ICYMI: Brian Kemp, Fearing Trump, Tries to Duck Subpoena

August 23, 2022

MSNBC: By defying a subpoena, Kemp is trying to look out for his own election prospects

A new report from MSNBC highlights how Gov. Brian Kemp’s refusal to testify against Donald Trump in the Fulton County 2020 election interference probe is a “blatantly hypocritical move” and “seems like an effort not to ruffle Trump’s feathers,” because Kemp will need Trump’s supporters to win re-election. 

The piece also notes how in defying the subpoena Kemp is trying to “look out for his own election prospects” and “hampering what is likely to be the most important investigation into election meddling in his state’s history.”

Kemp’s decision to resist testifying against Trump comes after Fox News reported that Kemp would welcome Trump’s endorsement. Kemp has also already said he would “absolutely” support Trump in 2024 and noted that he “never ‘once said a bad word’ about” Trump. After Trump attacked Kemp throughout the primary, Kemp is afraid of angering the former president by testifying — which could lead Trump to again take aim at Kemp during the general election.

Getty Images; AP / MSNBC

MSNBC: Brian Kemp, fearing Trump investigation, tries to duck subpoena

Georgia’s GOP governor is working hard to avoid giving up the (potential) goods on Trump.

  • Kemp appears to be part of the “no snitches” squad when it comes to Trump.
  • Kemp’s attorneys claimed in a court filing Wednesday that Willis “has engineered the Governor’s interaction with the investigation to reach a crescendo in the middle of an election cycle.”
  • In an email exchange last month with one of Kemp’s attorneys, Willis herself responded to claims she was aiming to hurt Kemp’s election chances, saying, “You repeatedly referring to it as a politically motivated investigation, does not make it so.”
  • For the record, there’s no “you’re cramping my style” defense for defying a subpoena, so it’s unclear whether Kemp’s claims that he shouldn’t have to testify close to Election Day will hold up in court. But Kemp’s lawyers also claimed he shouldn’t have to testify because his actions are covered by executive privilege (his carrying out his duties as governor).
  • Trump called Kemp after the 2020 election for help overturning Joe Biden’s election victory. Kemp rebuffed Trump, but he has been noticeably careful not to criticize the former president further. His refusal to testify similarly seems like an effort not to ruffle Trump’s feathers — particularly as Kemp will need his supporters’ backing to win re-election against Stacey Abrams this November. 
  • Importantly, Trump hasn’t ruled out endorsing Kemp. “We’ll be looking at everything,” he said this month when he was asked about a possible endorsement. 
  • By defying a subpoena in Fulton County, Kemp is trying to look out for his own election prospects. But the governor, who purports to care about election integrity, is simultaneously hampering what is likely to be the most important investigation into election meddling in his state’s history.


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