Bad news for Donald Trump: Several Georgia “fake electors” have received immunity: In a possibly big development in the case involving election interference in Georgia, more than half of the “fake electors” for Donald Trump in 2020 have been granted immunity.
Donald Trump Has a Problem
One of the many possible criminal cases against Donald Trump is the one in Georgia, where Fulton County District Attorney Dani Willis is looking into whether Trump and others broke laws in their efforts to overturn the state’s election results in 2020.
A special grand jury, earlier this spring, had recommended multiple indictments, although it is a regular grand jury that would ultimately hand down indictments.
Over the weekend, there were big developments in the Georgia case. The New York Times reported both that Willis is nearing a charging decision, and that more than half of the “fake electors” pledged to Donald Trump had taken immunity deals in connection with the case.
The fake electors were a slate of people meant to be Trump’s electors in the Electoral College, who were not because Biden won the state. Nevertheless, the Trump slate signed a certificate falsely stating that Trump had won the state.
The Times cited both a Friday court filing and “people with knowledge of the inquiry.” The story also said that David Shafer, the head of the Georgia Republican Party and one of the fake electors who has not made a deal, has hired former Iran Contra counsel Craig A. Gillen as his attorney- one who specializes in racketeering cases.
Last month, Willis had tried to have an attorney who represented ten of the fake electors removed from the case, because the possible defendants had told prosecutors that the attorney “had not informed them of offers of immunity in exchange for cooperation that prosecutors made last year.” That attorney has denied, however, that this was the case, and that eight of her clients had accepted immunity deals.
None of the electors who have taken deals have been identified by name in any public documents.
“Based on the details in the actual immunity offers that addressed some of counsel’s previous concerns and counsel’s current assessment of the risks and beneﬁts of the immunity offers, all eight of the electors who were offered immunity accepted,” the filing stated, as reported by NBC News.
The Guardian, meanwhile, reported on a “rift” within the fake electors group, between those who took the immunity deal and those who didn’t. Additionally, the new documents state that some electors have told prosecutors “recently told state prosecutors that another one of the fake electors committed crimes that they were not involved in,” the newspaper said.
“Some of the electors stated that another elector represented by Ms Debrow committed acts that are violations of Georgia law and that they were not party to these additional acts,” Willis said in the filing, referring to the lawyer in question.
According to the Guardian, Trump faces two main areas of legal jeopardy in the Georgia case, which are “the calls he made to officials like Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in an effort to reverse his election defeat in the weeks after the 2020 election, and his role in assembling the fake electors.”
There were similar fake elector groups in every major swing state that Trump lost in 2020, including Arizona, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, in addition to Georgia. In all, 84 people signed the bogus documents claiming that Trump won those states, although none of yet been indicted for anything.
Special grand jury foreperson Emily Kohrs, in her media blitz earlier this year, had stated that other people had testified under grants of immunity.
Meanwhile, Newsweek reported that Republicans in Georgia have passed a bill that Gov. Brian Kemp has signed a bill creating a Prosecuting Attorneys Qualifications Commission, which “will have the authority to discipline and remove prosecutors found to be not upholding their law enforcement duties.” The bill is mostly seen as a way for the state to rein in “progressive prosecutors,” although it could be used to prevent Willis from indicting Trump or those close to him.
Expertise and Experience
Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.