ATLANTA — A Fulton County judge has disqualified Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and her office from targeting State Sen. Burt Jones as part of the special grand jury investigation into whether Donald Trump attempted to overthrow the 2020 presidential election results in Georgia.
It comes after Jones raised concerns about a possible conflict of interest.
Judge Robert McBurney on Monday granted Sen. Jones' motion to disqualify the District Attorney and her office from "publicly categorizing him as a subject or target (or anything else) of the grand jury’s investigation." The office also "may not ask the grand jury to include any recommendations about him in their final report."
However, McBurney specified that this does not disqualify Willis from gathering evidence about the senator's involvement in efforts to undermine the election results.
Willis and her office can also still ask witnesses about Jones' role in "the various efforts the State Republican party undertook to call into question the legitimacy of the results of the election," according to the ruling.
Essentially, what Willis and her office can't do at this point is use any potential evidence to develop a case against the senator himself.
As the judge noted, the decision on whether Jones will be will be charged will be left to a different prosecutor’s office, "as determined by the Attorney General."
Sen. Jones had brought the disqualification challenge against Willis, alleging a conflict of interest over a fundraiser she held for his opponent in the Georgia lieutenant governor's race, Charlie Bailey.
Jones is the Republican nominee, and Bailey won a Democratic primary runoff against Kwanza Hall for that party's nomination. The fundraiser Willis held was for that runoff race.
11Alive reached out to the DA's office but has yet to hear back.
Meanwhile, Jones' office sent a statement calling the ruling "a huge win for our campaign - but more importantly, for due process and the rule of law in Georgia."