Donald Trump’s attempt to throw off his potential prosecution regarding Georgia’s 2020 election results have been dismissed by a state judge.
Trump has repeatedly dismissed claims he tried to subvert the state’s results amid a criminal investigation into his actions.
The former president – who lost the state by a mere 0.23 percentage points – argued that investigations should not take place as he is yet to be indicted by Georgia prosecutors.
However, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney said in a nine-page ruling that it was just too soon for Trump, or his allies, to bar state prosecutors from investigating the 77-year-old.
Judge McBurney’s ruling
Trump’s status alone was deemed not to be a suitable reason for the courts to prevent investigations, Judge McBurney ruled.
““[W]hile being the subject (or even target) of a highly publicized criminal investigation is likely an unwelcome and unpleasant experience, no court ever has held that that status alone provides a basis for the courts to interfere with or halt the investigation,” wrote McBurney.
Using indictments to rally political support was also noted.
“And for some, being the subject of a criminal investigation can, a la Rumpelstiltskin, be turned into golden political capital, making it seem more providential than problematic,” McBurney added.
It’s another blow for the former president in Georgia following a decision by the state’s supreme court last month which rejected a separate attempt to shut down an investigation into election-related offenses.
The Willis investigation
District Attorney Fani Willis is conducting a special grand jury investigation of Trump’s actions within the state following the 2020 election.
Willis, a Democrat, has naturally been the target of Donald Trump’s claims of a politically-motivated witch hunt against him.
She has indicated that formal charges are likely to be recommended against Trump this month, along with allies who assisted his efforts to overturn the state’s results.
“Guessing at what that picture might look like before the investigative dots are connected may be a popular game for the media and blogosphere, but it is not a proper role for the courts and formal legal argumentation,” McBurney added in his ruling.
Trump’s repeated jibes at Willis were also referenced, with the latter having conducted her investigation for more than a year.
However, Judge McBurney dismissed Donald Trump’s complaints due to a lack of concrete evidence, adding that Willis had not demonstrated a view of the defendant’s guilt, nor did she have a financial interest in the outcome of the case.
“While both sides have done enough talking, posting, tweeting, and press conferencing to have hit (and perhaps stretched) the bounds of Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct … neither movant has pointed to any averments from the District Attorney or her team of lawyers expressing belief that Trump … is guilty or has committed this or that offense,” McBurney wrote.
“Put differently, the District Attorney’s Office has been doing a fairly routine — and legally unobjectionable — job of public relations in a case that is anything but routine.”
“The Court appreciates that ‘a wrongful indictment is no laughing matter; often it works grievous, irreparable injury to the person indicted.’”
“However, in this situation, movants’ rather overwrought allegations of prosecutorial overreach and judicial error do not suffice to show that there is significant risk of ‘wrongful’ indictment.”
Shay Bottomley is a British journalist based in Canada. He has written for the Western Standard, Maidenhead Advertiser, Slough Express, Windsor Express, Berkshire Live and Southend Echo, and has covered notable events including the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.