Trump Again Loses Bid to Remove Prosecutor

Georgia judge sees no grounds to interfere with investigation
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2023 6:57 PM CDT
Trump Again Is Rejected in Trying to Block Georgia Case
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis poses for a portrait in April in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)

Former President Donald Trump lost another attempt to block a criminal investigation into attempts to change the results of the 2020 presidential election, when a Georgia judge ruled against him on Monday. Trump's team filed a motion in March seeking to quash a grand jury's findings and remove Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis from the case. Trump hasn't been indicted, and Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney saw that as a problem with the motion, Politico reports. While Trump may not want to be the subject of investigation, McBurney wrote, "no court ever has held that that status alone provides a basis for the courts to interfere with or halt the investigation."

If Willis secures charges against Trump, that would be the time to challenge the process, the judge said. "Guessing at what that picture might look like before the investigative dots are connected ... is not a proper role for the courts," McBurney wrote. Trump went to the Georgia Supreme Court earlier this month with a similar request and was summarily shut down, part of a legal campaign the judge doesn't seem to appreciate. "Perplexingly, prematurely, and with the standard pugnacity, Trump has filed not one but two mandamus actions against the District Attorney and this Court," the ruling says, per ABC News.

There are indications that an indictment of Trump in the case is near. "We've been working for two and a half years—we're ready to go," Willis said over the weekend. Trump's arguments for removing Willis include saying she supports Democrats and thus has a conflict, and he's criticizing her public comments on the case, per CNN. McBurney countered that the district attorney has said nothing publicly about whether Trump is guilty and has only said that she's following evidence and that it's an important case. "Put differently," he wrote, "the District Attorney's Office has been doing a fairly routine—and legally unobjectionable—job of public relations in a case that is anything but routine." (More Donald Trump stories.)

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