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The judge overseeing the Georgia investigation into former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election has disqualified Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis from leading the investigation into one of the state’s 16 alleged “fake electors,” because the DA held a fundraiser for his political opponent.
According to ABC News, Willis held a fundraiser for Jones’ opponent, Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Charlie Bailey, in June, which was “well after” a grand jury had begun hearing evidence in the election case — a decision that Fulton County Judge Robert McBurney said was “harmful” to the investigation.
Citing horrible optics, the judge continued, “An investigation of this significance, garnering the public attention it necessarily does and touching so many political nerves in our society, cannot be bordered by legitimate doubts about the District Attorney’s motives.”
Georgia state Sen. Burt Jones, currently the GOP candidate for lieutenant governor, was one of the 16 alleged “fake electors” identified last week as a target of the Georgia probe, according to ABC News.
The alleged fake electors were said to be part of a Trump campaign effort that assembled “groups of individuals in key battleground states and got them to call themselves electors, created phony certificates associated with these fake electors and then transmitted these certificates to Washington, and to the Congress, to be counted during the joint session of Congress on January 6th,” according to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
Any decisions about whether charges should be brought against Jones, and what they should be, will now be left to a different prosecutor’s office that will be determined by the Georgia attorney general, ruled by Fulton County Judge Robert McBurney.
Trump’s election lies continue to have ripple effects
As the January 6 investigation into the actions and inactions of former President Trump continues, in Georgia, fake electors who were once witnesses, now find themselves as targets into the attempt to overturn the 2020 election results.
The most damning accounts of the January 6 committee have come from his former White House and campaigns officials who gave firsthand accounts of former President Trump’s unwillingness to accept reality and abandon his election delusions. The committee, which consists of seven Democrats and two Republicans, relied almost exclusively on testimony from GOP officials and nonpartisan civil servants during its set of hearings, in an attempt to rebut criticisms of partisanship attacks.
After shocking relevation after another, the panel is now looking into allegations that the Secret Service deleted text messages during a two-day period surrounding the Jan. 6 attack. Department of Homeland Security Inspector General Joseph Cuffari has claimed the messages were erased after a request by his office, while the Secret Service has denied these allegations, saying the deletions were part of a system migration.
Once completed, it will be up to US Dept. of Justice to determine if the former President should be held criminally liable. The committee could also include recommendations for legislative fixes to try to thwart new efforts to circumvent U.S. election laws. According to NPR, that includes potential proposals to reform the Electoral Count Act of 1887.