The former chair of the Georgia Republican Party, who was among those indicted in the Georgia RICO case, says attorneys for the former president, Donald Trump were behind the fake electors plot.
Donald Trump Has More Problems Now…
Following the indictment of former President Trump and 18 others in Georgia on racketeering and other charges related to their efforts to overturn the 2020 election result in that state, a big worry for the former president is that some of the other defendants might “flip” on him.
That appears to have happened in another of Trump’s cases, in which a former Mar-a-Lago security chief has changed his testimony and implicated Trump, and it also looks like his former chief of staff Mark Meadows has also provided information about Trump.
There’s been no indication that any of the Georgia defendants have turned on Trump, although a story this week says that one of the defendants is at least pointing the finger at others.
Per Politico, attorneys for David Shafer, a former state party chairman who was among those indicted in Georgia, are saying that he was pressured, by the then-president’s lawyers and presidential campaign to assemble the slate of fake electors.
Shafer has not flipped or entered any type of cooperation agreement, but he has claimed that he was following orders from others, in statements that echo what he had said previously.
“Mr. Shafer and the other Republican Electors in the 2020 election acted at the direction of the incumbent President and other federal officials,” an attorney for Shafer wrote in a petition. Like Meadows, Shafer is pushing to move his case from state to federal court.
The lawyers provided documents showing the campaign’s “close involvement in efforts to assemble a group of pro-Trump activists on Dec. 14, 2020, to sign documents claiming to be Georgia’s legitimate presidential electors.” The attorney also claims that the strategy was driven “almost entirely by lawyers acting on Trump’s behalf — including Ray Smith, one of the other defendants charged in the case.”
Shafer’s lawyers stated that an “attorney for the President was present at the December 14, 2020 meeting of the presidential electors itself and advised the Presidential Electors, including Mr. Shafer, that performance of their duties was necessary on behalf of the President and the Constitution.”
The filing also includes the transcript of the meeting among the bogus electors that took place on December 14, 2020, the date when the real electors met and voted.
Prosecutors, however, “have rejected Shafer’s contention that he was acting purely on the advice of Trump campaign lawyers and suggested that he, above other members of the false elector slate, played a leadership role in the effort,” according to the outlet.
The fake electors had referred to the precedent of 1960, when electors in favor of John F. Kennedy had met and certified a slate, while a recount was ongoing, one that ultimately showed Kennedy winning that state over Richard Nixon.
But that Hawaii election, unlike the Georgia one in 2020, still had an outcome that remained ambiguous, and also did not end up determining the outcome of the election itself.
Shafer, per The Hill, was among the defendants who surrendered Wednesday morning, before they were booked and released. Shafer went on to make his mug shot his profile picture on X, the social network formerly known as Twitter.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Greg Bluestein wrote earlier this month about Georgia Republicans who refused to serve as fake electors- and likely avoided indictment by doing so.
“I was more focused on Jan. 5,” Jason Shepherd, then the country party chair of Cobb County, told the newspaper, referring to the date of the Senate runoffs in that state in which both Republican candidates lost. “It would have been a waste of a day. In my opinion, there was no point.”
Trump himself is scheduled to appear in Georgia to surrender to authorities on Thursday morning, with bond set at $200,000.
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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. Stephen has authored thousands of articles over the years that focus on politics, technology, and the economy for over a decade. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.
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