- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 17, 2023

A Georgia state senator urged Republican Gov. Brian Kemp on Thursday to call a special legislative session to investigate Fani Willis, the Fulton County district attorney who indicted former President Donald Trump earlier this week.

Sen. Colton Moore, Dade County Republican, drafted a letter to Mr. Kemp that says an “emergency exists in the affairs of the state” that requires the special session.

He also posted an online petition calling for an investigation of Ms. Willis and her office.

“We must strip all funding and, if appropriate, impeach Fani Willis. I’m calling on patriots across America to join me in this fight,” Mr. Moore posted Thursday on X, the social-media platform formerly called Twitter.

His petition is designed to enlist fellow state lawmakers in cracking down on the Atlanta-based prosecutor.

“I am demanding that we defund her office until we find out what the hell is going on. We cannot stand idly by as corrupt prosecutors choose to target their political opposition,” he wrote.

The request for a special session is part of broader pushback by Trump loyalists after Ms. Willis secured a sweeping indictment that accuses Mr. Trump and 18 co-defendants of conspiring to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia.

Some Republicans also are lobbying Mr. Kemp to change the state constitution so the governor has direct authority to pardon crimes instead of relying on the state pardon board.

The Kemp administration does not sound eager to hold special sessions or revisit state rules because of Mr. Trump’s legal woes.

“Where have I heard ‘special session, changing decades-old law, and overturning constitutional precedent’ before? Oh right, prior to Republicans losing two Senate runoffs in January of 2021,” Cody Hall, a senior Kemp adviser told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday.

“What are people hoping to learn in the second kick of the election-losing mule?” he said.

While the Georgia governor can call an emergency session, the legislature can do so itself if 3/5 of both chambers demand one.

Earlier this week, Mr. Kemp criticized Mr. Trump’s decision to schedule a press conference for Monday at his New Jersey golf club to detail allegations of 2020 elections fraud in Georgia.

“The 2020 election in Georgia was not stolen,” Mr. Kemp wrote Tuesday on X. “For nearly three years now, anyone with evidence of fraud has failed to come forward — under oath — and prove anything in a court of law. Our elections in Georgia are secure, accessible and fair and will continue to be as long as I am governor.”

Whether Mr. Trump will even hold the press conference in Bedminster remains in doubt. ABC News reported that legal advisers do not want him to go forward, saying it could deepen his legal jeopardy.

The ex-president early Thursday accused federal, state and local prosecutors of conspiring with President Biden and his allies to thwart his 2024 presidential ambitions.

“None of these trials should be allowed to begin prior to the Election. Republicans must get tougher and smarter, FAST!” he wrote on Truth Social.

Mr. Trump also says special counsel Jack Smith and prosecutors in Georgia are using his comments and tweets against him in a violation of his First Amendment rights.

However, a new poll says a majority of Americans think Mr. Trump should be criminally prosecuted for allegedly trying to overturn the 2020 election results.

The Quinnipiac Poll found 54% of Americans believe prosecution is warranted. About 42% said he should not face prosecution.

Ninety-five percent of Democrats said Mr. Trump should be prosecuted, and 5% said he should not. Fifty-seven percent of independents said the ex-president should face prosecution, and 37% said he should not.

However, 12% of Republicans said Mr. Trump should be prosecuted, and 85% said he should not.

Despite mounting legal woes, Mr. Trump dominates the GOP primary field in the poll.

He enjoys support from 57% of Republican and Republican-leaning voters, compared to 18% for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, his lowest level of support in Quinnipiac University’s polls of the 2024 cycle.

Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy is third with 5%, while former Vice President Mike Pence receives 4% and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie are drawing 3% each.

The poll was conducted Aug. 10-14 among 1,632 registered voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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