Members of the Atlanta Young Republicans attend a watch party for the first Republican presidential primary debate at a bar on August 23, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Chandan Khanna | AFP | Getty Images
Georgia’s Republican Senate group has attacked and suspended a Republican state senator for opposing plans to impeach Fani Willis, the Fulton County district attorney who prosecuted former President Donald Trump.
caucus meeting announced On Thursday, state Sen. Colton Moore of Trenton, who represents a district in northwest Georgia, was suspended indefinitely.
“Senator Moore has a right to be heard,” the caucus said in a statement. “However, while defending his haphazard proposal, Sen. Moore intentionally misled the people of Georgia and the nation, causing unnecessary tension and animosity, while at the same time engaging his caucus colleagues and their families.” and put him at risk of personal harm,” the group said. , 32 of Georgia’s 56 senators are participating.
Moore attacked his colleagues as “Republicans in name only,” or RINOs.
“Georgia’s RINOs responded to my call to fight back against Trump’s witch hunt by childishly kicking me out of their caucus,” Moore said. I wrote to X, formerly Twitter. “But I’m not going anywhere.”
This is the latest display of division It’s a conflict between Gov. Brian Kemp, many Republican lawmakers, and grassroots Trump supporters who have taken control of Georgia’s Republican Party organization.
Mr. Kemp supported Mr. Trump’s false claims about the 2020 election and refused to help Mr. Trump try to overturn his narrow loss in the state. Mr. Willis has indicted Mr. Trump and 18 other people, including a former state Republican Party chairman, on charges related to the effort. All have pleaded not guilty.
Mr. Moore remains a senator and a Republican, but passing the bill may be difficult without support from a majority of his caucus. But he already often functioned like a party in the organization, voting against bills that every other Republican or every other senator supported.
Moore is most prominent patron A special session of Congress was held to impeach Willis and remove her from office, or defund her from office, with the support of President Trump. Mr. Kemp, in an unusually heated press conference for the buttoned-up Mr. Kemp, denounced the call as “some kind of fraud” aimed at raising campaign funds for Mr. Moore. .
Kemp called the push “political theater that merely stirs up the emotions of the moment,” and said the special session “ignores current Georgia law and directly interferes with the processes of independent but equal branches of government.” ” he said. Kemp said he didn’t believe Willis had done anything to warrant firing.
Moore started a petition asking lawmakers to convene a special session, requiring signatures from three-fifths of both chambers. That would require some support from Democrats, as Republicans hold a majority of less than 60% in each chamber. After the House impeached Willis, the Senate would have needed a two-thirds vote to remove him from office. Moore never came close to persuading Republicans, winning signatures from one Republican congressman and one Republican senator, let alone Democrats.
But Moore attacked other state senators. Republican state Sens. Beau Hatchett and Shelley Echols said Moore targeted them in retaliation and received threats after they released a joint statement criticizing Moore’s calls.
The caucus claimed Moore was suspended by Republican leadership for violating and refusing to abide by its internal rules. The caucus insisted Moore was not subject to retaliation for his “wrong policy positions.”
Some other Georgia Republicans have also been free to attack Willis, including U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.
“Fanny Willis should be ashamed and she will lose her job,” Greene told reporters outside the Fulton County Jail just before President Trump arrived in his motorcade for his appointment and photo session. “Yes, we will make sure of that.”
Despite Moore’s advantage, some Republican state senators are backing a plan to seek Willis’ removal from office by the new State Prosecution Oversight Commission. The Prosecuting Attorney Qualifications Commission is scheduled to begin work after Oct. 1, when the state Supreme Court approves its rules. The body is Purpose of discipline or exclusion A selfish prosecutor.
Some district attorneys, except Willis, has already filed a lawsuit to overturn the lawHe claimed that his authority was being unfairly infringed upon.
Although Kemp criticized the timing of Trump’s indictment, he said he had not yet seen evidence that the committee should discipline or fire Willis.