House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) fired off a sweeping request for documents dealing with former President Trump’s prosecution for election interference in Georgia, asking Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D) to turn over all records relating to the case.
Sent hours before Trump is expected to surrender at the Fulton County Jail, the letter cites “concerns about [Willis’s] motivation” in bringing the case and suggests her sprawling racketeering indictment against the former president and 18 others highlights “the threat that such state prosecutions can pose to the operations of the federal government.”
The letter also asked whether Willis at any point communicated with the team of special counsel Jack Smith, who earlier this month brought federal charges against Trump related to his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
The letter mirrors those the committee has sent related to other criminal cases against Trump and echoes the former president’s frequent complaints that all of the charges leveled against him are motivated by politics rather than any wrongdoing.
“The timing of this prosecution reinforces concerns about your motivation,” Jordan wrote.
“You did not bring charges until two-and-a-half years later, at a time when the campaign for the Republican presidential nomination is in full swing,” he continued. “Moreover, you have requested that the trial in this matter begin on March 4, 2024, the day before Super Tuesday and eight days before the Georgia presidential primary.”
Willis’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Jordan’s panel has frequently sought information on criminal probes into Trump at key junctures.
He sent a letter to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D) before he had even brought charges against Trump, writing that he was “reportedly about to engage in an unprecedented abuse of prosecutorial authority.”
He’s also sent two letters to Attorney General Merrick Garland concerning Smith’s investigation.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) asks a question during a hearing on Wednesday, June 21, 2023 to discuss the report from Special Counsel John Durham about the “Crossfire Hurricane” probe into allegations of contacts between Russia and former President Trump’s 2016 campaign. (Greg Nash)
Thursday’s letter lays out a case for Trump, arguing the actions he took in Georgia — asking the secretary of state to “find” enough votes for him to win and assembling a slate of fake electors — could be considered official actions taken by a president.
“When states rely on acts like these—apparently taken in connection with official duties—to criminally prosecute federal officers, it raises serious concerns under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution and poses a threat to the operations of the federal government,” Jordan writes.
“The threat of future state prosecution for official acts may dissuade federal officers from effectively performing their official duties and responsibilities.”
He also posits that such prosecutions could have a chilling effect on presidents while in office.
“To the extent that presidents fear that they may be subject to politically motivated prosecutions after they leave office, this could impact the policies they choose to pursue while in office,” Jordan said.
“And because this former President is a current candidate for that office, the indictment implicates another core federal interest: a presidential election.”
For her part, Willis has denied having any contact with Smith.
“I don’t know what Jack Smith is doing, Jack Smith doesn’t know what I’m doing. In all honesty, if Jack Smith was standing next to me, I’m not sure I would know who he was. My guess is he probably can’t pronounce my name correctly,” Willis told local media ahead of filing charges.
Updated at 11:13 a.m.