The district attorney who is leading a criminal case against Donald J. Trump and his allies in Georgia has accused Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio of trying to obstruct the prosecution of the case in a highly worded letter that she sent Thursday.
Shortly after District Attorney Fani T. Willis, a Democrat, announced last month that she was filing a racketeering lawsuit against Mr. Trump and 18 other defendants for their efforts to overturn the results of Georgia’s 2020 presidential election, Mr. Jordan, a Republican and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said he would investigate Ms. Willis to find out whether her prosecution of Mr. Trump was politically motivated.
In her letter, Ms. Willis accused Mr. Jordan of attempting to “obstruct criminal proceedings in Georgia and promote outrageous partisan statements” and of failing to understand how the state racketeering law works.
“Your attempt to invoke the authority of Congress to interfere in an ongoing criminal case in Georgia is in flagrant violation of the Constitution,” she added. “The defendants in this case have been charged under state law with committing state crimes. There is absolutely no support for Congress to claim to question or otherwise oversee an ongoing criminal investigation and prosecution in Georgia.
The letter came as defendants and the prosecution continued to fight legal filings over where and when the trial would take place. In a new filing, defendant Mark Meadows, who served as White House chief of staff under Mr Trump, sought to stay proceedings in state court until a judge rules on his motion to take his case to federal court.
The Georgia case is one of four criminal charges brought against Mr. Trump this year; Mr. Jordan’s investigation of Ms. Willis is the latest example of how Republicans in the House of Representatives are using their power in Congress to try to derail efforts to prosecute the former president.
When he announced his investigation last month, Mr. Jordan, a close Trump ally, said he would seek any evidence of communication between Ms. Willis and the Biden administration and look into his office’s use of federal grants. .
Although Mr. Jordan expressed concern that former federal public servants were being unfairly targeted in a lawsuit, some of the issues he raised had little to do with the facts underlying the investigation. For example, in a letter to Ms. Willis, he said his new campaign website included a reference to a New York Times article mentioning the Trump investigation.
Ms Willis’ response is the latest sign that she will not accept attacks on her office and the investigation in silence – a stark difference in style from that of Jack Smith, the more reserved and laconic special prosecutor in charge of the two federal criminal cases against Mr. Trump. .
She has a background as a pugnacious and public order prosecutor, and pursues racketeering cases not only against the former president and his allies, but also against a number of high-profile Atlanta rappers accused of lead a criminal gang.
In a heated email exchange in July about the terms of Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, testifying as part of her investigation, Ms. Willis called the governor’s lawyer, Brian McEvoy, “wrong and confusing” and ” rude,” after Mr McEvoy expressed frustration at the mixed signals he said he received from his office and claimed there had been “leaks” associated with his investigation.
“You took my kindness as a weakness,” she wrote, adding, “Despite your disdain, this investigation continues and will not be derailed by anyone’s antics.”
On Thursday, dozens of Trump supporters gathered near the state Capitol for a press conference and rally, demanding that the state legislature convene a special session to rescind funding for Ms. Willis’ office. The effort, led by Colton Moore, a new state senator, has little support among Mr. Moore’s fellow lawmakers and is almost certain to fail.
Mr Moore, who has drawn attention and praise in recent weeks from pro-Trump media, said Ms Willis was engaged in a “politicization” of the justice system. His constituents, he said, “don’t want their tax dollars to fund this kind of corrupt government power.”
In her letter to Mr. Jordan, Ms. Willis invited him to purchase a book on racketeering laws written by one of her fellow prosecutors in the Trump case, John Floyd, titled “RICO State by State.”
“As a non-member of the bar,” she writes, “you can buy a copy for two hundred and forty-nine dollars. »