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Georgia Gov. Kemp reveals he was interviewed by special counsel in 2020 election interference case

By Piper Hudspeth Blackburn, CNN

(CNN) — Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, who resisted intense pressure from former President Donald Trump to overturn the 2020 election results in his state, revealed Tuesday that he has been interviewed by special counsel Jack Smith’s office.

“I basically told them the same thing I told the special grand juries: that I follow the law and the Constitution and answered all their questions truthfully,” Kemp told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins on “The Source,” noting that the conversation took place “months ago” and “really didn’t last that long.”

A spokesman for the governor told CNN in July that Smith’s team had contacted Kemp but it was not previously known that he sat for an interview. The special counsel has since brought federal charges against the former president, alleging that Trump and six unindicted co-conspirators orchestrated a plot to overturn the election results on and leading up to January 6, 2021.

Kemp also provided testimony in 2022 to a special grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia, as part of a separate investigation by state prosecutors into Trump and his allies’ efforts to overturn the election in the Peach State.

Trump has pleaded not guilty in both cases and sought to interrupt the prosecutions as he campaigns to return to the White House.

When asked what he makes of Trump’s current claims that he is immune from prosecution for alleged crimes committed during his presidency, Kemp told Collins, “Well, listen, I don’t think anybody’s above the law, you know, Democrat or Republican, independent myself or anybody else.”

The former president has asked the Supreme Court to temporarily block a decision from a federal appeals court rejecting his argument that the conduct Smith charged him over was part of his official duties as president and therefore shield him from criminal liability.

And in the Georgia election interference investigation, Trump and his co-defendants have asked Judge Scott McAfee to remove Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis from the case.

Kemp dodged a question from Collins about whether the embattled district attorney should be disqualified, noting that he was a witness in the state grand jury probe and didn’t “want to speak too much.”

Willis is facing allegations from Trump and his co-defendants that she and Nathan Wade, the special prosecutor she hired to lead the case, engaged in an improper romantic relationship that financially benefited her. Both prosecutors testified under oath about their romantic relationship last week.

“We’ve had a political process there that, believe it or not, has gotten more political and we certainly saw that last week,” Kemp said.

When asked if he was worried Georgia voters may not get justice if Willis is disqualified, the governor said he trusted McAfee, whom he appointed, to follow the law.

”I would just tell you that six months, eight months ago, I never thought this case would go to trial before the election then. And I think most people think that’s the case now,” he said. “As far as I’m concerned, I don’t think voters should get too distracted on all of this and just stay focused on what’s at hand going into November and let Judge McAfee make his ruling.”

In terms of the former president’s chances in the general election, Kemp said, “I definitely think he can win. You know, I definitely think he could lose.”

Trump and Kemp have been at odds since the governor refused to overturn the election results in Georgia. After he narrowly lost the state, Trump moved to thwart the Kemp’s reelection efforts by recruiting a challenger in the 2022 GOP gubernatorial primary. Kemp was reelected anyway.

CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, Tierney Sneed, Zachary Cohen and Shania Shelton contributed to this report.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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