OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Former New York City mayor and attorney to then-President Donald Trump has issued a warning to the former commander-in-chief’s political allies ahead of surrendering to authorities in Fulton County, Ga., where he was booked on charges stemming from the 2020 election.
Giuliani spoke to reporters in New York City as he prepared to take a flight south.
“I am fighting for justice. I have been from the first moment I represented Donald Trump, and as a man who has now been proven innocent several times,” he said.
“I don’t know how many times he has to be proven innocent, and they have to be proven to be liars. Actually, enemies of our republic, we are destroying rights, sacred rights,” the former federal prosecutor said.
“They are destroying my right to counsel, my right to be a lawyer. They’re destroying his right to counsel. It’s not accidental they’ve indicted all the lawyers. Never heard of that before in America. All the lawyers indicted,” he said.
“Now, whether you dislike or like Donald Trump, let me give you a warning. They’re gonna come for you. When the political winds shift, as they always do, let us pray that Republicans are more honest, more trustworthy, and more American than these people in charge of this government,” he added, noting that especially under President Joe Biden, the justice system has become increasingly “politicized.”
Meanwhile, state Republicans in Georgia who control the legislature are reportedly seeking new ways to shield Trump and the others who have been indicted from what they see as a Democrat-led effort to punish political foes.
Specifically, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace reported on Friday during a segment with fellow network colleague Rev. Al Sharpton “that Republicans in Georgia are looking to change Georgia’s rules on pardons after a state senator sent a letter to Governor Brian Kemp, demanding he convene an emergency special session for ‘the review and response to the actions’ of Fulton County DA Fani Willis.”
But a top deputy to House Speaker Jon Burns dismissed the idea, noting that in order to change the rules, it would require changing the state constitution, which can only happen with a two-thirds majority in both chambers.
“Given the political makeup of the General Assembly,” Burns spokesman Kaleb McMichen told the AJC, “such an amendment is not feasible and thus would not merit consideration.”
Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican with whom Trump has sparred in the past over the outcome of the 2020 election in Georgia, has pardon authority, but there are limits.
According to US News:
Similar to a commander in chief, a governor wields executive authority. And Georgia is a solidly Republican state, with a GOP governor, decisive Republican majorities in both chambers of the legislature and a solidly red congressional delegation. So a pardon wouldn’t necessarily generate a seismic electoral wave and might even be welcomed in some quarters.
Yet, for any number of other reasons, a Trump pardon in Georgia is all but out of the question.
For one thing, the authority of Gov. Brian Kemp to issue pardons is not absolute. Georgia is one of six states where pardons are granted by an independent board whose members are appointed by the governor – unlike 41 other states where governors hold such power or share the responsibility with an independent body.
“In a normal process, if you were just a run-of-the-mill federal prisoner, you would apply, go through the DOJ, and the president would green light it or red light,” Amy Lee Copeland, a former federal prosecutor and criminal defense lawyer in Savannah, told the outlet. “Georgia is a lot different.”
“It’s not automatic,” Copeland added. “You don’t get convicted, and then you can immediately apply for a pardon.”