Georgia AG joins GOP colleagues in urging Senate to reject impeachment

    Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr was one of 21 attorneys general to sign a "friend of the Senate" letter deriding the impeachment proceedings. He is pictured here at a media briefing held during Hurricane Dorian in 2019. Jill Nolin/Georgia Recorder

    Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr is among 21 attorneys general who are calling on the U.S. Senate to reject the Democrats’ case against President Donald Trump.

    The group of Republican state leaders filed a “friend of the Senate” letter Wednesday as the impeachment proceedings heated up in the Senate, with House impeachment managers outlining their opening arguments that same day.

    “If the Senate does not reject the politically-motivated, manufactured theories upon which the impeachment articles are based, the House will be emboldened to base future impeachment efforts upon the same vague, boundless, and destructive theories,” the letter reads.

    The attorneys general dismissed the impeachment proceedings as a “partisan response” to the 2016 election and called it an attempt by Democrats to rally their base ahead of the November election. They also offered a legal argument against the two articles of impeachment in the 14-page document.

    Democrats, meanwhile, argue that Trump abused the power of his office in an attempt to pressure Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden’s son. Biden is considered a frontrunner among the Democrats seeking to oust Trump.

    “The legal theories underlying both Articles I and II are not only flawed, they are inherently destructive of separation of powers, contrary to the framers’ vision of impeachment power and will set a dangerous precedent,” Carr said in the statement.

    “The framers of our Constitution hesitated to give Congress impeachment power over the president for fear of it being used for political disagreements or as a partisan weapon and expertly crafted it so it could not,” Carr continued. “And we believe the Senate must expressly reject the articles of this impeachment to protect the office of the president and the Constitution.”

    The Democratic Attorneys General Association, meanwhile, brushed off their Republican counterparts’ criticism of the Democrat-led impeachment efforts.

    “The people of these states deserve more than politicking and pandering from their state Attorney General – and that’s clearly all this was,” said the association’s executive director, Sean Rankin. 

    In Georgia, voters are divided on the issue of impeachment, according to a recent poll from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs. Nearly half of respondents said they did not think Trump had committed an impeachable offense. About 45% said they believed he had.

    About 57% of those respondents said they believed Trump’s fate should be left in voters’ hands.

    Nationally, 63% of Americans say they believe Trump did something illegal as president or as a candidate, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center. When asked if Trump did something unethical, 70% said they thought he had.

    Still, only 51% of those who participated in the national poll said they thought the Senate impeachment trial should end with Trump’s removal from office.

    Carr was first appointed by former Gov. Nathan Deal in 2016 and was narrowly elected to a full term last fall with about 51% of the vote.

    Jill Nolin
    Jill Nolin has spent nearly 15 years reporting on state and local government in four states, focusing on policy and political stories and tracking public spending. She has spent the last five years chasing stories in the halls of Georgia’s Gold Dome, earning recognition for her work showing the impact of rising opioid addiction on the state’s rural communities. She is a graduate of Troy University.