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Kemp signs Georgia legislation resurrecting prosecutor oversight board. Democrats express concern it targets Fani Willis

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed a law on Wednesday granting a state commission the authority to discipline and remove prosecutors, potentially impacting Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ prosecution of former President Donald Trump.

“This legislation will help us ensure rogue and incompetent prosecutors are held accountable if they refuse to uphold the law,” Kemp stated, flanked by Republican legislative leaders. “Crime has been on the rise across the country, especially in cities where prosecutors are giving criminals a free pass or failing to put them behind bars due to lack of professional conduct.”

Last year, Kemp signed legislation to establish the Prosecuting Attorneys Qualifications Commission, but it couldn’t commence operations after the state Supreme Court refused to approve its rules in November. The court expressed doubts about regulating district attorneys’ duties beyond legal practice. The recent measure eliminates the need for Supreme Court approval.

However, the law is likely to face legal challenges. Four district attorneys withdrew their previous lawsuit against the commission after the Supreme Court’s decision.

The law mandates district attorneys and solicitors general to assess each case individually instead of declining to prosecute certain offenses, a move criticized for limiting prosecutorial discretion.

Republican House Speaker Jon Burns clarified that the law isn’t directly targeted at Willis, who faces a separate court challenge regarding her handling of the Trump prosecution due to a romantic relationship with a special prosecutor.

Democrats argue that Republicans are attempting to override Democratic voters’ will and risking abuse by establishing a commission without external oversight of its rules.

Despite this, the state Senate has formed a special investigative committee to probe whether Willis misused state funds by hiring a special prosecutor for the Trump case. Testimony has been heard, including from defense attorney Ashleigh Merchant, who raised concerns about the special prosecutor.

Willis and the special prosecutor testified about their romantic relationship but denied any impropriety. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee is yet to decide on their involvement in the prosecution.

McAfee dismissed some charges against Trump but upheld others, including racketeering charges. The law in Georgia reflects a broader trend among Republicans nationally to influence prosecutors they disagree with, particularly those viewed as progressive.

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Kemp signs Georgia legislation resurrecting prosecutor oversight board. Democrats express concern it targets Fani Willis

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed a law on Wednesday granting a state commission the authority to discipline and remove prosecutors, potentially impacting Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ prosecution of former President Donald Trump.

“This legislation will help us ensure rogue and incompetent prosecutors are held accountable if they refuse to uphold the law,” Kemp stated, flanked by Republican legislative leaders. “Crime has been on the rise across the country, especially in cities where prosecutors are giving criminals a free pass or failing to put them behind bars due to lack of professional conduct.”

Last year, Kemp signed legislation to establish the Prosecuting Attorneys Qualifications Commission, but it couldn’t commence operations after the state Supreme Court refused to approve its rules in November. The court expressed doubts about regulating district attorneys’ duties beyond legal practice. The recent measure eliminates the need for Supreme Court approval.

However, the law is likely to face legal challenges. Four district attorneys withdrew their previous lawsuit against the commission after the Supreme Court’s decision.

The law mandates district attorneys and solicitors general to assess each case individually instead of declining to prosecute certain offenses, a move criticized for limiting prosecutorial discretion.

Republican House Speaker Jon Burns clarified that the law isn’t directly targeted at Willis, who faces a separate court challenge regarding her handling of the Trump prosecution due to a romantic relationship with a special prosecutor.

Democrats argue that Republicans are attempting to override Democratic voters’ will and risking abuse by establishing a commission without external oversight of its rules.

Despite this, the state Senate has formed a special investigative committee to probe whether Willis misused state funds by hiring a special prosecutor for the Trump case. Testimony has been heard, including from defense attorney Ashleigh Merchant, who raised concerns about the special prosecutor.

Willis and the special prosecutor testified about their romantic relationship but denied any impropriety. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee is yet to decide on their involvement in the prosecution.

McAfee dismissed some charges against Trump but upheld others, including racketeering charges. The law in Georgia reflects a broader trend among Republicans nationally to influence prosecutors they disagree with, particularly those viewed as progressive.

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Most Popular