Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis responded this week to demands from Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who called for the prosecutor to hand over documents and communications relating to her investigation into former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia.
Willis sent a letter on Wednesday rejecting Jordan’s demands for the documents, which he requested in the days after Willis’s office indicted Trump over the summer. A number of political observers have suggested that Jordan’s demands were motivated solely by a desire to intimidate Willis and aid Trump.
Willis’s letter makes the same observation, suggesting that Jordan is unaware of how the law works — or worse, is aware and doesn’t care, so long as it is helpful to the former president’s cause.
Per federal law, committee leaders in Congress cannot issue such demands without a compelling reason. Jordan maintained in his last correspondence to Willis that he has a “strong legislative interest in ensuring that popularly elected local prosecutors do not misuse their law-enforcement authority.” In rejecting his first demand for documents, Jordan claimed that Willis is “actively and aggressively engaged in such a scheme,” a hearsay argument that lacks substance.
The evidence that Willis has presented in her case against the former president has been deemed sound by many legal experts, who have noted that Trump, in a recorded phone call in early January 2021, demanded that a state election official “find” him additional votes in order to win the state’s 16 Electoral College votes, in apparent violation of Georgia law.
In a letter sent to Jordan on Wednesday, Willis forcefully rejected the congressman’s demands once more.
“A charitable explanation of your correspondence is that you are ignorant of the United States and Georgia Constitutions and codes,” Willis said. “A more troubling explanation is that you are abusing your authority as Chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary to attempt to obstruct and interfere with a Georgia criminal prosecution.”
Willis noted that Jordan’s pursuit of her office’s records appeared to be wholly political, as he “boasted” on Fox News that he was making the demand in part “to stop this stuff,” referring to investigations and charges against Trump.
“While you may enjoy immunity under the United States Constitution’s Speech or Debate Clause, that does not make your behavior any less offensive to the rule of law,” Willis reminded the GOP lawmaker.
Jordan also maintains — without evidence — that Willis’s charges happened in part due to coordination with the Department of Justice (DOJ), which has indicted Trump in two separate investigations.
“To the extent you have specific questions about the Department of Justice’s communications, we refer you to the Department of Justice,” Willis told Jordan in her letter.
Willis issued 13 indictments against Trump relating to his efforts to persuade Georgia state officials to overturn his 2020 election loss in the state to President Joe Biden. The charges against Trump include attempting to solicit a public officer to violate their oath, conspiring to impersonate a public official, conspiracy to commit forgery (through the coordination of fake electors in the state), and racketeering.
Jordan, a Trump loyalist who voted against certifying the 2020 election results on January 6, 2021, recently sought the endorsement of his party’s House conference to become speaker of the House. Although he lost that endorsement by a narrow margin, Jordan’s loyalty to Trump paid off, as the former president publicly stated last week that Republicans should select Jordan to fill the position.
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