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Georgia DA Fani Willis Did Not Come To Play With These Trifling Republicans
The devil went down to Georgia, he was lookin' for an election to steal.
Shit is hitting the fan in Georgia, where Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis's investigation into Team Trump's efforts to steal the 2020 election is kicking into high gear .
Yesterday started with Rudy Giuliani testifying for six hours before a grand jury in Atlanta about his efforts to steal the the state's 16 electoral votes for Trump. It's not clear whether Rudy made a fulsome confession of his sins or took the Fifth, as a rational person might have done five days after being informed that he was a target of the investigation. But America's Mayor gabbled to reporters outside that he'd “satisfied his obligation," and his attorney Robert Costello told the AP that “Everyone was a lady or gentleman. Professional,” even boasting that DA Willis offered Giuliani and his lawyers warm greetings when it was over.
(Flashback to that time when Giuliani ate it in front of a Pennsylvania federal judge, only to have his trusty sidekick Jenna Ellis confidently predict victory because Hizzoner made cordial smalltalk about local restaurants after the hearing. Spoiler Alert: LOL .)
Our Roodles, the cleverest lawyer in all the land, failed to appear in New York state court to contest the subpoena, but later argued he was too sick from an old chram injury (or possibly a stent) to fly down to Atlanta, although he had just booked plane tickets for Rome. In the event, the geezer hopped a flight yesterday after all.
Then Senator Lindsey Graham, who was also subpoenaed to appear before the grand jury in Fulton County, filed an emergency motion to stay US District Judge Leigh Martin May's Friday order telling him to cut the shit and start talking. He's scheduled to testify on August 23, and he'd like a chance to make his pitch to the Eleventh Circuit that he was actually doing important senator stuff when he pressured Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to throw out enough mail-in ballots to flip the state to Trump.
And rounding out the day for the party of law and order, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp filed a motion in state court to quash his own subpoena, citing sovereign immunity and executive and attorney/client privilege, and accusing DA Willis of playing politics by timing his appearance to coincide with the November election.
"Governor Kemp has ardently defended the rule of law in this State. Moreover, he welcomes opportunities to explain and defend his actions. However, the Subpoena ignores — and more importantly, the DA's Office has refused to account for — the serious privileges it implicates in relation to the testimony of sitting Governor," his lawyers huff. "Additional [sic], through delay and artificial deadlines, the DA’s Office has engineered the Governor’s interaction with the investigation to reach crescendo in the middle of an election cycle."
Weighing down the 26-page motion are an additional 95 pages of exhibits, most of which consist of emails between the DA's office and Kemp's lawyers seeking to negotiate the terms of his appearance. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Kemp is terrified of getting (even more) crosswise with Trump by appearing to cooperate with the probe as he prepares to take on Stacey Abrams in November. And considering that Trump's lackluster support for Georgia Republicans probably cost them the US Senate in 2021, that's probably a pretty rational concern.
The grand jury didn't start hearing witness testimony until June, but Kemp's lawyers have been pushing since the spring for their client to get an unrecorded interview, not under oath, not conducted by Fani Willis herself, subject to a bar on public disclosure and a promise not to subsequently subpoena him to testify to the grand jury, and with the topics of questioning highly circumscribed and provided in advance.
Your Wonkette is not going to opine on the Georgia constitution's stance on executive privilege. We will note, however, that Judge Robert McBurney has been entirely unsympathetic to claims of both federal and state lawmakers that legislative privilege immunizes them from grand jury subpoenas.
Things came to a head on July 20 when Kemp's lawyer Brian McEvoy attempted to strong-arm prosecutors into accepting his terms by accusing them of leaking and prosecutorial misconduct in pursuit of a political investigation. That escalation prompted DA Willis to send a "Bless Your Heart" email excoriating him for his "abuse" of her staff and withdrawing the offer to come in for a voluntary interview.
"My special counsel in an effort to be a gentleman and an officer of the court has been far too polite," she wrote in a letter contained in Kemp's attorneys' filing. "The email you have sent is offensive and beneath an officer of the court. You are both wrong and confused."
"Let's discuss some of the ways you are wrong," she went on, before reading him for filth and pointing out that the leaks are coming from witnesses, not her office, and not the grand jury. As for the issue of privilege, she points out that Judge McBurney is perfectly capable of deciding what's in or out of bounds, and that her office has abided by his strictures and will continue to do so.
Willis says she directed her office to "bend over backwards" for the governor out of "respect for the position Governor Kemp holds and a fondness for his wife due to her advocacy for Human Trafficking victims.” But no more .
"We were giving Governor Kemp the courtesy of having his lawyer present for a taped interview to avoid him having to testify live. In any case, this offer is now off the table," she wrote. "He will be formally summoned to the [Special Purpose Grand Jury] and you will be welcome to wait for him in my Ruby Bridges Lobby while he testifies."
Noting that Kemp is "a mere witness that needs to come and tell the truth," Willis ends by admonishing McEvoy that "There is an old adage that people take kindness for weakness. You have taken my kindness as weakness and you have continually treated this investigation with disdain. Despite your disdain, this investigation continues and will not be derailed by anyone's antics. Your client from all public accounts surrounding this matter has acted honorably — you have failed to do the same."
Which really sums it up neatly, doesn't it? While Lindsey is working overtime to cover up all the bad shit he did, and Rudy is rolling around in a pile of his own excreta insisting that it's a healing spa treatment, Kemp is going balls to the wall to hide the fact that, when the chips were down, he refused to break the law.
That's the modern-day Republican party, ain't it?
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