Georgia Supreme Court dismissed Trump petition to block special grand jury report, disqualify partisan district attorney

July 19, 2023
Ben Marquis

Former President Donald Trump, who is facing a potential criminal indictment from the Democratic Fulton County district attorney in Georgia, sought to quash the reported recommendations of a special purpose grand jury and to have the prosecutor disqualified from the case due to her overt bias against him.

Unfortunately for Trump, the Georgia Supreme Court just unanimously rejected his arguments and dismissed his requests, according to the Conservative Brief.

That seemingly clears the way for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to proceed with her plans to criminally indict the former president over his alleged interference in the 2020 election and its aftermath in Georgia and even potentially beyond.

Trump sought higher court intervention

In a five-page order issued Monday by the Georgia Supreme Court, with which all justices concurred, it was first noted that attorneys for former President Trump had simultaneously filed petitions with both a superior court judge and the state's highest court with requests in relation to the Fulton County DA's ongoing investigation against him.

Those requests included that Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney "quash the Special Purpose Grand Jury’s report and to bar use of its contents in any future proceedings, whether civil or criminal;" to block DA Willis from introducing any evidence from that report to a regular grand jury; and to have Willis be disqualified from any and all proceedings against Trump.

The reasons behind those requests for "extraordinary relief" were many, and included that Georgia's special purpose grand jury "scheme" is vague and unconstitutional, and therefore unlawful, and that Willis has openly stated her intent to use the alleged "unlawful evidence" against Trump to obtain a regular grand jury indictment.

Those reasons also included that grand jury indictments "could be imminent," that the grand jury could "uncritically ratify" the disputed report, that the state's criminal process moves "ponderously slow," and that all of that combined could cause "irremediable reputational harm" that will negatively impact Trump's 2024 campaign for the presidency.

Not the proper avenue for relief "by this Court at this time on this record"

In response to former President Trump's requests, the Georgia Supreme Court first took issue with the simultaneous filing of petitions "as a way to circumvent the ordinary channels for obtaining the relief he seeks without making some showing that he is being prevented fair access to those ordinary

"And, although he complains that Judge McBurney has yet to rule on those motions, he is not asking this Court to compel Judge McBurney to rule," the justices continued. "Instead, he is asking this Court to step in and itself decide the motions currently pending in the superior court. This is not the sort of relief that this Court affords, at least absent extraordinary circumstances that Petitioner has not shown are present here."

"And, with regard to Petitioner’s request to disqualify Willis from representing any party in any and all proceedings involving him, we note only that Petitioner has not presented in his original petition either the facts or the law necessary to mandate Willis’s disqualification by this Court at this time on this record," the justices wrote.

The high court concluded, "For these additional reasons, Petitioner has not shown that this case presents one of those extremely rare circumstances in which this Court’s original jurisdiction should be invoked, and therefore, the petition is dismissed."

DA Willis' "ambitious" and far-reaching prosecution effort

According to The Washington Post, Fulton County DA Willis first began investigating then-President Trump's Jan. 2, 2021 call with Georgia Sec. of State Brad Raffensperger that disputed the state's reported election results and has since expanded to include a variety of alleged criminal acts by Trump and others to illegally interfere with and overturn Georgia's 2020 election.

The "ambitious prosecution," as the Post described it, had even extended beyond Georgia's jurisdiction by way of Willis' efforts to utilize the state's broad Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute to establish a sort of nationwide conspiracy involving Trump and others to violate laws in multiple states and at the state level.

However, as the Post itself and several of the legal experts it cited duly noted, Willis will likely have a difficult time proving that the activities and efforts by Trump and others to dispute and challenge the 2020 election results were actually illegal and not protected by the First Amendment or otherwise considered to be relatively typical post-election behavior by those with doubts about the reported outcome.

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