Andrew Warren, the George Soros-backed prosecutor, is fighting back after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) took the unprecedented step of suspending him.
Warren is the state attorney for Hillsborough County.
What is the background?
"When you flagrantly violate your oath of office, when you make yourself above the law, you have violated your duty, you have neglected your duty, and you are displaying a lack of competence to be able to perform those duties, and so today, we are suspending State Attorney Andrew Warren, effective immediately," DeSantis said at a press conference.
In suspending the Democratic prosecutor, DeSantis cited his authority under Article IV, Section 7 of the Florida state constitution.
How did Warren respond?
Warren addressed his suspension at a press conference on an unrelated topic, characterizing DeSantis' decision as undermining democracy.
"People need to understand this isn’t the governor trying to suspend the one elected official," Warren said. "This is the governor trying to overthrow democracy here in Hillsborough County."
To be fair, Warren is duly elected. He won election to his office in 2016 and won re-election in 2020 by a margin of nearly 50,000 votes, according to WTSP-TV.
At the time of the press conference, Warren said he had not yet read the official order suspending him, but said he "heard it contains a lot of conjecture and lies."
"I woke up to do my job today, and that’s exactly what I did," Warren said. "Just based on the governor’s track record with unconstitutional orders, I have a feeling that this is going to be just as unconstitutional."
Warren, however, did not explain what is unconstitutional about DeSantis' order. That did not stop him from accusing DeSantis of engaging in a politically motivated decision meant to boost his presidential aspirations.
"I think the governor is trying to make a good impression on the Iowa caucus voters," Warren accused.
And although he has vowed not to follow state laws, Warren defended himself from charges levied by DeSantis. According to Warren, he has not yet had a case involving abortion or child sex-change operations come to his office.
"We’ve had none. None of those cases have been brought to us. We’re not anticipating those cases being brought to us," Warren said. "You should go ask the sheriff whether he has had those cases and whether they’re investigating arresting people for that, because when they do, and they bring us a case, we’ll evaluate it."
DeSantis appointed Hillsborough County Court Judge Susan Lopez to serve as Warren's replacement.