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Donald Trump asks Georgia court to disqualify 2020 election probe prosecutor

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has been investigating since 2021 whether Trump and his allies broke any election laws.

LAWYERS FOR FORMER US president Donald Trump are asking Georgia’s highest court to prevent the district attorney who has been investigating his actions in the wake of the 2020 election from prosecuting him and to throw out a special grand jury report that is part of the inquiry.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has been investigating since early 2021 whether Trump and his allies broke any laws as they tried to overturn his narrow election loss in Georgia to Democrat Joe Biden.

The investigation was opened shortly after a recording of a phone call between Trump and Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger – in which the then-president suggested the state’s top elections official could help “find” the votes needed – became public.

Willis has suggested that she is likely to seek charges in the case from a grand jury next month.

Trump’s Georgia legal team on Friday filed similar petitions in the Georgia Supreme Court and Fulton County Superior Court naming Willis and Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, who oversaw the special grand jury, as respondents.

A spokesperson for Willis declined to comment. McBurney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trump’s legal team — Drew Findling, Jennifer Little and Marissa Goldberg — acknowledged that the filings are unusual but necessary given the tight time frame.

Willis has indicated she will use the special grand jury report to seek an indictment “within weeks, if not days”. Two new regular grand juries were seated this week, and one is likely to hear the case.

“Even in an extraordinarily novel case of national significance, one would expect matters to take their normal procedural course within a reasonable time,” the filings say.

“But nothing about these processes have been normal or reasonable. And the all-but-unavoidable conclusion is that the anomalies below are because petitioner is president Donald J Trump.”

The petitions seek to bar Willis and her office from continuing to prosecute the case.

It also asks that the report produced by the special grand jury that had been seated in the case be tossed out and that prosecutors be prevented from presenting any evidence from the panel’s investigation to a regular grand jury.

The filings ask that the courts stop “all proceedings related to and flowing from the special purpose grand jury’s investigation until this matter can be resolved”.

In a previous filing in March, Trump’s lawyers made similar requests and asked that a judge other than McBurney hear their claims.

Willis rejected the arguments as being without merit. McBurney kept the case and has yet to rule on the Trump team’s requests.

That has left Trump “stranded between the supervising judge’s protracted passivity and the District Attorney’s looming indictment” with no choice other than to seek action from the Supreme Court, his lawyers wrote.

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