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Special prosecutor to probe Georgia Lt. Gov. Burt Jones in Trump case

Jones argued that Willis had a conflict of interest in the case because she raised money for the Democrat who lost to him in 2022.

Published: August 16, 2023 7:36am

Updated: August 16, 2023 10:01am

A special prosecutor will be selected to consider whether Georgia Republican Lt. Gov. Burt Jones should be charged in connection to the indictment of former President Donald Trump and 18 of his allies for alleged efforts to alter the 2020 presidential election results in the state, a Georgia agency said.

Jones, who was state senator during the 2020 election cycle, tried to get the Georgia Legislature to convene at the time to overturn President Joe Biden's win in the state. He is also accused of being one of the 16 "alternate electors" who claimed Trump won the state and he could disregard the popular vote and cast his ballot for Trump in the Electoral College, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.

Jones argued last year that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, a Democrat who led the probe of Trump, had a conflict of interest in the case because she raised money for the Democrat who lost to Jones in the 2022 lieutenant governor's election. 

Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney agreed with Jones and said in a hearing that Willis' decision to organize the fundraiser for the opponent was a "what are you thinking?" moment.

Georgia's Prosecuting Attorneys Council Executive Director Pete Skandalakis said Tuesday that he will begin searching for a special prosecutor to appoint to probe whether Jones acted criminally.

"Ultimately, the special prosecutor will make the decision about whether or not to file any charges," Skandalakis told the wire service.

Like Trump, Jones has also denied any wrongdoing in the case and suggested that Willis' probe was politically motivated.

State Senate Democratic Minority Leader Gloria Butler, however, approved of the decision. 

"He doesn’t get a pass simply because the Fulton County DA wasn’t permitted to bring charges," Butler said.

It is unclear how long a special prosecutor would need to bring charges, if any, against Jones after Willis' multi-year investigation. The Fulton County district attorney only brought charges against three of the 16 Republican alternate electors who attested that Trump won in Georgia.

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