Gov. Kemp Targets ‘Rogue’ Prosecutors with New Bill Amid Scrutiny of Fani Willis

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The Republican Governor Brian Kemp signed into law on Wednesday a bill that aims to rein in perceived misconduct by prosecutors. This is especially relevant for Fulton County district attorney Fani Willis, given the controversy surrounding her handling a case involving Donald Trump, the former president.

The newly-enacted law allows the Prosecuting Attorneys Qualifications Commission (established just last year) to develop independent protocols for disciplining or removing prosecutors, without needing approval from the Supreme Court of the state.

Kemp, during the bill signing ceremony, stressed the role of legislation in combating the rise in crime rates.

This legislation will ensure that rogue or incompetent prosecutors who refuse to enforce the law are held accountable. We all know that crime is on the rise in the United States, but it’s especially common in cities with prosecutors who are not upholding the law or giving criminals a pass.

This law requires district attorneys and solicitors-general to review each case individually. It also prohibits blanket refusals of prosecution for certain types of crimes. This measure is similar to Texas legislation which prohibits prosecutors from dismissing abortion-related cases.

Kemp accused prosecutors of prioritizing their political agendas above public safety.

“When prosecutors put political agendas ahead of public safety, they endanger lives and property, putting the well-being of our communities at risk. We reaffirm today our commitment to safeguarding public safety and ensuring prosecutors prioritize justice. Georgians deserve a safe environment in their neighborhood.”

Kemp signed the legislation that established the Prosecuting Attorneys Qualifications Commission in August, but its implementation was hampered when, in November, the Supreme Court of the State refused to approve proposed regulations, citing concerns over its jurisdiction regarding district attorney duties outside the realm of legal practice. The new law does not require Supreme Court approval.

Burns, the Republican House Speaker, clarified that this legislation was not specifically directed at Willis. Willis, however, is embroiled in an ongoing legal dispute that seeks to remove her from the Trump prosecution because of her romantic relationship with Nathan Wade, Willis’ special prosecutor.

Burns stated that:

“The focus of the House is not one individual, but rather a group. It’s asking those who are elected to do their job and protect the people of this state, just as I am.”

Before the law’s passage, the state Senate created a special investigation committee. The purpose of the committee was to investigate allegations that Willis had misused state money by appointing Wade as a special prosecutor for the Trump case to gain personal benefit. Ashleigh Merchant is the defense attorney of co-defendant Michael Roman who raised initial concerns about Wade.

While Judge Scott McAfee has yet to decide on the legal challenge of removing Willis and Wade as part of the Trump prosecution, several charges were dismissed in the case on Wednesday.