- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 18, 2022

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp wants a state court to throw out a subpoena issued by the Fulton County prosecutor as part of her push to investigate post-election actions by then-President Donald Trump and his orbit.

Attorneys for Mr. Kemp, a Republican, said in court papers Wednesday that the subpoena should be quashed because it violates the governor’s “sovereign immunity” and seems timed for “improper political purposes” as Mr. Kemp faces the “crescendo” of his reelection battle in November.

The filing said Mr. Kemp‘s attorneys tried to understand the scope of a planned July interview, only for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to cancel the session and issue the subpoena.



“Governor Kemp has ardently defended the rule of law in this state. Moreover, he welcomes opportunities to explain and defend his actions,” Mr. Kemp‘s lawyers wrote. “However, the subpoena ignores — and more importantly, the DA’s Office has refused to account for — the serious privileges it implicates in relation to the testimony of a sitting governor.”

Ms. Willis is interested in speaking to Mr. Kemp because Mr. Trump called him in December 2020 and allegedly pushed the governor to try to overturn President-elect Biden’s upset victory in Georgia.

More famously, Mr. Trump called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and urged him to “find 11,780 votes,” or enough to overturn Mr. Trump’s loss.

Former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani testified for several hours Wednesday before a special grand jury that is investigating the post-election actions in Georgia.

Mr. Trump objected to the investigation in a post early Thursday on his social media platform. He said criminal defendants get off easy but people who “challenge or protest election results in any way” are prosecuted.

“If you kill people, you will quickly be set free to murder again. Isn’t there something ‘slightly’ wrong with this scenario? A PERFECT PHONE CALL!” Mr. Trump said on Truth Social, the platform he launched after being kicked off Twitter.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, is appealing a judge’s decision to order him to testify before the grand jury.

Mr. Kemp, meanwhile, said his role as governor limits the scope of his cooperation.

“Georgia courts have no authority to compel a sitting governor to provide testimony about matters involving his official duties due to sovereign immunity,” his lawyers wrote.

A July 20 email from Ms. Willis to one of Mr. Kemp’s lawyers, which was embedded in the court filing, raised eyebrows on social media because the prosecutor offered a frank defense of her probe.

“The email you have sent is offensive and beneath an officer of the court. You are both wrong and confused,” she wrote. “This is NOT a politically motivated investigation. It is a criminal investigation and often at the end of criminal investigations people are cleared and often they go to prison. You repeatedly referring to it as a politically motivated investigation, does not make it so.”

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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