Georgia Lt. Gov. Burt Jones, who was initially targeted by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis as part of her prosecution of Donald Trump and his associates for questioning the outcome of the 2020 election, spoke out about Willis’ actions on Tuesday, blasting her use of taxpayer dollars during a time in which crime in Atlanta is soaring and the political motivation behind the indictments. He continued that theme in an exclusive telephone interview with Fox News. And then a funny thing happened – the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia requested the grand jury’s final report so a special prosecutor can be appointed to investigate him.
New: Pete Skandalakis, the head of the Prosecuting Attorneys Council of GA, is asking a Fulton judge for access to the special grand jury’s final report to review any info about Lt. Gov. Burt Jones 1/ pic.twitter.com/GUAVy84Jxr
— Tamar Hallerman (@TamarHallerman) August 16, 2023
Jones was a Georgia state senator in 2020 but was elected Lieutenant Governor in 2022. He became the Republican nominee in May 2022, earning 50.1 percent of the primary vote. In June 2022 Fani Willis hosted a fundraiser for Charlie Bailey, Jones’ Democrat opponent in the race, then in July 2022 Willis sent Jones a target letter, indicating that he was a target of the grand jury investigation. Jones objected to being investigated by Willis given her clear support for his political rival. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney granted Jones’ motion, preventing Willis and her entire office from looking into Jones.
“An investigation of this significance, garnering the public attention it necessarily does and touching so many political nerves in our society, cannot be burdened by legitimate doubts about the District Attorney’s motives,” McBurney wrote. “The District Attorney does not have to be apolitical, but her investigations do.”
During a hearing…McBurney called the optics of Willis’ fundraiser “horrific” and worried they could undermine public confidence in the investigation.
He wrote Monday that while Willis was within her rights as an elected official to sponsor a fundraiser, her decision “has consequences.”
“This scenario creates a plain — and actual and untenable — conflict,” McBurney wrote. “Any decision the District Attorney makes about Senator Jones in connection with the grand jury investigation is necessarily infected by it.”
Because Willis’ office was banned from questioning Jones or using information from other witnesses to develop a case against him, the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia was given the authority to appoint a special prosecutor to interview him and possibly recommend criminal charges, if they chose to. At that time the organization did not appoint a special prosecutor, saying it was premature. But now that indictments have been returned and Jones has spoken out, it’s no longer premature.
Jones’ August 15 statement was strong, asking how many lives could have been saved if Willis had concentrated on prosecuting violent criminals over the last two and a half years instead of engaging in political grandstanding.
— Burt Jones (@burtjonesforga) August 15, 2023
In his interview with Fox News, Jones rightly called out the blatant unconstitutionality of Willis’ prosecution and said he’d done nothing wrong.
I haven’t done anything wrong, and the people who are being indicted in Fulton County, I don’t think they’ve done anything wrong either. They were expressing their opinions in a lot of cases, and for them to be charged and booked and fingerprinted, as if they’re common criminals is something that I just — it’s a little disturbing, to be honest with you.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, though, Jones has done plenty wrong. They describe his actions thusly:
Jones and a handful of other senators pressed for a special legislative session to consider appointing the Trump electors, supported lawsuits that sought to void the results and pressed Vice President Mike Pence to reject the official results when Congress met to certify Biden’s victory.
Monday’s Fulton County indictment did not name Jones, but it referenced his efforts to rally support for overturning Biden’s victory. It noted that on Dec. 7, 2020, a tweet by “unindicted co-conspirator Individual 8″ urged Georgians to “call your state Senate & House Reps & ask them to sign the petition for a special session. We must have free & fair elections in GA & this is our only path to ensuring every legal vote is counted.”
Jones told Fox News that he wasn’t surprised by the actions of the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council, saying that he knew all along that they would appoint a special prosecutor after the grand jury finished up its work. He added that while he didn’t have a lot of faith in the Fulton County justice system, he does have faith in the American justice system.
“I don’t have a lot of faith in the process that I’ve witnessed so far in Fulton County. I do have faith in the justice system, and I do still believe we have the best justice system in the world,” he said. “I think it’ll be a long, drawn-out process, but I believe that the truth will ultimately come forward, and they will have a favorable ruling.”
Let’s hope that Jones’ faith is well-placed.