Georgia’s highest court on Monday denied a request by former President Donald Trump to block a prosecutor from prosecuting him for his actions following the 2020 election.
The Georgia Supreme Court unanimously denied a motion filed by Trump’s lawyers last week asking the court to intervene. Trump’s legal team argued that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and his office should be barred from pressing charges and that a special grand jury report forming part of the investigation should be dismissed.
Willis has been investigating since early 2021 whether Trump and his allies broke any laws as they tried to overturn his narrow election loss in Georgia to Democrat Joe Biden. She has hinted that she is likely to seek charges in the case from a grand jury next month.
The state Supreme Court noted in its five-page ruling Monday that Trump has a similar motion pending in Fulton County Superior Court. The judges unanimously refused to overrule the lower court, writing that Trump “does not show that he was prevented from having fair access to ordinary channels.”
Regarding Trump’s attempt to block prosecutors, the judges said his legal case lacked “the facts or the law necessary to order the disqualification of Willis by this Court at this time on this matter.”
A spokesperson for Willis declined to comment. Trump’s attorney, Drew Findling, did not immediately respond to phone and text messages seeking comment.
Trump’s legal team previously acknowledged that the double filings were unusual, but said they were necessary given the tight deadline. Two new regular grand juries were seated last week, and one is likely to hear the case.
Trump’s lawyers made similar demands in a previous filing in March in Fulton County Superior Court. They asked Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, who was overseeing the special grand jury, to step down and let another judge hear the Trump team’s claims. McBurney kept the case and has not yet ruled.
In their legal motion to the state Supreme Court, Trump’s attorneys argued they were “trapped between the supervising judge’s prolonged passivity and the district attorney’s impending indictment” with no choice but to to ask the High Court to intervene.
Willis opened his investigation shortly after Trump called Georgian Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in January 2021 and suggested the state’s top election official could help him “find” the votes needed to undo his electoral defeat in the state.
The special grand jury, which had no power to issue indictments, was seated last May and disbanded in January after hearing from 75 witnesses and submitting a report with recommendations for Willis. Although most of this report remains secret at this time, the panel chairman said without naming names that the special grand jury recommended indicting several people.