Kemp accuses Fulton County prosecutor of ‘technical’ investigation amid Abrams challenge

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has accused Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis of “fabricating” her subpoena for his testimony at the height of his re-election campaign against his Democratic rival Stacey Abrams.

In a court document filed Wednesday, Kemp’s attorneys argued that Willis’ office “designed the governor’s interaction with the investigation to reach a crescendo in the middle of the election cycle.” Willis, a Democrat, is investigating an alleged Republican attempt to overturn the results of Georgia’s 2020 presidential election.

In the motion to dismiss the prosecution’s subpoena, the governor alleged that his grand jury appearance was “currently being pursued for improper political reasons.” The filing said the timing of the subpoena demonstrates “at best, a disregard for unnecessary risk to the political process and, at worst, an attempt to influence the November 2022 election cycle.”

Kemp is running for re-election in this year’s midterm cycle against longtime adversary Abrams, who narrowly lost the governorship in 2018. The Republican’s victory with 50.2 percent of the vote was the closest gubernatorial race in Georgia since 1966.

The current Real Clear Politics average of Georgia polls shows the incumbent GOP governor leading by about 4.2 points.

Kemp Fulton County Abrams
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaks during his first night election party at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame May 24 in Atlanta. In a Wednesday court filing, Kemp accused Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis of issuing a subpoena against Kemp “for improper political purposes.”
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

“What began as an investigation into election interference has itself evolved into an election interference mechanism of its own,” the court filings say.

Kemp’s legal team accused Willis of setting “artificial deadlines” because the governor had “agreed to engage” back in April 2021 — suggesting prosecutors delayed their subpoena to Kemp — and because the Grand Jury was authorized to proceed until after the election of May 2023 – so the subpoena could have been issued after the midterms.

The filing states that Kemp was scheduled for an interview with Willis back in July, but that the district attorney “abruptly” canceled it after the governor’s attorney asked about the “scope of that interview.”

In the motion filed Wednesday, Kemp’s attorneys also said the subpoena was based on sovereign immunity — a legal doctrine that says a state cannot commit a legal wrong — and “established” executive privileges granted to the governor and attorney privileges , should be repealed.

news week contacted Willis’ office for comment.

Kemp’s court filing came just as other key figures had begun testifying in Willis’s investigation.

On Wednesday, former President Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani was seen exiting the Fulton County courthouse six hours after he began testifying before the grand jury. Giuliani’s attorneys declined to comment on the substance of the testimony, but said Giuliani “showed up” and “did what we had to do.”

Subpoenas for the Fulton County investigation were also issued to Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, according to the report Constitution of the Atlanta Journaland to John Eastman, Kenneth Chesebro, Jenna Ellis, and Cleta Mitchell, who were all members of the former President’s legal team. Kemp accuses Fulton County prosecutor of ‘technical’ investigation amid Abrams challenge

Rick Schindler

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