House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) fired back at Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D) on Wednesday for her “hostile response” to his request to turn over documents related to her prosecution of former President Trump.
In a letter dated Wednesday, Jordan said that Willis’s response to his request only “reinforces the Committee’s concern that your prosecutorial conduct is geared more toward advancing a political cause and your own notoriety than toward promoting the fair and just administration of the law.”
“Congress in general, and this Committee in particular, have a strong legislative interest in ensuring that popularly elected local prosecutors do not misuse their law-enforcement authority to target federal officials for political reasons,” he continued. “We can only conclude from your hostile response to the Committee’s oversight that you are actively and aggressively engaged in such a scheme.”
Jordan has sent letters to each of the prosecutorial entities investigating Trump, and, in his one to Willis in late August — just hours before Trump surrendered to the Fulton County Jail — he asked her to turn over all records related to her work on the 2020 election interference case.
He also asked that if she had communicated with special counsel Jack Smith, who has also brought charges against Trump over his efforts to remain in power after losing the 2020 election.
Willis responded to Jordan’s request in a scathing letter Sept. 7, attacking his “basic understanding of the law, its practice, and the ethical obligations of attorneys general and prosecutors specifically.”
“Your attempt to invoke congressional authority to intrude upon and interfere with an active criminal case in Georgia is flagrantly at odds with the Constitution,” Willis wrote.
“There is absolutely no support for Congress purporting to second guess or somehow supervise an ongoing Georgia criminal investigation and prosecution. That violation of Georgia’s sovereignty is offensive and will not stand.”
She said that since Jordan was so taken with concerns related to her county, he should investigate the numerous threats she has faced since bringing the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) case against Trump and 18 co-defendants.
Willis told Jordan he was “misinformed” about details of the indictment and encouraged him to buy a copy of “RICO State-by-State,” in order to obtain a better understanding of the law. She also told Jordan that her response was merely voluntary since “settled constitutional law clearly permits me to ignore your unjustified and illegal intrusion.”
In his letter Wednesday, Jordan took issue with many of her arguments and specifically argued against her concerns that his oversight of her investigation into his ally, Trump, was a violation of federalism principles. He argued that the Constitution provides the right to constitutional oversight of investigations, even at the state level.
“The assertion that a law-enforcement entity may prevent Congress from conducting oversight related to an ongoing investigation ‘rests on no constitutional privilege or case law authority but rather on opinions issued by the Justice Department,” he wrote. “There is ample legal and historical precedent contradicting this position — that is, congressional committees conducting oversight of matters that are the subjects of ongoing investigations.”
Jordan reiterated the committee’s requests for documents and asked that her office comply with them no later than Oct. 11. He also said, “as an accommodation to you,” the committee would prioritize documents that showed any correspondence between her office and the Department of Justice.