Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is asking a Georgia court to dismiss Donald Trump’s request to toss the final report and evidence from a special grand jury that spent months investigating efforts by the former president and his allies attempting to overturn the 2020 election.
The district attorney’s office also argued on Monday that a new judge should not be assigned to hear the arguments from the Trump team, nor should a hearing be held on the matter.
Trump and others seeking to quash the special grand jury’s work “are not content to follow the ordinary course of the law,” Willis wrote in a court filing.
“They seek to ‘restrain’ a criminal investigation before any charges are filed or even sought; they ask that the judicial system place them above and apart from the common administration of the criminal law; and they do so by raising arguments for which they have no standing, or which they failed to timely join, or which they have already failed, or which have no basis in law at all,” she wrote.
Attorneys for Trump had asked in March for a judge at the Superior Court of Atlanta to quash the special grand jury’s work and disqualify the district attorney’s office from pursing any charges related to the sprawling investigation.
Willis, a Democrat, responded on Monday that Trump’s motions are “procedurally flawed” and should be “dismissed or denied as appropriate.”
“Overall, the Motions are procedurally flawed and advance arguments that lack merit, and the State respectfully requests that this Court retain supervision of this matter and dismiss or deny the motions as appropriate without a hearing,” Willis said in the court filing.
Cathy Latham, one of the 16 Republicans who served as “fake electors” in a plan to subvert the Electoral College in Georgia, also joined Trump’s lengthy motion in an effort to intervene in the long-running investigation by the Fulton district attorney.
In addition to signing fake certificate paperwork for Trump, Latham was also captured on security video spending hours inside restricted areas of the Coffee County election office when voter data was breached on January 7, 2021 – the day after the riot at the US Capitol.
The wide-ranging objections by Trump’s attorneys covered a number of decisions by the judge who oversaw the grand jury, the conduct of the Fulton County district attorney and a variety of media interviews by the special grand jury’s foreperson.
In the court motion filed in March, Trump’s legal team wrote that the investigation was “conducted under an unconstitutional statute, through an illegal and unconstitutional process, and by a disqualified District Attorney’s Office who violated prosecutorial standards and acted with disregard for the gravity of the circumstances and the constitutional rights of those involved.”
Willis’ reply on Monday defends her office’s actions and argues that there are no grounds for which she should be disqualified or evidence that the grand jury investigation was “tainted” in any way.
“The Movants advance constitutional arguments for which they have no standing and which fail to demonstrate the unconstitutionality of pertinent statutes,” Willis wrote in Monday’s filing.
In a statement Monday evening, Trump’s Georgia legal team said that it will ask the court Tuesday for time to file a response, adding that Willis’ filing was “primarily procedural in nature and failed to address several of the critical substantive issues.”
Willis also argued that the Trump team waited too long to argue that she should be disqualified from investigating the former president.
“By his own estimation, Mr. Trump has been at the center of an investigation which has progressed for over two years, but only now is he moving for the prosecutor’s disqualification,” Willis wrote.
A coalition of news media companies, including CNN, also filed with the Atlanta court on Monday to oppose Trump’s bid to toss out the special grand jury report, arguing that the report should be released in full.
“Not only is such a remedy unsupported by any legal basis, it would also be starkly at odds with the fundamental principles of this Nation and State,” the media collation wrote.
Willis plans to announce this summer whether she’ll bring charges against Trump or his allies, according to a letter that was sent to local law enforcement officials and obtained by CNN. Willis said in the letter that she plans to make an announcement between July 11 and September 1.
Willis’ office is considering bringing racketeering and conspiracy charges stemming from the actions of Trump and his associates during the aftermath of Georgia’s 2020 election.
This story has been updated with additional information.