Individuals including David Shafer, the current chairperson of the Georgia Republican Party, could face criminal charges for their roles in a multi-state scheme to assemble falsified electoral votes on Trump’s behalf in states that Biden won, a new report from The Atlanta-Journal Constitution explains. The possibility of criminal charges has already been floated elsewhere, such as in Michigan, where state Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) suggested forgery of public records as a criminal act possibly inherent in the scheme. In Georgia, “Legal experts interviewed by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution cited various federal and state laws against false statements, forgery, racketeering and election fraud that the alternative electors might have violated,” that newspaper explains.
John Eastman cares enough about Donald Trump to try and find legal loopholes that do not exist in order to overturn a valid election, but does not care enough about our democracy to answer questions for the House panel investigating the insurrection. https://t.co/Fi4vkFaPTu
— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) January 26, 2022
It’s worth noting in relation to the potential racketeering charges that it’s been revealed that the Trump team itself, including longtime Trump ally Rudy Giuliani, was involved in coordinating the fake electoral vote plot. (Conspiracy is an element of racketeering.) Justifications from those behind the whole thing have included the notion that the scheme could’ve helped preserve the legitimacy of supposedly sincere challenges to the election outcome — but there has never been any real-world indication that the election’s outcome, once determined, could be legitimately changed. The general mechanisms of the multi-state scheme to assemble these fake electoral votes involved groups of Republicans meeting to sign off on claims that they were the legitimate electoral college members from their state, with documentation of these legally baseless notions subsequently getting submitted to federal authorities. In Georgia, the fake electors were able to hold their gathering to sign off on these claims in the state Capitol.
"It's completely insane." @Lawrence explains how the January 6th Committee's letter to Ivanka Trump asking for voluntary testimony shows the chaos inside the Trump White House during the Capitol Riot. https://t.co/MLuugYIaH8 pic.twitter.com/u2rfYQyHcW
— The Last Word (@TheLastWord) January 21, 2022
Atlanta-area District Attorney Fani Willis, who is already investigating other components of Trump’s attempts to overturn the Georgia presidential election outcome, could end up investigating the fake electoral vote plot in her state, the Journal-Constitution notes. Former federal official Norm Eisen told the outlet that it “would be hard to understand how, given the direction of the [district attorney’s] work, that she and her team would not look at the role of fraudulent electoral certificates.” Besides Shafer (the state GOP chairman), other prominent Republicans involved in the Georgia scheme included state Sen. Burt Jones, who’s since turned to running for lieutenant governor.
Rep. Jamie Raskin on Trump to CNN: "We have filled in a lot more evidence that he wasn't just inciting an insurrection, he was working to organize a coup against the democracy … I can't imagine that the Dept. of Justice would not have evidence at this point to that effect."
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 27, 2022
Certain experts speaking to the Journal-Constitution said that whether those behind the plot intended to mislead observers regarding the election outcome would be an important factor to consider in any potential criminal case, although Georgia State University law professor Clark Cunningham said that “[assuming] these documents can be authenticated, I don’t think anything else is needed to obtain an indictment.”
Former Trump official and illegal parking aficionado Seb Gorka is back in court this morning after stepping on countless rakes while trying to sue the Jan 6 committee over their request for his phone records.
— Zachary Petrizzo (@ZTPetrizzo) January 28, 2022
Still, as criminal defense attorney Steve Sadow saw things, the “whole question it would come down to is, was the purpose behind this an attempt to mislead or misrepresent the presidential results from the state of Georgia.” The documents that were signed by these Republicans unequivocally stated — falsely — that Trump won Georgia, and even if those behind the materials hesitated to present these outright lies in other contexts, even the claim that there was any indication that the presidential election outcome was legitimately in question would be false. Read more at this link.
Election lies made in Michigan by Trump's legal team ended up in a draft executive order directing the military to seize voting machines nationally.
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says she's shared that info with the Jan. 6 Committee.https://t.co/nzmIsplKgc
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 28, 2022