The attorney Fulton prosecutors accused of concealing immunity offers from her GOP elector clients vehemently defended her conduct and said she has tapes proving that the District Attorney’s office misrepresented facts in a recent court motion.
Kimberly Bourroughs Debrow, the Newnan-based lawyer representing 10 of the 16 Republicans who falsely claimed to be Georgia’s duly elected presidential electors in December 2020, called prosecutors’ allegations “baseless, false, and offensive.”
“I have ethically and professionally represented my clients at all times, and I will continue to do so,” Debrow said in a written statement late Tuesday.
Debrow’s comments came hours after DA Fani Willis urged a Fulton judge to remove the attorney from the case in an explosive motion that revealed that prosecutors had floated immunity deals to the electors last summer. But the filing noted that when prosecutors interviewed some of the electors last week, some said they had not been informed of the immunity proposals in 2022.
That’s in contrast with what Fulton prosecutors said they had been told in early August 2022, when Debrow’s then-co-counsel Holly Pierson reported that none of their clients were interested in the immunity offers.
All 16 of the “alternate” electors, who signed phony Electoral College documents in a ceremony in the Georgia statehouse on Dec. 14, 2020, were informed they were among the “targets” of the DA’s election interference probe last July and could receive criminal charges. (The DA’s office was subsequently disqualified from investigating one of the electors, Lt. Gov. Burt Jones, due to a political conflict of interest.)
In their Tuesday filing, Fulton prosecutors also said that some of the electors they recently interviewed accused a fellow elector of committing “acts that are violations of Georgia law.” The DA’s office did not provide any additional details.
A few hours later, Debrow insisted neither she — nor her clients — did anything wrong, including “implicat(ing) themselves or each other in any crimes.” And she said she had recordings of the DA’s interviews with her clients that would back her up.
“The Court will be able to hear for itself how the DA’s Office has completely misrepresented the facts,” Debrow said, accusing Willis of running a “politically motivated” investigation.
Pierson, who once worked alongside Debrow, called the DA’s allegation’s “entirely false” in a separate statement and said the court currently has documents in its possession “that unequivocally prove the DA’s allegations false.”
This is not the first time the DA’s office sought Debrow’s disqualification. Last October, it pushed for the removal of both Debrow and Pierson, who at the time represented 11 alternate electors, a group that also included then-Georgia GOP Chairman David Shafer.
In November, Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney ruled that Debrow and Pierson could represent Shafer or the other 10 electors, but not both. McBurney said Shafer was differently situated from the others since he played a larger role in convening the slate of electors.
After that, Pierson received permission to represent Shafer. Among the 10 being represented by Debrow include state Sen. Shawn Still, state Republican Party Treasurer Joseph Brannan, Assistant Treasurer Vikki Consiglio and Atlanta lawyer Brad Carver.
The state GOP has footed the electors’ legal bills, paying nearly $310,000 so far in attorneys fees to Pierson and Debrow, according to campaign finance filings.
Tuesday’s developments raised questions about the timing of potential indictments in Willis’s criminal investigation, which could come as soon as next month. It also generated discussions among legal analysts about whether an attorney could receive a bar complaint or even be disbarred for withholding information from clients.
It is a “super serious” ethical violation if a lawyer gets an offer of immunity for one or some of his or her clients and fails to disclose it, said New York attorney Nick Akerman, a former Watergate prosecutor who is closely following the investigation.
“Why would (the DA) make this representation that people in interviews said that they were not told about this immunity?” he asked. “If it’s true, what it says to me is they’re doing it because they don’t want anybody to rat on the others who are involved.”
McBurney will likely want to listen to the recordings to which Debrow referred, Akerman said. “That’s going to be very, very interesting,” he said.
Akerman said it’s possible the legal wrangling over this issue could delay a possible indictment if the DA’s office chooses to obtain one.
Credit: Miguel Martinez/AJC
Credit: Miguel Martinez/AJC