The Republican-controlled Georgia Senate voted Friday to investigate allegations that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis was involved in an improper relationship with the special prosecutor she hired in the election interference case against Donald Trump.
A resolution senators passed 30-19 along party lines will create a special committee with subpoena power to probe the allegations against Willis, who obtained an indictment last August accusing Trump and 18 others of trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election in Georgia that saw Democrat Joe Biden carry the Peach State over then-President Trump.
The allegations against Willis surfaced earlier this month in a motion filed in Fulton County Superior Court on behalf of Michael Roman, one of the defendants charged in the case. Willis has yet to respond directly to the charges but is expected to file a response with the court by a Feb. 2 deadline.
On Friday, Senate Republicans said investigating Willis’ alleged improper involvement with special prosecutor Nathan Wade is a proper role for Georgia lawmakers because Wade has been paid nearly $654,000 in legal fees to pursue the case since January 2022.
“I am deeply troubled by the poor judgement of our D.A., Fani Willis,” Sen. Brandon Beach, R-Alpharetta, told his colleagues on the Senate floor before Friday’s vote. “I believe this scheme … was a fraud against the court and a fraud against the taxpayer.”
But Senate Democrats said there are existing processes for investigating the allegations against Willis, both the court system itself and the Senate Ethics Committee.
Sen. Josh McLaurin, D-Sandy Springs, accused Republicans of engaging in “political theater” by forming a special committee specifically to go after Willis.
“Why are we creating a new entity with extraordinary subpoena power and the ability to put people under oath for only this issue?” McLaurin asked.
“We’ve got a system to deal with it,” added Sen. David Lucas, D-Macon. “Let it play out.”
But Sen. Greg Dolezal, R-Cumming, the resolution’s chief sponsor, said the legislature’s duty to oversee the spending of tax dollars gives lawmakers the right to investigate the allegations against Willis.
“This resolution is about an officer of the state of Georgia … and how they are using state funds,” Dolezal said. “This falls squarely within what we should be talking about and what we should be addressing.”
The special committee will consist of nine senators, three of whom must be from the chamber’s minority party.
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