An email obtained by federal prosecutors shows a Donald Trump campaign staffer requesting that bogus Georgia Republican electors meet in “complete secrecy,” The Washington Post reports.
Just one day before 16 fake alternate Republican electors met at the Georgia Capitol to falsely certify that Trump won the 2020 presidential election, Robert Sinners, the Trump campaign’s operations director for Georgia elections, sent out an email asking them for their “complete discretion in this process,” adding, “Your duties are imperative to ensure the end result—a win in Georgia for President Trump—but will be hampered unless we have complete secrecy and discretion.”
The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, which begins public hearings Thursday, has copies of the email, as does the office of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who is currently investigating Trump’s endeavors to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in the state, the Post reports.
The Dec. 13 email additionally instructs Trump’s electors to intentionally mislead security guards at the Georgia Capitol by telling them they have appointments with Republican state Sen. Brandon Beach and Sen. Burt Jones.
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“Please, at no point should you mention anything to do with Presidential Electors or speak to media,” Sinners wrote in bold letters, the Post reports.
Georgia law requires that electors carry out all their duties at the state Capitol.
The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack will likely use the email and Trump’s fake electors ruse to probe its significance into the more prominent conspiracy to reverse Joe Biden’s presidential win.
“If there was nothing wrong with it, why go through such extraordinary lengths to hide what you’re doing,” Norm Eisen, a senior fellow at Brookings Institution, posited in an email sent to the Post. Eisen implies that those involved likely knew that what they were asking was going to be an issue.
According to CNN, Sinners said that he was operating under the command of Trump campaign attorneys and Georgia Republican Party chairman David Shafer, who was an elector.
“I was advised by attorneys that this was necessary in order to preserve the pending legal challenge’s longevity. … Following the former President’s refusal to accept the results of the election and allow a peaceful transition of power, my views on this matter have changed significantly from where they were on December 13,” Sinners said.
Today, Sinners works in the office of Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger—who refused to succumb to Trump’s demands to “find 11,780 votes” to fraudulently dispute Biden’s win in the state.
Shafer’s attorney, Robert Driscoll, told CNN that his client never attempted to keep anything a secret.
“None of these communications, nor his testimony, suggest that Mr. Shafer requested or wished for confidentiality surrounding the provisional electors. … Quite to the contrary, Chairman Shafer invited TV news cameras into the proceedings, and both issued a statement and gave a televised news interview immediately afterward,” Driscoll told CNN.
As the Gwinnett Daily Post reported, Georgia’s 16 Democratic electors met on Dec. 14, 2020, to formally elect President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. Former House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams oversaw the vote.
The Republican electors also cast Electoral College votes in the Capitol that day—and not secretly.
“Because the president’s lawsuit contesting the Georgia election has not been decided, or even heard … we held this meeting to preserve his rights. Had we not held the meeting, then his lawsuit would effectively be mooted,” Shafer said at the time.
Georgia Public Broadcasting reported in January 2022 that along with Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin all submitted documents to Congress falsely certifying Trump’s majority “win,” along with the Electoral College votes.
Clark Pettig, spokesperson for American Oversight, said: “Looking at the certificates, there were striking similarities in the language and the formatting between many of them that … points to this not being an original idea. … These certificates matter because they show in black and white just how far allies of the former president were prepared to go to subvert our democracy. It’s shocking to see it there on the page.”