On Thursday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) sent a letter to Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis demanding information and communications with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Executive Branch officials, and information on federal funding that the office receives. This letter comes as the Committee launches an inquiry into whether the Fulton County District Attorney’s office coordinated with federal officials, including DOJ Special Counsel Jack Smith, for its politicized indictment of former President Donald Trump, a former White House Chief of Staff, and a former U.S. DOJ official.
Ms. Willis’s indictment and prosecution implicate substantial federal interests, and the circumstances surrounding her actions raise serious concerns about whether such actions are politically motivated. Given the weighty federal interests at stake, the Committee is conducting oversight of this matter to determine whether any legislative reforms are appropriate or necessary.
Excerpts of the letter:
“On August 14, 2023, you brought a 41-count indictment against 19 defendants— including a former President of the United States and current declared candidate for that office, his attorneys, a former White House Chief of Staff, and a former U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) official—related to the 2020 election for President of the United States. Among other things, you have alleged that these 19 individuals, 30 unindicted co-conspirators, and others were part of a ‘criminal enterprise.’ And you have identified a number of acts that you claim were committed in furtherance of this purported criminal enterprise, including: (1) the then-White House Chief of Staff asking a Member of Congress for the phone number of the Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives; (2) the then-President tweeting that hearings in the Georgia legislature were being aired on a news channel and commenting on those hearings; and (3) numerous acts taking place in other states not involving the conduct of the 2020 election in Georgia or the counting of the votes cast in Georgia. Your indictment and prosecution implicate substantial federal interests, and the circumstances surrounding your actions raise serious concerns about whether they are politically motivated.
“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 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.
“Moreover, this indictment and prosecution implicate several significant federal interests. First, the indictment appears to be an attempt to use state criminal law to regulate the conduct of federal officers acting in their official capacities. In Count 22, for example, the indictment 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. And in Count 1, the indictment seeks to criminalize under Georgia law the White House Chief of Staff arranging meetings and phone calls for the President. There are also aspects of the indictment that give rise to questions about whether your office is seeking to criminalize under Georgia law certain speech of federal officers, including the President, that is protected by the First Amendment. Especially given the potential for states to target certain federal officials, such indictments implicate core federal interests.”
Chairman Jordan requested the following:
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.
Read the full letter to Fulton County DA Fani Willis here.