KEMP AND BURT JONES CONSPIRE TO REMOVE PROSECUTORS WITH NEW LAW

Kemp’s Fake Elector Problem in Georgia’s Bill 92

Governor Kemp and indicted co-conspirator Lt. Gov Burt Jones created a law to protect fake electors in Georgia Assembly

CJ Sterling
8 min readOct 4, 2023
Bill 92 is a grab to replace Georgia judicial independence with a new law designed to protect co-conspirators in Georgia Fake Elector RICO case — and threaten progressive District Attorneys in Georgia. Image DALL-E

October 3, 2023

UPDATE: After SB Bill 92 was blocked because the Georgia State Supreme Court refused to adopt its rules, the Republican legislature simply passed legislation that removes the Georgia Supreme Court from reviewing the rules. The new version, Bill 882 is an even more sinister version of the same.

SB Bill 92 was supposed to be quiet. Until Georgia Sen Clint Dixon and Georgia Senator Colton Moore took to Twitter to announce they planned to use the power of Congress against Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, or failing that, use SB 92, a new law in Georgia that puts the power of disciplining and removing prosecutors in the hands of an eight-member “oversight commission.” The commission will be appointed by the GOP legislature, indicted co-conspirator Lt. Governor Burt Jones, along with top GOP members, also including votes by co-conspirator Georgia Senator Shawn Still. Acccording to media reports, the commission began accepting complaints as of October 1.

The leaders who urged the legislature to put SB92 into law are Kemp himself and Lt. Governor Burt Jones, who is one of the organizers of the false elector scheme in Georgia, and one of the signers of the false elector certificate for Georgia. “Individual 8” — Jones — was a key organizer of the December 14, 2020 false elector meeting, attending, and some say a key organizer of the “alternate elector” meeting inside the Georgia Capitol.

Jones is currently charged with impersonating a public officer, forgery in the first degree, false statements and writings and filing false documents. Because of a prior conflict of interest, Jones is not included in Willis’ RICO case.

After Dixon and Moore threatened Congressional action against Fani Willis, Kemp’s press statement in that press conference that “These moves would ignore current Georgia law and directly interfere with a separate but equal branch of government” was complete bullshit. He and his Lt. Governor had already written the play. Earlier this year they worked together to pass a law that directly interferes with the “separate but equal” judicial branch of government, called Bill 92. Dixon and Moore were just the spoilers.

Bill 92 is written to supersede Georgia prosecutor oversight to protect his own Lt. Governor and others indicted in the Georgia RICO false elector fraud case. Kemp and Jones passed the bill quietly last May. Kemp, Jones, along with the leaders of Georgia Republican Legislature. The top Republicans in the Georgia Assembly are the ones who appoint the commission. Jones and Georgia Senator Shawn Still were two of the fake elector signatories on the fake certificate from Georgia. The law was passed shortly after Fani Willis announced she would be pursuing the prosecution of Trump and co-conspirators in the Georgia false elector scheme.

Kemp faced such harsh criticism over these threats that he was forced to call a press conference to deny it. On August 31st he told the press that those moves, announced on Twitter, were just “political theater.” But earlier this year, he and Georgia Lieutenant Governor Burt Jones, who has been indicted for his role in the fake elector scheme in Georgia, had already written the play. Dixon and Moore were just the spoilers.

In late August, the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia began the search for a special prosecutor to review Jones’ involvement as a state senator at the time of the election in November 2020.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp took to the press to push back on a firestorm of criticism as congressional officials in DC and Georgia, Trump supporters Senator Clint Dixon and freshman Sen Colton Moore — openly called for attacks on Fani Willis’ prosecution of the defendants in the Georgia fake elector RICO case, either by a special legislative session, or by using a newly-created Prosecuting Attorneys Qualifications Commission (PAQC) in Georgia, created by SB92.

Kemp spoke strongly in that press conference, calling the demand for a special session to remove Fani Willis by impeachment and removal, or to “defund her,” in moves led by Dixon and deeply-unpopular Georgia freshman Representative Colton Moore “political theater.” Kemp told the press he “did not see anything that would merit removal of Fani Willis.” He saved his harshest criticism for Moore, calling him a “grifter” as Moore used the threat against Willis for fundraising.

But, in May of this year, Kemp and his Lieutenant Governor Burt Jones quietly led the legislature to pass SB 92 in the Georgia State Assembly, one that puts the power of disciplining and removing prosecutors in the hands of an eight-member “oversight commission,” whose members will be political appointees. This law created a new Prosecuting Attorneys Qualifications Commission (PACQ). The five-member “investigative” portion of this commission are appointed by the Governor, who chooses one, the Lt. Governor (currently Burt Jones, indicted co-conspirator in the False Elector scheme), who appoints one; the Speaker of the Georgia House, who appoints two, and the Senate Committee on Assignments appointing the fifth.

