against former President Donald Trump.
Led by first-time State Senator Colton Moore, the drive for political retaliation has shaken the so-called Law and Order party, as some of the less radical fellow Republicans are forced to fight back against a prosecutor’s unseemly investigation. Earlier this month, Willis filed charges against Trump and 18 other defendants in a sweeping indictment on racketeering charges, accusing the group of conspiring to overturn the results of the 2020 state election. Moore, who represents Georgia’s northwest corner, said in response to the indictment that Willis’s “political persecution” of Trump and her subsequent conduct should prompt an emergency meeting to review her actions.
But other Republicans in the Peach State quickly fought back.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp dismissed the idea of ousting Willis during a news conference Thursday.
“A person in the General Assembly called for a special session that would ignore applicable Georgian law and interfere directly in the proceedings of a separate but equal branch of government, and was repeated outside these walls by the former president,” he said. accordingly The hill.
Kemp argued that history was “trying to repeat itself,” referring to the period just after the 2020 election when he dismissed calls to order a special session to undermine the election results, noting that Georgia law details the legal methods voters can use Challenge your local prosecutor if you believe the prosecutor is engaging in “unethical or illegal conduct.”
“He’s using the money he’s stealing from Conservatives to attack his fellow Republicans — all while helping Democrats across the state and putting his Conservative peers at risk.”
“Up to this point, I have seen no evidence that prosecutor Willis’s actions or lack thereof warrant intervention by the prosecutors’ oversight commission, but that will ultimately be a decision that the commission will make,” said Kemp, who opposed Trump’s outcry lashed out over a stolen election earlier this month, said.
“A special session of the General Assembly to repeal this law is impractical and could ultimately prove unconstitutional,” he added.
But a small but vocal group of Republican lawmakers have already joined Moore in demanding that the special session remove or impeach the elected district attorney.
“The legislature has a lot of scrutiny and balance when it comes to purse scrutiny,” Moore said The hill earlier this month. “Ultimately, I think that from what I’ve seen, she should be deprived of all government funds. The people of Northwest Georgia, and Georgians everywhere, don’t want their tax dollars funding this kind of political persecution.”
US Rep. Andrew Clyde also hopes to use an upcoming budget bill to cut federal funding for Willis, and other prosecutors have indicted the former president this year.
Those who did not ally with Moore received a scathing rebuke from the senator, who recently dubbed these colleagues “buzzard cowards.” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
The former president added to the tension post a video to his Truth Social platform this week, which praised Moore’s “courage and conviction” while urging other Republican lawmakers to stand with lawmakers.
“The esteemed Georgia State Senator, Colton Moore, deserves thanks and congratulations from all for his courage and conviction in fighting the radical left maniacs who are causing so much damage to the great state of Georgia and, quite frankly, the United States itself.” Trump said in the press release video before aiming at “failed prosecutor” Willis.
Georgia House Speaker John Burns, a Republican, joined the chorus of Republican dissent and proposed a letter to the GOP caucus that the attacks on Willis violated the separation of powers.
If lawmakers are genuinely concerned “about the level of serious crime in Atlanta,” defunding Willis’ office would be “detrimental to public safety,” Burns wrote in the letter to the majority. The representative also referred to Georgia law regulating salaries for district attorneys and assistant district attorneys, claiming that the General Assembly does not have the authority to cut individual prosecutors’ salaries.
“Targeting a particular prosecutor’s office in this way certainly demonstrates, if not violates, the idea of separation of powers,” Burns continued.
“As members of the General Assembly, we are sworn to uphold the Constitution of the State of Georgia, this United States, and their laws. We trust that our criminal justice system will deal with this matter impartially and fairly and that we will not intervene unduly.” This is in direct contradiction to the oaths we have taken.
Other Republican officials have also been quick to resist Moore’s calls for a special session of the Legislature, saying the move would require Democrat support, they said The journal composition.
“Senator Moore published his letter, shared it all over social media and conducted interview after interview while using the topic to raise money online,” it said Sen. Russ GoodmanR, told his constituents in an open letter, adding: “He never called anyone in the Republican caucus to discuss his letter. I’ll be perfectly honest: I think what he’s doing is disingenuous and I won’t do it either.” I’m purposely misleading you all.
Want a daily roundup of all the news and commentary Salon has to offer? Subscribe to our morning newsletter Crash Course.
Since then, Moore has escalated his attacks on his Republican opponents, calling those who opposed his petition spineless “RINOs” (Republicans in name only) and even alluding to threats of violence.
“Do you want a civil war? I don’t want civil war. I don’t want to have to draw my gun,” Moore said at a recent performance Steve Bannon’s Podcast. “I would like to eliminate this problem with my legislative means.”
His barrage also sparked threats against some Republican lawmakers, prompting the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to ask lawmakers for details on the harassment activities. After state senators Bo Hatchett and Shelly Echols issued a joint statement opposing Moore’s call to action, they said the senator made robocalls, text messages and emails to them.
“It’s a terrible abuse of power. A violation of.” Colton Moore“He uses the money he steals from Conservatives to attack his fellow Republicans — and does nothing but help Democrats across the state and put his Conservative peers at risk.”
Moore’s behavior only adds to an already tense atmosphere in the chamber, as newly appointed state senator Shawn Still, who said he committed no wrongdoing, is charged in the Georgia indictment, and Lt. Gov. Burt Jones is one of them soon to be the subject of an investigation The indictment documents 30 unindicted co-conspirators. A US Supreme Court ruling that could lead to a new round of legislative reshuffles later this year also threatens the chambers’ fleeting harmony.
Steve Gooch, Majority Leader of the state Senate, a Republican, suggested that lawmakers should turn their attention to other methods of berating Willis, such as hearings about her use of public resources. Meanwhile, others believe the division in the chamber will remain.
“I’ve expressed to numerous voters that if Trump’s presidential campaign puts people like Colton at the forefront of our state politics, they don’t want the former president back in office,” Hatchett told the Journal-Constitution.
“The only person Colton helps is Colton,” he added. “He hurts Republicans. It hurts Republican leaders. And it hurts former President Trump.”
about how infighting within the Republican Party is disrupting the Republican Party