Georgia prosecutor dismisses Trump’s attempt to thwart election case

Mr. Trump has previously been criminally charged with hush money payments to a porn star in a separate New York case, and the Justice Department has opened two other criminal investigations into Mr. Trump. There are indications the Georgia investigation could lead to a wide-ranging indictment that directly addresses whether Mr Trump broke state laws in attempting to secure President Biden’s victory in the weeks following the 2020 election tip.

Several experts said it would be difficult for Trump’s legal team to derail the Georgia investigation so early in the trial. However, Presiding Judge Robert CI McBurney of Fulton County Superior Court has ruled against Ms. Willis in the past.

Most notably, last July, Judge McBurney ruled that Ms. Willis’s office could not begin criminal proceedings against Lt. Gov. Burt Jones of Georgia, a Republican who was one of 16 Trump supporters who filed forged papers alleging the to be the state’s presidential elector. The judge ruled that Ms Willis had a conflict of interest for leading a fundraiser for Mr Jones’ Democratic rival in the lieutenant governor race.

The special grand jury report remains mostly classified, and Mr Trump’s lawyers requested in their motion that it be “voided and removed from the record.”

The special grand jury heard evidence for about seven months before recommending more than a dozen people for indictments, according to her predecessor, who in a February interview with the New York Times clearly hinted that Mr. Trump was among them.

Mr Trump’s motion criticized public statements made by Ms Willis in 2021 and 2022, notably citing a “biased political cartoon” retweeted by Ms Willis’ campaign Twitter account last July. The cartoon showed her in a boat with a fishing pole, “fishing a recently subpoenaed witness out of a swamp,” according to the Trump filing.

The Trump motion also said that Judge McBurney had made adverse statements and that Georgia’s laws governing special grand juries were so vague as to be unconstitutional.

Ms Willis’ response said the Trump team’s claims were “procedurally flawed” and “presenting arguments that are unfounded”. It noted that Mr Trump had “a duty to bring the court to the attention of the moment he learned if Ms Willis’ statements and Twitter posts “constituted the egregious grounds for disqualification which he alleges.”

In her motion, Ms. Willis asked Judge McBurney to settle the matter without a hearing. It remains to be seen if he will put one.

It is also unclear whether Mr Trump, a master of legal delaying tactics, can somehow use the skirmish to delay Ms Willis’ schedule. Last month, Ms Willis wrote in a letter to law enforcement that a decision on any charges against Mr Trump or others would be made between July 11 and September 1.