The Georgia Republican Senate Caucus recently made the decision to indefinitely suspend State Senator Colton Moore from Trenton. The suspension came after Moore publicly criticized his colleagues for opposing his proposal to impeach Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis over her indictment of former President Donald Trump. In their statement, the caucus acknowledged Moore’s right to his own opinion but accused him of knowingly misleading the public and putting the safety of his colleagues and their families at risk. This incident highlights the growing divide between elected Republicans and grassroots Trump supporters within Georgia’s Republican Party.
The suspension of Senator Moore sheds light on the ongoing power struggle between Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and Trump supporters. Kemp has distanced himself from Trump’s false claims about the 2020 election and has refused to help overturn his narrow loss in the state. This has caused a rift between Kemp and grassroots Trump backers who now hold control over the Republican Party organization in Georgia. Moore’s proposal to impeach and remove DA Fani Willis gained the endorsement of Trump, further deepening the divide. Kemp denounced Moore’s call as a “grifter scam” intended to raise campaign contributions, emphasizing that it would interfere with the proceedings of a separate but equal branch of government.
While Senator Moore will still hold his seat and remain a Republican, his suspension may significantly impact his ability to pass legislation. As a member of the Georgia Senate’s Republican majority caucus, Moore may face difficulty garnering support for his proposals without the backing of his colleagues. However, it is worth noting that Moore already frequently voted against measures supported by his Republican counterparts and even opposed measures approved by the entire Senate. His status as a lone wolf within the party may have contributed to the lack of support for his proposal to impeach DA Willis.
The Failure of Moore’s Impeachment Efforts
Despite Moore’s endorsement from Trump and his strong advocacy for impeaching DA Willis, his efforts failed to gain traction among fellow Republicans or Democrats. Moore initiated a petition calling for a special session to remove Willis, but was only able to secure the signatures of one Republican House member and one other Republican senator. The bipartisan support required for the petition made it an uphill battle for Moore, as Georgia Republicans do not have a 60% majority in each chamber. Additionally, the Senate would have required a two-thirds vote to remove Willis after the House impeachment, making the chances of success even slimmer.
During the course of this controversy, Moore faced allegations of violating internal rules, which resulted in his suspension by Republican leaders. While the caucus claimed that the suspension was not retaliatory, it is difficult to dismiss the possibility that differing policy positions contributed to this outcome. Furthermore, Moore’s actions prompted threats against other Republican state senators, further escalating tensions within the party. In addition to Senator Moore’s attacks, other Georgia Republicans, including U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, have openly criticized DA Willis and expressed a desire to see her lose her job.
Despite Senator Moore’s suspension, there are still Republican state senators who support a plan to seek DA Willis’ removal through a newly established state prosecutorial oversight commission. The Prosecuting Attorneys Qualifications Commission, set to begin work after October 1 pending approval of its rules by the state Supreme Court, aims to discipline or remove prosecutors who act improperly. However, some district attorneys, although not including Willis, have already filed lawsuits contesting the law, arguing that it infringes on their authority. Governor Kemp has expressed criticism regarding the timing of the Trump indictment but has refrained from supporting the commission’s intervention against Willis.
The suspension of Senator Colton Moore highlights the rift within Georgia’s Republican Party between elected officials and grassroots Trump supporters. The failure of Moore’s impeachment proposal, allegations of his violation of internal rules, and attacks on DA Fani Willis further underscore the divisions within the party. As Georgia navigates these challenges, the future of the party will depend on its ability to find common ground and maintain unity amidst differing opinions and approaches to governance.