“Your indictment and prosecution implicate substantial federal interests, and the circumstances surrounding your actions raise serious concerns about whether they are politically motivated.”
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan demanded Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis explain the indictments against President Donald Trump and 18 other people.
“Your indictment and prosecution implicate substantial federal interests, and the circumstances surrounding your actions raise serious concerns about whether they are politically motivated,” wrote Jordan.
Trump is expected to surrender today. Authorities said they would fingerprint him and take a mugshot as they did with those who had already surrendered.
First off, before I get into the meat and potatoes of the letter, I wonder how many people will scream that Jordan is threatening Willis because of a valid observation:
Third, because Congress appropriates federal funds that are distributed to local law enforcement agencies, it has an interest in overseeing how the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office has used such funds, including whether it has expended any federal dollars on this investigation. As a federal court recently explained, “[t]here can be no doubt that Congress may permissibly investigate the use of federal funds, particularly where the result of the investigation might prompt Congress to pass legislation changing how such funds are appropriated or may be spent.”
In other words, don’t waste money and time on frivolous investigations.
Jordan pointed out the many actions that caused the committee to question the motivation behind the indictments:
Turning first to the question of motivation, it is noteworthy that just four days before this indictment, you launched a new campaign fundraising website that highlighted your investigation into President Trump. Additionally, the forewoman of the special grand jury you convened to investigate President Trump earlier this year bragged during an unusual media tour about her excitement at the prospect of subpoenaing President Trump and getting to swear him in. Last week, the Fulton County Superior Court’s Clerk publicly released a list of criminal charges against President Trump reportedly hours before the vote of the grand jury. A Fulton County court has disqualified you from targeting current Georgia Lieutenant Governor Burt Jones as part of your probe on the grounds that you actively supported and held fundraising events for his Democratic opponent. And unlike officials in other jurisdictions, Fulton County officials “have suggested [they] will process [the former President] as [a] typical criminal defendant, requiring mug shots and possibly even cash bond.”
The timing of the indictment is also suspicious:
The timing of this prosecution reinforces concerns about your motivation. In February 2021, news outlets reported that you directed your office to open an investigation into President Trump. Indeed, sometime on or around February 11, 2021, your office purportedly sent a letter to several Republican officials in Georgia, requesting that they preserve documents relating to a “matter . . . of high priority” that your office was investigating. Yet, you did not bring charges until two-and-a-half years later, at a time when the campaign for the Republican presidential nomination is in full swing. Moreover, you have requested that the trial in this matter begin on March 4, 2024, the day before Super Tuesday and eight days before the Georgia presidential primary. It is therefore unsurprising many have speculated that this indictment and prosecution are designed to interfere with the 2024 presidential election.
Jordan also told Willis the indictment and prosecution “appears to be an attempt to use state criminal law to regulate the conduct of federal officers acting in their official capacities.” He provided two examples.
Count 1 is “violation of the Georgia RICO ACT,” which Jordan said “seeks to criminalize under Georgia law the White House Chief of Staff arranging meetings and phone calls for the President.”
Count 22 is a “criminal attempt to commit false statements and writings.” Jordan told Willis that this count “seeks to criminalize under Georgia law internal deliberations within DOJ, including a meeting where a former DOJ official requested formal authorization from his superiors to take an official act.”
Jordan mentioned that other parts of the indictment have the Republicans wondering if Willis wants to “criminalize under Georgia law certain speech of federal officers, including the President.” We all know criminalizing speech violates the First Amendment.
It’s unfortunate that Jordan has to give Willis, a district attorney, a basic civic lesson.
“When states rely on acts like these—apparently taken in connection with official duties— to criminally prosecute federal officers, it raises serious concerns under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution and poses a threat to the operations of the federal government,” continued Jordan. “The threat of future state prosecution for official acts may dissuade federal officers from effectively performing their official duties and responsibilities.”
You can find the Supremacy Clause in the Constitution in Article VI, Paragraph 2. The clause “prohibits states from interfering with the federal government’s exercise of its constitutional powers, and from assuming any functions that are exclusively entrusted to the federal government.”
First of all, federal law allows “any federal officer” to move a state prosecution to a federal court. What kind of precedent would this case set? Jordan thinks any future prosecution could “dissuade federal officers from effectively performing their official duties and responsibilities.”
Former presidents have Secret Service protection along with certain funding. Therefore, Congress can probe and investigate if any President is facing “politically motivated state investigations and prosecutions.” Jordan expressed worry that if a president thinks he could face these prosecutions, it “could impact the policies they choose to pursue while in office.”
Jordan also justified the investigation because supposedly Willis’s office worked with DOJ Special Counsel Jack Smith.
1. All documents and communications referring or relating to the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office’s receipt and use of federal funds;
2. All documents and communications between or among the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office and DOJ and its components, including but not limited to the Office of Special Counsel Jack Smith, referring or relating to your office’s investigation of President Donald Trump or any of the other eighteen individuals against whom charges were brought in the indictment discussed above; and
3. All documents and communications between the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office and any federal Executive Branch officials regarding your office’s investigation of President Donald Trump or any of the other eighteen individuals against whom charges were brought in the indictment discussed above.
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.