Georgia Republican Says He Was Just Following His Lawyers’ Advice When He Schemed to Overturn the 2020 Election for Donald Trump
No one knows if Fulton County district attorney Fani Willis’s 2020 election investigation will ultimately end in indictments for Donald Trump and/or the allies who helped him attempt to stay in power after losing to Joe Biden. One thing that is clear, though, is that the people Willis is investigating seem to be extremely worried they’ll be on the receiving end of criminal charges, and we know this because at least one of them has written a desperate letter blaming everything he did on attorneys representing him and Trump.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution shafer-broke-no-laws-as-alternate-trump-elector-in-2020/7IMON55FBJBYPEJB7XQ5WT4FBU/”>reports that in a letter sent to Willis’s office, lawyers for David Shafer, chairman of the Georgia Republican Party, swore their client was simply following legal advice when he organized a slate of fake electors—and served as one himself—in effort to steal a second term for Trump. Noting that they don’t think Shafer actually did anything wrong—“We believe that the legal advice Mr. Shafer received was correct and that his reliance upon that advice was justified,” Holly Pierson and Craig Gillen say—the attorneys write that should prosecutors nevertheless decide he broke the law, they’d like everyone to know he was only doing as told and therefore cannot be convicted of a crime. “Every action by Mr. Shafer as a presidential elector nominee or contingent elector in 2020 was specifically undertaken in conformity with and reliance upon the repeated and detailed advice of legal counsel, eliminating any possibility of criminal intent or liability,” they insist. This, is, of course, an amazing argument: Our client has committed no crime…but if he did it was only because someone else told him to, so he’s in the clear.
Willis previously informed all 16 of the fake electors in Georgia that they were targets of her investigation and could be indicted; so far, at least half of them have georgia-trump-fake-electors-immunity/index.html”>taken immunity deals.
The DA, who is reportedly considering charging people with racketeering and conspiracy charges, said last month that she will announce a decision on indictments between July 11 and September 1. The announcement was revealed in a letter to local law enforcement, who Willis asked to be ready for “heightened security and preparedness,” because the situation “may provoke a significant public reaction.” (Also: Not sure if anyone knows this, but Donald Trump has a bit of a history re: attacking prosecutors and inciting violence on his behalf.)
As trump–willis/index.html”>CNN notes, Willis’s team has “at least three recordings of Trump pressuring Georgia officials [to help him overturn the election], including a phone call that he made to the Georgia House speaker to push for a special session to overturn…Biden’s 2020 victory in the state,” and the one in which he demanded state secretary Brad Raffensperger “find” the exact number of votes he needed to turn his loss to Biden into a win. While the DA’s probe initially centered around the Raffensperger call, it subsequently expanded to include the fake-elector scheme, false claims of fraud to state lawmakers, efforts to access voting machines, and harassment of election workers. When asked about the recommendations a special grand jury impaneled by Willis made re: which individuals should be charged, jury forewoman Emily Kohrs told The New York Times it was “not a short list,” adding, of whether or not Trump was on it: “You’re not going to be shocked. It’s not rocket science.” Speaking to the AJC, another juror said: “A lot’s gonna come out sooner or late. And it’s gonna be massive. It’s gonna be massive.”
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