GOP-led House committee launches probe into Trump Georgia election case

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis speaks to the media after a grand jury brought back indictments against former President Donald Trump and 18 of his allies in their attempt to overturn the state’s 2020 election results, in Atlanta, Georgia, Aug. 14, 2023.

Elijah Nouvelage | Reuters

The Republican-led House Judiciary Committee opened an investigation into the work of the Atlanta prosecutor who has criminally charged Donald Trump and others with interfering in the 2020 presidential election in Georgia.

The House committee on Thursday sent Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis a letter asking for documents and information, including any communications her office had with Jack Smith, the federal special counsel prosecuting Trump on charges related to trying to overturn the national results of the 2020 election.

“Your indictment and prosecution implicate substantial federal interests, and the circumstances surrounding your actions raise serious concerns about whether they are politically motivated,” Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, wrote Willis.

“The indictment appears to be an attempt to use state criminal law to regulate the conduct of federal officers acting in their official capacities,” Jordan wrote.

In addition to asking for communications with Smith, Jordan asked for documents related to the District Attorney’s office’s use of federal funds, and her communications with any officials in the federal executive branch.

Jordan asked Willis to provide the information by Sept. 7.

Trump is due to surrender at an Atlanta jail on Thursday evening to be booked in the case. Eighteen other people, including lawyers who promoted false claims about the 2020 election, also were indicted in the case.

The lion’s share of Jordan’s letter is dedicated to justifying why a congressional committee has the right to demand information about a state criminal investigation.

Traditionally, the committee’s jurisdiction is limited to oversight of federal courts and federal officials.

But Jordan claims that Willis’ case, which concerns Trump’s effort to overturn his loss to President Joe Biden by interfering in Georgia’s results, falls under his committee’s purview because she is targeting actions of then-federal officials, among them Trump and his White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.

The House Judiciary Committee earlier this year demanded similar information from the office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg Jr., who is prosecuting Trump in another criminal case.

Bragg charged Trump in New York state Supreme Court with falsifying business records related to a 2016 hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.

Trump has pleaded not guilty in that case.

Trump is currently leading polls among all contenders for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

In his letter, Jordan noted that Willis had “identified a number of acts that you claim were committed in furtherance of this purported criminal enterprise” by Trump and others.

Those include “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.”

— Additional reporting by CNBC’s Christina Wilkie.

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