More than a dozen Georgia Republicans who affixed their names to a so-called “alternate” electoral certificate for Donald Trump are now reportedly cooperating with criminal prosecutors in Georgia probing the twice-impeached president’s push to overturn the 2020 election results.
CNN was first to report the development Wednesday, noting that two anonymous sources close to the investigation in Georgia said prosecutors met with 16 Trump electors as well as David Shafer, chair of the Georgia Republican Party.
The report suggested Wednesday that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is trying to establish whether the group of electors were aware that they may have been engaged in a broader plot to pressure elected officials and subvert Biden’s victory. They are considered witnesses, not targets or subjects, of the investigation.
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President Joe Biden won the state of Georgia in the 2020 election by more than 10,000 votes. It was a memorable nailbiter of a victory: a Democrat had not pulled that off in nearly three decades.
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Trump, along with a band of his attorneys led by Rudy Giuliani, however, insisted he won the state. This went on for weeks despite audit after audit confirming his defeat.
Ultimately, on Jan. 2, 2021, Trump called Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, and pushed him to “find” votes for him there.
People were angry, Trump told Raffensperger.
The secretary could just “recalculate” the totals, Trump said.
Raffensperger would not do that, and told him so.
The data Trump had was “wrong,” the secretary said.
The state secretary’s refusal went public and his failure to cow to Trump earned him death threats and ridicule.
Of late, Raffensperger has drawn new rebuke. He has decided to let Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene—one of Trump’s most vocal purveyors of misinformation about the results of the 2020 election—stay on the ballot in Georgia for the state’s primary on May 24.
A state judge found that Greene should not be disqualified from appearing on the ballot after a challenge was issued to her standing because of her role in events leading up to the Jan. 6 insurrection.
The investigation in Georgia joins others already in progress, including an inquiry launched by the Justice Department into the alternate elector scheme that played out in other states including Arizona, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Nevada, New Mexico, and Michigan.
A separate investigation into the Trump electors has been underway for several months by members of the January 6 Committee. There were 84 alternate electors all told and the committee has issued subpoenas to no less than 20 of them.
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The committee last publicly issued a subpoena to “alternate” electors in February.
Meanwhile, DOJ prosecutors in Washington, D.C., have recently widened the scope of the department’s own Jan. 6 investigation. Over the last several weeks, a grand jury in the district issued subpoenas for records and testimony about the fake elector slates as well as information on the financing behind the rally at the Ellipse on Jan. 6.