Why It Matters: Prosecutors have been working to turn potential defendants into cooperating witnesses.
The Georgia investigation could potentially result in another state-level criminal indictment of Mr. Trump, following his indictment in New York in early April. Wednesday’s filing is the latest twist in a spat between prosecutors and defense lawyers, stemming from efforts to turn potential defendants into cooperating witnesses.
Those efforts have contributed to a delay in charging decisions in the Georgia matter. Ms. Willis indicated late last month that any indictments, initially anticipated in May, would not come until mid-July at the earliest.
Last month, Ms. Willis sought to have Ms. Debrow removed from the case, claiming that Ms. Debrow and her co-counsel at the time, Holly Pierson, had not informed some of their clients of immunity offers that prosecutors had made in exchange for their cooperation.
Ms. Willis also said at the time that Ms. Debrow was representing people who were making accusations against another one of her clients, amounting to an untenable conflict.
But in a motion filed last week, Ms. Debrow pushed back hard against both claims, calling them “reckless, frivolous, offensive and completely without merit.” And she revealed that her eight clients had been offered immunity deals and that all of them had accepted.
In a statement on Wednesday, Ms. Debrow suggested that Ms. Willis had engaged in inappropriate conduct by making unfounded assertions about her and Ms. Pierson last month, and that she should be penalized for it.
“The time for the D.A. to get the facts straight was before publicly filing her motion,” she said. “Because she did not, the D.A. should not be able to avoid sanctions by dismissing her baseless motion.”
The issue of the pro-Trump electors is one of numerous narrative threads that prosecutors in Georgia are investigating, including calls that Mr. Trump made to state officials including Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, urging him to “find” enough votes to overturn the results of the election there.
A total of 16 electors cast votes for Mr. Trump in Georgia. Some of them have retained their own lawyers. Prosecutors had previously identified all of the electors as targets who could face criminal charges. But three of them have been considered particularly vulnerable to indictment by those with knowledge of the investigation.
Two of the three were previously identified as clients of Ms. Debrow’s: Shawn Still, a Georgia state senator, and Cathy Latham, a Republican Party leader in rural Coffee County, Ga.
The third, David Shafer, is the chair of the Georgia Republican Party. He was, for a time, Ms. Debrow and Ms. Pierson’s client, but is now represented by Ms. Pierson and another lawyer.
Both Ms. Pierson and Ms. Debrow have been paid by the state Republican Party.
A special grand jury that heard evidence in the investigation for roughly seven months recommended more than a dozen people for indictments, and its forewoman strongly hinted in an interview with The New York Times in February that Mr. Trump was among them.
Pro-Trump electors have said that they were within their rights to cast electoral votes for Mr. Trump, arguing that they were seeking to preserve his options in case a lawsuit challenging the election results succeeded. (It did not.)
What’s Next: The district attorney will respond to a motion seeking to remove her from the investigation.
Mr. Trump’s lawyers filed a motion in March seeking to quash the special grand jury’s final report, most of which remains sealed, and to have Ms. Willis removed from the investigation. A judge has given Ms. Willis until Monday to respond.