Georgia House Votes to Consider Removing Prosecutors Ahead of Potential Trump Indictment

The state legislature of Georgia, which is controlled by Republicans, is debating a package of proposals that would create a commission with the authority to dismiss district attorneys and prosecutors from their positions.

Conservatives, such as Governor Brian Kemp, arguing that more control is required to stop soft-on crime prosecutors from putting Georgians in danger.

However, Democrats are taking note of the timing – Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is deciding whether to pursue indictments after her office’s investigation into former President Donald Trump’s efforts to rig the 2020 presidential election in Georgia – as well as the fact that several GOP backers of the effort, including current Lt. Gov. Burt Jones, have been targeted in Willis’ investigation.

Concerns about disregarding the will of the voters and dismissing minority prosecutors have also been expressed. The Prosecuting Attorneys Oversight Commission, which would be established under House Bill 231, would have the authority to punish, expel, and force the involuntary retirement of appointed or elected district attorneys or solicitors general.

Mental and physical incapacity, being found guilty of a crime, and behavior that jeopardizes the administration of justice and brings the office into disrepute are among the standards of conduct that might warrant the removal of a prosecutor.

The state Senate, which last week passed SB 92, a bill that was similar to the one the House of Representatives passed on Monday by a vote of 98 to 75.

Also, House Bill 229, which was submitted at the beginning of February, would reduce the percentage of voters needed to start a recall campaign against a prosecutor from 15% to 30% to just 2%.

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Georgia Republicans Rally

Legislation that would grant the state of Georgia greater authority to look into, punish, or even remove local prosecutors is moving quickly through the Georgia legislature.

The Senate gave its approval on Thursday to a bill that would establish a panel that would look into complaints and recommends sanctions or removal for district attorneys and solicitors general who disobey their responsibilities. The House is currently debating a similar plan.

The proposal has been tossed around the Capitol for years, but it gained traction this year with backing from Governor Brian Kemp and newly elected Lt. Governor Burt Jones, who have both slammed prosecutors for breaking their legal commitments.

The Senate bill’s Republican sponsor, state Sen. Randy Robertson, said it would punish prosecutors who make decisions not based on evidence but based on political leanings. This statement reflects Republican lawmakers’ worry that some officials aren’t taking low-level drug offenses seriously enough.

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