FACT CHECK: Does The Georgia State Legislature Have The Power To Impeach DA Fani Willis?
A post shared on social media purports Georgia State Senator Colton Moore drafted a letter to the Governor requesting a special session to review the District Attorney prosecuting former President Donald Trump.
BREAKING: Republican Georgia state Senator Colton Moore moves to impeach Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis for her actions against Trump.
Finally, a Republican with a backbone.
“I’m not going to sit back and watch as radical left prosecutors weaponize their elected offices… pic.twitter.com/FGxssA0wGm
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) August 17, 2023
Moore’s letter is authentic. The State Legislature also has the power to impeach a DA.
Trump has been indicted in Fulton County Georgia for allegedly attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 Presidential election, CNN News reported. Trump along with the 18 others that have been indicted have 10 days to turn themselves in, according to New York Times.
The Twitter post shared an image of a letter that State Senator Moore wrote to Governor Brian Kemp requesting a special session to review DA Fani Willis. This review is the first step in possible impeachment proceedings.
The letter reads in part, “We, the undersigned, being duly elected members of the Georgia House of Representatives and Georgia Senate, and comprising 3/5 of each respective house, pursuant to Article IV, Section II, Paragraph VII(b), hereby certify to you, in writing, with a copy to the Secretary of State, that in our opinion an emergency exists in the affairs of the state, requiring a special session to be convened under the section, for all purposes, to include, without limitation, the review and response to the actions of Fani Willis.”
Credible news reports, such as the Washington Examiner, indicate that Moore has requested a special session to review Willis. The Georgia House of Representatives does have the authority to impeach any Executive or Judicial officer of the state of Georgia.
Charles S. Bullock III, a professor of political science at the University of Georgia, told Check Your Fact that an impeachment process will have to begin in the House with a conviction and removal that is being decided by the Senate. Bullock further commented that the state process is similar to the national process.
“The Georgia House has the power under the GA constitution ‘to vote impeachment charges against any executive or judicial officer of this state.’ I believe that DA Willis would be considered an executive officer of the state,” Clark D. Cunningham, a professor of law at Georgia State University, told Check Your Fact in an email.
“The Georgia Senate has the power to conduct the impeachment trial. A 2/3 vote is required to convict. Less the 2/3 of the members of the Senate are Republicans, I believe,” Cunningham explained.
Cunningham also stated that, if Wilis were to be convicted by the senate, she would be disqualified from holding any office “of honor, trust, or profit within this state” in the future or receive a pension from her respective position.
Moore claims in the letter to have the support of 3/5 of the members of both houses to force a special session. The Georgia Constitution stipulates that, “whenever three-fifths of the members to which each house is entitled certify to the Governor in writing, with a copy to the Secretary of State, that in their opinion an emergency exists in the affairs of the state.” (RELATED: Did Illinois Pass A Bill Allowing Illegal Immigrants To Apply For The Police Force?)
Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp’s office said Aug. 19 that they did not receive any evidence suggesting Moore had the votes needed to impeach the DA, according to Fox News. Moore clarified the letter did not allude to him having the votes needed, the outlet reported.
Check Your Fact has contacted Moore’s office to request confirmation that he has the signatures of 3/5 of both houses at this time. We will update this piece if a response is provided.