Who Will Probe Georgia Politician’s Role in Trump Case?
Lt. Gov. Burt Jones of Georgia, a Trump supporter who acted as a fake elector in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election, may face criminal charges. However, the Fulton County district attorney was blocked from developing a case against Jones due to a potential conflict of interest, and now the task of finding a special prosecutor falls to the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia. The choice of prosecutor is delicate, with Democrats and Republicans likely to protest if the chosen prosecutor is perceived as partisan, while options are further limited by the potential for consideration of private lawyers and the financial constraints associated with that.
Georgia Lt. Gov. Burt Jones Faces Potential Criminal Charges Linked to Election Interference
Last summer, ex-President Donald Trump and 18 allies were indicted for election interference in Georgia, leaving an unanswered question: Will criminal charges be brought against Lt. Gov. Burt Jones, an ambitious Trump supporter? Jones was among the 16 Republicans who acted as fake electors for Trump in a bid to overturn his 2020 defeat, out of which three are facing felony charges.
In 2022, a judge stopped Fulton County district attorney Fani T. Willis from developing a case against Jones due to a conflict of interest. As a result, the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia is now tasked with finding a special prosecutor to investigate Jones, who denies wrongdoing.
Selection Process for Special Prosecutor Underway
Peter J. Skandalakis, the head of the agency, confirmed that he would choose the prosecutor for the Jones case. The district attorney in Augusta, Jared T. Williams, announced his interest in taking the job. This situation presents a challenge for Skandalakis as choosing a Democrat like Williams may upset Republicans, while choosing a Republican might provoke Democrats. Despite the pressure, Skandalakis remains unfazed. Jones, meanwhile, has hinted at a potential gubernatorial run in 2026.
Negotiations Continue Amid Challenges
Skandalakis expressed concern over Williams’ involvement in a lawsuit against a new oversight commission for local prosecutors, a move that was supported by Jones. Other potential prosecutors have also been ruled out due to their participation in the lawsuit. The selection process is further complicated by resource constraints, as expressed by Tasha M. Mosley, the district attorney of Clayton County. She turned down Skandalakis’ offer to take the case due to insufficient resources.
Special Prosecutor Selection Process: What Comes Next?
Skandalakis could appoint a private lawyer to reduce partisan tensions; however, an outside lawyer would be paid no more than $70 per hour. Alternatively, Skandalakis himself could act as the special prosecutor. Jones, who has previously labeled the investigation into election interference as an “abuse of power,” could face indictment charges including forgery if selected for investigation.
Jones Faces Civil Suit and Preps for Potential Gubernatorial Run
Recent actions by Jones imply he may run for governor in 2026, including an attack ad against potential Republican primary rival, Brad Raffensperger. Meanwhile, Jones is facing a civil suit filed by four Georgia voters for his part in the alleged insurrection when he falsely claimed to be a Georgia elector.
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