For the three-member panel hearing that leads the PACQ, one citizen member is appointed by the Governor; one district attorney is elected by a vote of the Senate; one former judge of the superior court or Court of Appeals or former Justice is elected by a vote of the House of Representatives. Eight politically appointed members of the executive branch, steamrolling over the democratic system of checks and balances between executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. Hoping Georgia voters won’t notice their voices are ignored in favor of of Georgia legislator culture wars and efforts to protect those who illegally tried to overturn the 2020 election.

Gov. Brian Kemp, whose commission will oversee local district attorneys, signed the law shortly after Fani Willis said she would pursue a Trump indictment. In May, when the bill was passed, Governor Kemp said, “I am not going to stand idly by as rogue or incompetent prosecutors refuse to uphold the law. Today we are sending a message that we will not forfeit public safety for prosecutors to let criminals off the hook.” Media reporting has it that the PACQ will begin accepting complaints as of October 1st, although the bill’s language says that the commission will not be appointed until April 2024.

Four elected prosecutors filed suit against the state of Georgia to stop the new law that gives appointees of the state’s Republican governor the power to remove elected district attorneys from office.

Georgia’s state constitution allows for prosecutorial discretion and a right to free speech, Josh Rosenthal, the legal director of the Public Rights Project, which is working on the suit, said. The state already has several mechanisms that provide oversight of prosecutors, including the state bar, rules of professional conduct enforced by the state Supreme Court, the power of impeachment by the general assembly, and prosecutors’ own elections.

“Because the grounds for discipline are so vaguely written, it’s really handing a blank check to this new commission — which is appointed entirely by the governor and his political allies — to discipline essentially whomever they want,” Rosenthal said. “That kind of blank check is an opportunity for political shenanigans instead of respecting the will of the voters in each of these communities.-From The Intercept , Aug 2, 2023.

Georgia already has historical, robust and long-standing laws and traditional institutions to oversee prosecutors and their offices. This law, like others spreading in highly-gerrymandered, White-dominated red districts across the US, seems designed to divert judicial power to legislatures by threatening them with “discipline” or outright removal. The Georgia law says that prosecutors who are removed by the commission would not be allowed to practice for 10 years. In Georgia’s case, opponents say Bill 92 is designed specifically to protect lawbreakers involved in the Trump RICO case and to chill progressive District Attorneys elected by the voters in their districts.

In districts where voter choose DA’s who don’t want to prosecute things like low-level drug crimes, or prostitution — or maybe not prosecute women who seek abortion, Kemp and Georgia legislators are seeking the power to impose their more conservative policies, despite the will of Georgia voters. Georgia has joined other states in banning abortions after six weeks.

That puts unprecedented power in the hands of the executive branch in Georgia — the exact argument Kemp made when the Dixon and Moore’s radical rhetoric shone a bright light on Bill 92 — that attempting to impeach or remove or defund Fani Willis was likely unconstitutional for Georgia and the US Constitution.

Pete Skandalakis, executive director of the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia, confirmed he would appoint a special prosecutor to review the Jones matter because of Willis’s removal in mid-August, but as yet has not appointed one, even as the first two defendants, Kenneth Chesebro and Sidney Powell move toward their trial date in the Georgia RICO case, scheduled for October 23rd.

Jones’ signature was on the list of 16 sent to the President of the Senate and Archivist falsely certifying there were “the duly elected and qualified Electors for President and Vice President of the United States of America from the State of Georgia.”

Burt Jones is on another list: A list of Georgia Republican Senators signing on to a letter showing that they intend to use Bill 92 to attack Fani Willis. On this list are the most powerful players in the Georgia Assembly, including Lt. Governor Jones, freshman Senator Shawn Stills, who both signed on to fake elector certificates; Georgia Senate president John Kennedy; Majority Leader Steve Gooch (who was also on the commission appointed who decided to let Sen Still continue to serve, despite his indictment in the fake elector scheme); Majority whip Randy Robertson, Majority Caucus Chairman Jason Anivitarte and over a dozen other Georgia State Republican senators. Gooch and Kennedy currently serve on the Committee on Assignments, one of the group charged with choosing members of the PACQ.

This move is part of an effort by conservative states to pull independence away from the judicial branches in states and districts that are heavily gerrymandered toward White conservative Republicans. These efforts most often are driven by ideological disagreements, not misdeeds by prosecutors. Key disagreements include prosecutions of criminals involved in efforts to overturn the 2020 election, prosecutors who don’t see enforcing abortion laws as a priority public safety issue, and the future of criminal justice reform, for example when prosecutors push to fund diversion programs for low-level drug and sex crimes, and efforts to mitigate the school-to-prison pipeline that targets black and brown citizens.

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CJ Sterling

Writer, journalist. Commentary: Washington Post, Economist, Daily Beast, New York Times, Seattle Times, Crosscut, The Stranger. 22.5 million views, Quora.