Apr 11, 2024 - News

Special prosecutor to investigate Burt Jones' role in 2020 election case

Georgia Lieutenant Governor Burt Jones

Burt Jones will be investigated for his alleged role in attempts to overturn Georgia's 2020 presidential election results. Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

It's been delayed for two years, but the investigation into whether Georgia's sitting lieutenant governor broke the law in the 2020 presidential election is moving forward again.

Why it matters: Pete Skandalakis, executive director of the Prosecuting Attorneys' Council of Georgia, said Thursday he will investigate Burt Jones' role in attempts to overturn the state's results in 2020.

  • Skandalakis' decision comes nearly two years after a Fulton County superior court judge approved Jones' petition to block District Attorney Fani Willis from investigating Jones' alleged role in the case.
  • The 2022 ruling said that Willis could not subpoena or bring charges against Jones after she supported and headlined fundraisers for Jones' Democratic opponent during that year's race for lieutenant governor, Axios' Emma Hurt previously reported.

Between the lines: Skandalakis' announcement comes amid Jones being touted as a potential successor to Brian Kemp in the 2026 race for governor.

What they're saying: Skandalakis, a former district attorney, declined to make additional comments on the decision to oversee the investigation himself. Jones said in a statement, "I'm happy to see this process move forward and look forward to the opportunity to get this charade behind me."

Catch up quick: Jones was a state senator in 2020 when he served on the slate of Republican electors who falsely "certified" a Trump victory in December 2020 and was a leading proponent of a special legislative session after the election.

  • According to the AJC, Jones traveled to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 5, 2021, to give a letter to then-Vice President Mike Pence, asking him to delay certifying the Electoral College results.
  • Jones never delivered the letter, which contained false claims about voter fraud, the AJC reports.
  • He has been named — along with all other electors — as a possible target of Willis's investigation into Trump's efforts to overturn Georgia's election results.

Context: Since 2022, the state's Prosecuting Attorneys' Council had been trying to find a new prosecutor to investigate Jones.

  • Skandalakis said in 2022 that since no criminal indictment had been issued, "it may be premature to appoint a criminal prosecutor at this time."

Skandalakis was the special prosecutor who declined to press charges against the two Atlanta police officers in the 2020 shooting death of Rayshard Brooks.

What's next: Skandalakis will determine if Jones should face charges in the case.

  • In the separate case against Trump, the former president appealed last month's ruling that Willis can remain on the 2020 election interference case if the special prosecutor she hired resigned.
  • Trump and several co-defendants argued that Willis' personal relationship with Nathan Wade was a conflict of interest in the case.

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