By Sara Murray and Paul LeBlanc, CNN
Eleven of the “fake electors” who participated in a plan to subvert the Electoral College have asked a judge to disqualify Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis from her probe into the Republican effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election in Georgia.
The group argued in a new court filing that they are each “inextricably intertwined” with Republican state Sen. Burt Jones, a fake elector who Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney recently ruled cannot be investigated by Willis after she hosted a fundraiser for Jones’ Democratic opponent.
Last month, Willis’ office revealed that all 16 fake Trump electors in Georgia who signed on to an “unofficial electorate certificate” that was ultimately sent to the National Archives in late 2020 are targets of an ongoing criminal investigation.
The fake GOP electors specifically requested that the court “reconsider its order limiting the scope of the DA and her office’s disqualification and instead order that the disqualification applies to the entire investigation and all subsequent proceedings,” according to a court filing from their attorneys.
“Indeed, because Senator Jones has been removed from this investigation, there is arguably an even greater likelihood that the officers of his campaign partners, his running mates, his financial supporters, and his key political allies could be treated even more harshly,” the court filing continued.
If the judge is unwilling to disqualify Willis from the entire investigation, the electors have asked him to limit Willis’ power to investigate them as he limited her powers to investigate Jones.
The court filing is just the latest fallout from Willis’ fundraiser for Democrat Charlie Bailey, who is challenging Jones to be lieutenant governor in Georgia. In a hearing last month, McBurney called the decision a “‘What are you thinking?’ moment,” with “horrific” optics.
Counsel for Willis has said in previous court filings that her political support for Bailey’s campaign provides no basis for disqualification nor amounts to a conflict of interest in overseeing the grand jury.
Still, this latest court filing comes at a critical moment in Willis’ investigation. Prosecutors from her office have spent months presenting evidence and witness testimony to a special grand jury empaneled to investigate the aftermath of the 2020 election.
The grand jury is expected to hear testimony on Wednesday from Rudy Giuliani, who has been told by prosecutors that he is a target of investigation.
Giuliani’s status became public on Monday alongside other developments in the Georgia investigation — with a court ruling that Sen. Lindsey Graham must testify — as well as in several other criminal probes touching upon the ex-President and his advisers.
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