State Sens. Shelly Echols (R-Hall County) and Bo Hatchett (R-Habersham County) issued a lengthy letter recently in response to a call by Sen. Colton Moore (R-Dade County) for a special session to address the way the Fulton County District Attorney handled the investigation that led to the indictment.
“This prosecution (of Trump and his co-defendants) seems to be more of a dramatic fundraising opportunity, and regrettably, the same can be said for Colton’s letter and his various attention-seeking maneuvers,” the letter from Echols and Hatchett reads in part. “The letter (Moore’s) deceives its readers in two key ways: 1) by incorrectly stating we have a majority sufficient to call a special session, and 2) by misrepresenting references to the Georgia Constitution.”
It concludes by declaring “…the TRUTH is that Republicans AGREE with the basic desires that Colton Moore expresses about DA Willis, but we refuse to sell a false reality to voters about what we can do about it.”
Here is the entire letter as it appears on the Hall County Republican Party’s Facebook page:
You may have come across a viral letter circulating from Georgia Senator Colton Moore, calling for a (very expensive and taxpayer-funded) special session to address the questionable prosecution tactics of Fulton County DA Fani Willis. This prosecution seems to be more of a dramatic fundraising opportunity, and regrettably, the same can be said for Colton’s letter and his various attention-seeking maneuvers. The letter deceives its readers in two key ways: 1) by incorrectly stating we have a majority sufficient to call a special session, and 2) by misrepresenting references to the Georgia Constitution.
THE TRUTH is that we do not have a sufficient majority to call a special session. The law requires a 3/5ths majority in both the House and Senate, and we do NOT have that majority in EITHER chamber.
THE TRUTH is that the legislature established a law to hold District Attorneys accountable for misconduct. Senate Bill 92, which was passed earlier this year, established a Prosecutorial Oversight Commission tasked with disciplining prosecutors for misconduct. Oddly, this viral letter conveniently omits mentioning this law. This omission is likely because its author was the only Republican opposed to holding District Attorneys accountable for misconduct and the sole Republican to vote against the bill. If this law withstands legal challenges in the Supreme Court, it will serve as the ideal means to hold any District Attorney accountable for exploiting and politicizing their position. More importantly, considering the Constitution and the Separation of Powers, it’s the only feasible and constitutional path forward.
The call to action should not be to “sign a letter” with no authority; the call to action should be the implementation of SB 92. No one, including Colton Moore, has proposed a strategy in the event of a “special session” — a strategy firmly grounded within the purview of our legislative capabilities. We took an oath to uphold the constitution, and the legislative powers established within our Constitution combined with the partisan makeup of both chambers do not allow us to do what the viral letter suggests. Anyone who says otherwise is creating self-serving distractions to misguide Georgians. The correct and constitutional path forward is through SB 92, and our intention is to stand at the forefront of a wave of Georgians embarking on a legitimate challenge against her. Moreover, we extend an open invitation to anyone compelled by the cause, urging them to register their concern by filing a complaint as well. This law was crafted to empower the people, by the people, and we urge you to embrace its potential.
Finally, the TRUTH is that Republicans AGREE with the basic desires that Colton Moore expresses about DA Willis, but we refuse to sell a false reality to voters about what we can do about it. Colton has spent weeks now “calling out” legislators for “not signing his letter” (even though he’s never asked us to sign it), and even though he knows his letter was political grandstanding. We guess for him, the fundraising opportunity was just too attractive. We hope this letter brings clarity to the false narrative that has been sold to Georgians over the last few weeks.
Let us continue to be the party that rejects fake news and false rhetoric. Let us continue to be leaders who are more focused on making change than making headlines.
Senator Shelly Echols, District 49
Senator Bo Hatchett, District 50