Calls for Georgia Leaders to Stymie Trump Prosecution Fall Flat, So Far

The racketeering case against Donald J. Trump and his allies in Georgia has ignited outrage among staunch supporters of the former president, pushing some to urge the Republican-controlled state legislature to find a way to intervene.

Change the state’s rules on pardons to empower the governor to absolve Mr. Trump and his associates should they be convicted — that has been one suggestion making the rounds on social media and conservative talk shows this week.

And on Thursday, a state senator from rural northwest Georgia sent a letter to the Republican governor, Brian Kemp, demanding an emergency special session for “the review and response to the actions of Fani Willis,” the Fulton County district attorney who is leading the case.

The odds of any of that coming to fruition anytime soon: slim to nonexistent.

“It ain’t going to happen,” said Charles S. Bullock III, a political science professor at the University of Georgia, who is considered a leading scholar on politics in Georgia and the South, which he has studied for more than five decades.

There are not only procedural hurdles standing in the way but the political reality in Georgia. Mr. Kemp, who would have to call a special session, has signaled he has no interest in doing so. He and Mr. Trump parted ways in 2020 after he refuted Mr. Trump’s claims of election fraud in the state; this week, he once again pushed back on such claims.

And while Republicans control the legislature, they do not appear to have the votes needed to achieve what Mr. Trump’s supporters are seeking. For one thing, they lack a two-thirds majority in the State Senate.

State Senator Colton Moore, who wrote the letter calling for the special session, has argued that the prosecution of Mr. Trump was politically motivated, and that the Legislature should investigate Ms. Willis, an elected Democrat, and possibly impeach her.

In interviews with conservative commentators on Thursday, Mr. Moore asserted that Ms. Willis was “using taxpayer money, using her government authority, to persecute her political opponent.”

The Fulton County district attorney’s office declined to comment on Mr. Moore’s letter.

Separately, some Trump supporters have pushed for changes in how pardons are given in the state. In Georgia, the power to pardon rests with a state board appointed by the governor, not with the governor himself. A pardon is a possibility only for an individual who has completed the sentence and “lived a law-abiding life” for five years before applying.

Changing the law would require amending the state Constitution, which would require the approval of two-thirds of the Legislature.

Cody Hall, a senior adviser to the governor, strongly suggested to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday that Mr. Kemp was opposed to challenging the Trump prosecution.

“Where have I heard special session, changing decades-old law and overturning constitutional precedent before?” Mr. Hall asked, referring to unsuccessful calls from Mr. Trump and others for a special session to overturn President Biden’s win in the state. “Oh right, prior to Republicans losing two Senate runoffs in January of 2021.”

He was referring to the runoff races that Republican incumbents lost that month to Senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, both Democrats, as Mr. Trump clung to claims of election fraud in Georgia.

“What are people hoping to learn in the second kick of the election-losing mule?” Mr. Hall added.

Asked on Thursday about the new call for a special session, a spokesman for Mr. Kemp referred a reporter to Mr. Hall’s comments to the Journal-Constitution.

Representative Jon Burns, the Republican speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives, declined through a spokesman to comment.

Still, the state’s Republican leadership was not completely averse to the idea of challenging local prosecutors. Legislation signed this year by Mr. Kemp establishes a state commission that could investigate local prosecutors or remove them from office.

Ms. Willis was a principal critic.

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