Brian Kemp delays subpoena in 2020 election probe, citing political motivations
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp won't have to appear in court Thursday, after he asked a judge to quash his subpoena by Atlanta prosecutors investigating efforts to overturn the 2020 election, and accusing prosecutors of political motivations.
Why it matters: While Kemp famously resisted former President Trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 election, his attorneys on Wednesday accused the district attorney's office of using the investigation "as a sword to influence the 2022 election."
- Whether Kemp will have to testify at all, however, remains undecided.
Driving the news: A spokesperson for the governor's office told Axios on Wednesday that Kemp "has been released from his obligation to appear pending Judge McBurney’s ruling on the motion to quash.”
- A spokesperson for the district attorney's office told Axios the office plans to fight the request to quash the subpoena and will be filing a response.
What's happening: Kemp's attorneys explained in their filing that an original plan to submit recorded voluntary testimony via video was canceled by the district attorney's office late last month, following more than a year of correspondence. Kemp was instead subpoenaed to testify in person Thursday, the filing revealed.
- Kemp's lawyer wrote that after seeking "certain protections" be put in place about the original video testimony, the district attorney's office canceled the voluntary interview.
- Kemp's lawyers said the district attorney then refused their request to delay the testimony until after the election, which is why they're seeking to quash the subpoena altogether.
The big picture: The filing is the latest example of how the wide-reaching investigation into efforts to overturn Georgia's 2020 election results has grown politicized.
- A judge already barred District Attorney Fani Willis from directly investigating one of the named targets because she had fundraised for his political opponent.
What they're saying: Kemp's attorneys wrote of the investigation: "Unfortunately, what began as an investigation into election interference has itself devolved into its own mechanism of election interference."
- Attorneys wrote that the district attorney's office's actions amount to "at best, a disregard of an unnecessary risk to the political process, and at worst, an attempt to influence the November 2022 election cycle.
The other side: In an email to Kemp's attorney released in the filing, Willis wrote: "This is NOT a politically motivated investigation. It is a criminal investigation, and often at the end of criminal investigations, people are cleared and often they go to prison."
Of note: Kemp's office has produced 137,000 pages of documents to the district attorney's office following the subpoena, his attorneys outlined.