ATLANTA – Gov. Brian Kemp pushed back Thursday against a call by ultra-conservative Republicans for a special legislative session to punish Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis for seeking to indict former President Donald Trump.
Kemp he disagrees with Democrat Willis’ strategy politically but doesn’t see that she’s done anything illegal.
“We are now seeing what happens when prosecutors move forward with a highly charged indictment during an election,” the governor told reporters during a news conference at the Georgia Capitol. “[But] a special session of the General Assembly to end-around this law is not feasible and may ultimately prove unconstitutional.”
Kemp’s comments were aimed at calls for a special legislative session targeting Willis from freshman state Sen. Colton Moore, R-Trenton, and other members of the Georgia Freedom Caucus. The group plans to hold a news conference next week to air their grievances against Willis.
Another freshman Georgia senator, Republican Shawn Still of Norcross, is among 18 defendants a Fulton County grand jury indicted in mid-August along with Trump on racketeering charges in connection with alleged attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia.
Trump has called the indictment a politically motivated effort to stop his 2024 presidential bid. The former president waived arraignment Thursday and entered a plea of not guilty.
Kemp compared the current call for a special session to similar efforts by some legislative Republicans in the aftermath of the 2020 election. He refused to do so at that time based on the same argument that he lacked the legal authority.
“As long as I am governor, we’re going to follow the law and the Constitution,” Kemp said.
Kemp called efforts to punish Willis by impeachment or some other means a political loser for Republicans.
“We’re going to focus on the issues that affect all Georgians,” he said. “That’s what wins elections.”
This story available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, an initiative of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.