Judge disqualifies Fulton County DA from investigating alternate Trump elector

Judge Robert McBurney ruled that Willis had a conflict of interest in investigating Jones.

Updated: July 25, 2022 - 9:57pm

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A superior court judge on Monday barred Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis from conducting a criminal investigation into Republican state Sen. Burt Jones, who was on a list of alternate Georgia electors supporting President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney ruled that Willis had a conflict of interest in investigating Jones after she held a fundraiser in June for his Democratic election opponent. Jones is seeking the state's lieutenant governorship in November.

"This scenario creates a plain — and actual and untenable — conflict," McBurney wrote, according to The Hill. "Any decision the District Attorney makes about Senator Jones in connection with the grand jury investigation is necessarily infected by it."

Reports revealed last week that 11 of the 16 members of the alternate slate of Trump electors had become targets in a criminal probe as part of Willis' investigation into the Trump campaign's efforts to challenge the presidential election results in the state. A grand jury subpoenaed Georgia Republican Rep. Jodi Hice earlier this month over his involvement with Trump's effort.

Then-President Donald Trump narrowly lost Georgia to Democratic challenger Joe Biden in 2020. The narrow margin and irregularities in the counting process fueled accusations of voter fraud, which the Trump campaign demanded state officials investigate. Georgia Republicans Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger both drew significant criticism from Trump and his allies over their perceived mishandling of the 2020 election process.