In his latest legal maneuver, Donald J. Trump on Friday requested a court order that would overturn the work of a special Atlanta grand jury and disqualify Fani T. Willis, the prosecutor leading an investigation into Georgia election interference.
In the investigation, which has been ongoing for more than two years, a decision on the charges is imminent. Fulton County District Attorney Ms. Willis has signaled that the decision will be made in the first half of August; She recently asked judges at a downtown Atlanta courthouse not to schedule a hearing for part of that time as she prepares to press charges.
Mr. Trump’s attorneys filed their motion in a complaint in the Georgia Supreme Court. They want the court to throw out the evidence collected by the special grand jury.
Although the Georgia Supreme Court is predominantly Republican, Trump’s legal team acknowledged in its filing that its recent strategy was far-fetched, acknowledging that it had “not identified a case in 40 years” in which the court was in intervened in the way he wanted. “On the other hand, there has never been a case like this,” it said.
The probe has looked into whether the former president and his allies illegally interfered in the 2020 Georgia election, which saw Mr Trump narrowly lose to President Biden. The special grand jury spent about seven months hearing evidence and recommending indictments of more than a dozen people; Her foreman clearly indicated that Mr. Trump was among them in an interview with The New York Times in February. In order to face charges, Ms. Willis must now face charges before a regular grand jury.
The Trump team’s filing raises a number of legal concerns, both regarding Georgian law regarding special grand juries and the manner in which a special grand jury was used in this investigation.
Mr Trump’s local legal team includes attorneys Drew Findling, Marissa Goldberg and Jennifer Little. Her filing, assuming her client will be indicted, says Ms Willis “now seeks an indictment which would be based on evidence wrongfully obtained during the special grand jury trial.”
The public prosecutor’s office initially made no comment on the latest file.
Intervening in a potential criminal proceeding before charges are even brought is complicated. Mr Trump’s lawyers have already attempted to derail the investigation with a motion filed in March to destroy much of the evidence gathered and bar Ms Willis from the investigation. To her disappointment, Superior Court Judge Robert CI McBurney, who is hearing the case, has yet to rule on the application.
“Caught between the chief justice’s protected passivity and the district attorney’s impending indictment, the plaintiff has no other reasonable choice but to seek the intervention of this court,” the attorneys wrote in their filing with the state Supreme Court on Friday.
“Nothing about these processes was normal or reasonable,” they wrote, adding that “the almost inevitable conclusion is that the anomalies” are due to “the claimant being President Donald J. Trump.”