Georgia Gov. Kemp Signs Bill Targeting 'Rogue' Prosecutors Amid Fani Willis Scrutiny

Alyssa Pointer/Pool Photo via AP

On Wednesday, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp (R) signed a bill into law that is designed to reign in rogue prosecutors amid scrutiny of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, particularly regarding her prosecution of former President Donald Trump


The new law grants the Prosecuting Attorneys Qualifications Commission, established just last year, the authority to establish its own rules for disciplining and removing prosecutors without seeking state Supreme Court approval. 

At the bill signing ceremony, Kemp said the bill would help address the rising crime rate, saying,

This legislation will help us ensure rogue and incompetent prosecutors are held accountable if they refuse to uphold the law. As we know all too well, crime has been on the rise across the country, and is especially prevalent in cities where prosecutors are giving criminals a free pass or failing to put them behind bars due to lack of professional conduct.

The law would make district attorneys and solicitors general prosecuting low-level cases in county jurisdictions to review each case individually, rather than refusing to prosecute entire categories of offenses. The law is being compared to Texas legislation enacted so that prosecutors could not refuse to prosecute all abortion-related crimes.

The Governor condemned prosecutors for putting political agendas ahead of public safety, saying:

When prosecutors prioritize political agendas over public safety, it jeopardizes the well-being of our communities, endangering lives and property. Today, we reaffirm our commitment to safeguarding public safety and ensuring that prosecutors prioritize justice. Georgians deserve nothing less than a secure environment within their own neighborhoods.


While Kemp signed legislation last year establishing the Prosecuting Attorneys Qualifications Commission, its operational launch was stifled when the state Supreme Court refused to approve proposed regulations in November that would govern its conduct. The justices expressed reservations about their capacity to oversee the responsibilities of district attorneys beyond legal practice. The new law eliminates the need for Supreme Court approval.

Republican House Speaker Jon Burns clarified that the legislation was not specifically targeting Willis. However, Willis is currently facing a legal challenge seeking her removal from the Trump prosecution due to a romantic relationship with Nathan Wade, the special prosecutor she appointed to the case.

Burns said,

For us in the House, our focus is not on any one person, not on any one situation. It’s about asking the folks that are elected, just like me, to do their jobs and protect the citizens of this state.

Related: Fani Willis and Nathan Wade Now Facing Trouble With the Georgia State Bar

Ahead of the enactment of the new law, the state Senate has already formed a special investigative committee to examine allegations that Willis used state funds to her benefit by hiring Wade as a special prosecutor in the Trump case. The committee has taken testimony from Ashleigh Merchant, defense attorney for co-defendant Michael Roman, who initially raised concerns about Wade. 


While Judge Scott McAfee has not yet ruled on the legal challenge to remove Willis and Wade from the Trump prosecution, he dismissed several charges in the case on Wednesday. 

Read More: Judge in Fulton County Case Dismisses Several Charges Against Trump


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