(The Center Square) — The Georgia Senate on Friday passed a measure to establish a Senate special committee on Investigations to probe misconduct allegations involving Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.
Senate Resolution 465 passed by a 30-19 measure, giving the committee subpoena power and state funds.
Willis, a Democrat, pledged to investigate election interference charges against former President Donald Trump and others. That probe yielded a 10-count indictment in August.
Since then, allegations of misconduct against Willis have surfaced, including “the ongoing expenditure of significant public funds for the purpose of hiring a special assistant district attorney with whom District Attorney Willis had, and may yet have, an ongoing romantic relationship,” according to the resolution.
“This resolution is about an officer of the state of Georgia, within a subdivision of the state of Georgia, and how they are using state funds,” state Sen. Greg Dolezal, R-Cumming, said in his closing remarks on the Senate floor. “This falls squarely within what we should be talking about and what we should be addressing.
“I think everyone that I’ve read in the paper that has talked about what has been alleged has said that if this is true, it is a conflict,” Dolezal added. “So if that conflict exists and if state monies are being used, is that of no interest to this body? I think it is.”
Unsurprisingly, support for the measure broke along party lines.
“So my question for you today is, why on the various issues for decades that have plagued this state, that we talk about every day, from all corners of the state, all the issues that you have brought to the Capitol on behalf of your constituents, why were none of those issues big enough, important enough for us to use this type of subpoena power and a special committee?” state Sen. Josh McLaurin, D-Atlanta, said during debate over the measure. “Why today are we turning to this extraordinary tool? And what I would submit to you is that we’re on a dangerous path.”
In his closing remarks, Dolezal responded that any previous inaction likely stems from a lack of introduced legislation.
“It was asked why we don’t form committees for this or that or why we didn’t do something two or three years ago,” Dolezal said. “I guess it’s because you didn’t introduce a resolution. I guess it’s because you didn’t go to [legislative] counsel, ask the questions that I asked of, ‘hey, I have a concern. What authority do we have?'”
Willis’ office did not immediately return a call seeking comment on the resolution.