OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
After a state senator called for an emergency session of the legislature to talk about impeaching Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, Republican Gov. Brian Kemp has responded.
The governor said that he did not see any evidence that State Sen. Colton Moore had the necessary 3/5 of each state house to proceed with impeachment, Fox News reported.
“We have not been provided any evidence to support that assertion,” the governor’s spokesman, Garrison Douglas, said to Fox News.
“Given the governor was subpoenaed in this case in November of 2022, our office will not be commenting further,” the governor’s office said in response.
Moore, a Republican, responded to the governor’s spokesman.
“Tell Brian Kemp and his team to turn off CNN and open their eyes. I’ve done 25 TV, radio, and podcast interviews with one identical message: I need 3/5 of my colleagues to sign the letter,” he said. “The people of Georgia want action, not more empty promises from fluff politicians.”
The state senator sent the letter to the governor this week.
“As a Georgia State Senator, I am officially calling for an emergency session to review the actions of Fani Willis,” the state senator said. “America is under attack. I’m not going to sit back and watch as radical left prosecutors politically TARGET political opponents.”
“We, the undersigned, being duly elected members of the Georgia House of Representatives and Georgia Senate, and comprising 3/5 of each respective house, pursuant to Article IV, Section II, Paragraph VII(b), hereby certify to you, in writing, with a copy to the Secretary of State, that in our opinion an emergency exists in the affairs of the state, requiring a special session to be convened under that section, for all purposes, to include, without limitation, the review and response to the actions of Fani Willis,” he said.
State Republicans in Georgia who control the legislature are reportedly seeking new ways to shield former President Donald Trump from what they see as a Democrat-led effort to punish a political foe.
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.”
That said, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, top Republicans in the state, where the party holds a substantial majority in both chambers of the legislature, have said rule changes aren’t likely.
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.