By Jason Morris and Sara Murray, CNN
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is trying to disqualify two of the attorneys for 11 of the Republican “fake electors” who participated in a plan to subvert the Electoral College and are now targets of an ongoing special purpose grand jury criminal investigation in Georgia.
The latest public spat regarding the ongoing 2020 election investigation was revealed in court filings Monday by Fulton County prosecutors, who filed a motion to disqualify attorneys Holly A. Pierson and Kimberly Bourroughs Debrow, saying their “simultaneous” representation of 11 clients is “rife with serious ethical problems” and conflicts of interest that violate the Georgia state bar’s rules of professional conduct.
In the new court filing, which is heavily redacted, the Atlanta-area district attorney’s office says that Pierson and Debrow should be prohibited “from any further participation in this matter” and that if they are “allowed to continue in their representation of even just one of the 11, there is a serious possibility of future ethical problems concerning confidentiality of information obtained in the course of their representation thus far.”
In a joint written statement to CNN, Pierson and Debrow said any suggestion that they have “violated our professional duties is false and defamatory.”
“We are disappointed to see the District Attorney and her office actively trying to separate citizens from their chosen counsel,” Debrow and Pierson said. “Allegations of conflict here are particularly rich, given that the Court in this case has already determined that the DA herself had a disqualifying conflict of interest in this case.”
The two attorneys had previously tried — unsuccessfully — to have Willis disqualified from the investigation into election interference. Willis has, however, been barred from further investigating one of the “fake electors” who is a candidate for lieutenant governor in Georgia.
Pierson and Debrow noted that their clients have not been charged with any crimes.
“Individuals are presumptively entitled to counsel of their own choosing, especially where, as here, they have no conflicting or divergent interests because they have done nothing wrong. Both the U.S. Supreme Court and the Georgia Supreme Court recognize that there is no actual or potential conflict in representing multiple individuals united in their innocence whose defenses against false allegations of wrongdoing are aligned,” Pierson and Debrow told CNN in their written statement.
Court documents from July 2022 revealed that Willis has informed all 16 of the individuals who signed an “unofficial electorate certificate” sent to the National Archives in late 2020 that they may be indicted in the wide-ranging probe scrutinizing former President Donald Trump‘s attempts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia.
Earlier this year, a Georgia judge declined to quash the subpoenas for the 11 fake Trump electors to appear as witnesses before the special purpose grand jury.
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