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A lawyer representing Ms. Willis’s office, Anna Green Cross, pointed out that the fund-raiser was “very clearly identified” in a flier as pertaining to a runoff election in the Democratic primary, not the general election matchup against Mr. Jones.

But the judge was clearly troubled by it. “The optics are horrific,” he said, adding that it created at least an appearance problem. “If we are at a cocktail party and people are asking, ‘Do you think that this is a fair and balanced approach to things?’” he said, and continued, “Well, how do you explain this?” He also expressed concern that the district attorney, as “the legal adviser to the grand jury,” was “on national media almost nightly talking about this investigation.”

Criticism aside, efforts to remove prosecutors have been tried, unsuccessfully, in other Trump-related cases. Late last year, lawyers for Mr. Trump filed a federal lawsuit seeking to halt an inquiry by the New York attorney general, Letitia James, arguing that her public criticism of Mr. Trump had violated several of his constitutional rights, including those to free speech and due process. That suit was dismissed in May. Judge McBurney told a lawyer for several of the pro-Trump electors, Holly Pierson, “you’re not asking, I hope, that we have to have a Republican district attorney investigate this, because that’s the only way it will be fair?”

Ms. Pierson said she was not.

The legal maneuvers come as Ms. Willis’s investigation has been intensifying and has emerged as the inquiry that puts Mr. Trump and some of his allies in perhaps the most immediate criminal jeopardy.

Judge Criticizes Georgia Prosecutor for Aiding the Political Rival of a Trump Ally

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