As Trump Inquiry Continues, Republicans Seek Oversight of Georgia Prosecutors

Ms. Willis must now decide whether to bring a case to a regular grand jury, which can issue indictments. A decision ‌could come as early as ‌May.

In the Republican-controlled legislature, as of Friday afternoon, the prospects seemed favorable for the bills creating an oversight committee. They were dimmer for the recall election bill, which would lower the number of registered voters required to sign a petition to prompt a recall of prosecutors from the current 30 percent, which is standard for local elected offices, to just 2 percent. The measure was introduced after some high-profile Trump supporters in Georgia promoted the idea of a recall campaign against Ms. Willis, even though such an effort would be unlikely to succeed in Fulton County, a Democratic stronghold.

Those supporters include United States Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, who tweeted in August that Ms. Willis was using taxpayer funds “for her personal political witch hunt against Pres Trump, but will NOT prosecute crime plaguing Atlanta!”

Ms. Willis, who first described the bills as racist in a State Senate hearing last month, repeated the accusation in an interview at her downtown Atlanta office this week, pointing out that the majority of Georgians now live within the jurisdictions of the 14 minority prosecutors.

“For the hundreds of years we’ve had prosecutors, this has been unnecessary,” Ms. Willis said, referring to the bills. “But now all of a sudden this is a priority. And it is racist.”

Lawmakers have fired back. At the hearing last month, State Senator Bill Cowsert, a Republican who is the brother-in-law of Gov. Brian Kemp, said, “For you to come in here and try to make this about racism, that this bill is directed at any district attorney or solicitor because of racism, is absurd, and it’s offensive, and it’s a racist statement on its own.” 

Senator Brian Strickland, a Republican who was presiding over the meeting, told Ms. Willis, “You’re being emotional.”

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