EXCLUSIVE: Trump Allies Launch Effort To Recall Fulton County Attorney Fani Willis

Donald Trump’s allies in Georgia are mounting a campaign to impeach Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis over her investigation into the former president’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election results and seek to recruit high-value donors. to fund the effort, according to sources familiar with the matter. with the effort

Organizers of the effort admit that the hurdles to a successful withdrawal in Georgia are high, making the chances of getting a recall vote on the ballot before Willis makes his decision to impeach Trump and his associates remote in the future. Best of cases.

But a source involved in the effort told Yahoo News the goal is to use the impeachment campaign as a way to politically harm the Democratic district attorney, portraying her as a partisan actress who ignores rising crime rates in Atlanta to target to a high profile. Republicans. A side benefit of that game plan, another source familiar with the campaign said, was potentially influencing a jury pool in the future if a case against Trump went to trial.

“The purpose is to politicize it,” said a senior Georgia Republican involved in the impeachment effort, who asked not to be identified publicly speaking on a politically sensitive issue. “The message here is, ‘Okay, you [Willis] i want to play this [political] game, we’ll make this about politics.

The source, who is helping raise money for the effort, said Trump and his associates at his Mar-a-Largo resort in Florida are “aware” of the impeachment campaign and that among those actively involved in the effort are David Shafer, the chairman of the Georgia Republican Party and Brad Carver, a prominent Republican attorney in the state. Both men were among 16 alleged fake voters in Georgia who fate letters recently received from willis informing them that they faced possible charges in their investigation.

Former President Donald Trump speaks to the crowd gathered on the 16th hole during the second round of the Bedminster Invitational LIV Golf tournament in Bedminster, New Jersey, on Saturday, July 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Former President Donald Trump speaks to the crowd at the Bedminster Invitational LIV Golf tournament. (AP/Seth Wenig)

Among the donors organizers are talking to about possibly funding the recall campaign is Bernard Marcus, co-founder of Home Depot and a strong supporter of Trump, who is widely considered the richest man in the state. Marcus could not be reached for comment. Shafer and Carver did not respond to messages seeking comment for this article.

The impeachment campaign came into public view this week when Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Georgia, retweeted a reminder message by Bill White, a pro-Trump activist from Buckhead, the wealthy and predominantly white section of Atlanta. “The Fulton County District Attorney is using Fulton County taxpayer money for his personal political witch hunt against President Trump, but he will NOT prosecute crime plaguing Atlanta! Atlanta has WORSE crime than Chicago! MEMORY!!!”

When asked for comment, Willis’ communications director said, “The District Attorney is investigating and prosecuting crimes in Fulton County without fear or favor, as she promised voters when she ran for office in 2020. People have a right to express their opinions about the work he’s doing, and he’s happy to discuss with voters why it’s important that everyone is treated equally under the law.”

The recall effort comes at a critical stage in Willis’ fast-moving investigation. He is currently fighting legal battles over appearances by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R.C., Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., and Republican lawmakers who were part of the alternative electoral scheme, all of whom Willis has cited but have filed legal objections to his testimony. Additionally, Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s top election attorney, has been subpoenaed to testify before a special grand jury next week. Assuming he does show up, Giuliani is expected to object to answering key questions on the basis of attorney-client privilege, which could result in a separate closed-door hearing before a state judge.

But even as his investigation picks up steam and appears to be moving much faster than the US Justice Department’s own investigation, Willis has also faced setbacks. In a bug last week, Fulton County Chief Judge Robert McBurney disqualified her and her office from questioning a subpoenaed witness, Republican State Sen. Burt Jones, who is the GOP candidate for lieutenant governor, because Willis had previously co-sponsored a fundraiser. primary fundraiser for Charlie Bailey, now the Democrat. candidate for lieutenant governor. “This scenario creates a simple, real and unsustainable conflict,” McBurney wrote.

FILE - Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis poses for a photo in her office on Feb. 24, 2021 in Atlanta.  When prospective grand jurors appear in an Atlanta courthouse on Monday, May 2, 2022, they will find a television camera in the courtroom and streets closed off outside, a nod to the intense public interest in the investigation into whether former President Donald Trump and others illegally attempted to pressure Georgia officials to overturn Joe Biden's presidential election victory in the state.  (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

In seeking an impeachment campaign against Willis, Trump allies are borrowing a page from the playbook of activists who have pursued impeachment campaigns against progressive prosecutors in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Philadelphia. (The impeachment effort against San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin was recently successful.) But any Georgia campaign faces extremely high barriers under the state’s recall law. Withdrawals are only allowed for specific crimes, including acts of embezzlement or misconduct in office, violations of the office holder’s oath, failure to perform duties “prescribed by law,” and willful misuse of public funds or property. In addition, the law requires recall proponents to gather signatures equal to 30 percent of the registered voters in the jurisdiction where the incumbent is located. As of 2020, there were 806,451 registered voters in Fulton County. That means recall organizers would have to collect more than 240,000 signatures for Willis to be recalled on the ballot.

Chris Huttman, a Democratic political consultant who polled for the Willis campaign for DA in 2020, noted that Trump polled 137,247 votes (or 26 percent of the total) in Fulton County that year. “That means that even if every Trump voter in Fulton County signed the petition [for recall]they would still have to go out and find another 100,000 signatures.”

Ironically, and in stark contrast to progressive prosecutors in other cities who have faced impeachment, Willis received the endorsement of the police union in his race against incumbent District Attorney Paul Howard and campaigned on a platform of more aggressive prosecution of violent crimes.

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