Georgia widens criminal investigation of DA in Rayshard Brooks case

Georgia widens criminal investigation of DA in Rayshard Brooks case
Paul Howard (Image: 11alive screen grab)

It was clear from practically Day One in investigation into the police shooting of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta that Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard had not intention of administering justice. He claimed, for example, that officers made no made no attempt to save Brooks, kicking his outstretched body instead. Body cam video of their life-saving efforts immediately rendered the claim spurious. Howard insisted that Brooks posed no threat to the cop he shot a Taser at despite his declaration two weeks ago in an unrelated case that Tasers are “considered a deadly weapon.” As if that weren’t enough to make the case that Howard should recuse himself, these bombshells were followed by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s revelation that the DA was under criminal investigation for “his use of a nonprofit to funnel at least $140,000 in city of Atlanta funds to supplement his salary.”

Now another shoe has dropped. Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey reports:

[The] Georgia attorney general has asked the state’s Bureau of Investigation to find out how Howard managed to issue … subpoenas [against the two officers involved in the Brooks case] when the grand jury was not in session.

According to Fox 5 Atlanta, Grand Jury subpoena sent from Howard’s office to the Atlanta Police department required that the documents be surrendered to the Grand Jury on July 14. But there’s no way that could have happened since the grand jury had suspended its proceedings in mid-March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Since these questions were raised, Howard has given three contradictory explanations of how he accomplished this impossible feat. Here are the three explanations, according to Fox 5, the third of which was rendered last Friday:

Explanation Number one: … Howard told the Fulton County Daily report the subpoenas were sent out for a potential “future grand jury.

Explanation Number two: Howard later told FOX 5 an employee thought a “past grand jury” was still in session.

Explanation Number three: … [T]here was actually a second grand jury all along that hadn’t been dismissed and was still available.

But Explanation Three is disproved a priori by that fact that second grand jury’s legal term had already ended when the subpoenas were issued.

Morrissey concludes:

This is more serious than funny, of course, and it points up just how political the indictment against the two officers was and is. Howard didn’t do a legitimate investigation; he didn’t even wait for the evidence or the actual legitimate investigation. Howard cooked the books to issue an indictment in his own personal political interest, not in the interest of justice. And that cooking is very likely to lead to the dismissal of the case no matter what its merits. …

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.