Georgia Fake Electors
After the 2020 election, Georgia’s legitimate electors cast their votes in the Electoral College for Joe Biden, who won the popular vote in Georgia. However, 16 people acted as fake electors for Donald Trump in Georgia in the aftermath of the 2020 election. They signed their name to documents falsely stating that Mr. Trump was the victor, and therefore should be given Georgia’s Electoral College votes.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has been investigating attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election in Georgia. Last summer, Willis informed the fake electors they were targets of her investigation. The Department of Justice has been conducting a similar, but separate, investigation into the actions of fake electors in other states.
Immunity in Fulton Prosecution
In November 2022, reports began to surface that DA Willis was exploring immunity agreements with some of the 16 Georgia fake electors. By May 2023, court documents and reporting showed that at least nine of the fake electors had accepted immunity deals in the Fulton county investigation. The terms of the immunity deals are not public.
This spring, DA Willis’ office filed a motion seeking to remove Kimberly Bourroughs Debrow, an attorney for some of the fake electors. The motion alleged that she failed to inform her clients about potential immunity deals in 2022. In May, DA Willis withdrew her motion when Debrow limited her representation to eight of the fake electors who now have immunity deals.
News reports indicate that the Georgia Republican Party has spent more than $200,000 defending these fake electors over the course of the Fulton investigation.
Evidence disclosed in the Fulton County investigation indicates that Donald Trump’s advisors held meetings in the weeks before the January, 2021 Coffee County, Georgia voting machine breach. In these meetings, these advisors, including Rudy Giuliani, discussed how they believed Trump would be able to voluntarily seize voting machines in the weeks after the 2020 election, including in Georgia. Other Trump allies also sent text messages about attempts to gain access to voting machines in Georgia and elsewhere. Subsequently, Sidney Powell coordinated an effort in which Coffee County’s voting machines were impermissibly accessed and imaged, along with similar efforts in at least 2 other states – Michigan and Nevada.
Other Fulton Developments
Trump seeks to bury grand jury report
In late March, former president Donald Trump asked a GA court to prevent the Special Grand Jury's final report from being released. The Special Grand Jury has been investigating efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election in GA. Trump also asked the court to disqualify Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis from the investigation. According to media reports, the Special Grand Jury recommended at least a dozen indictments in its final report. Trump seeks to prevent the use of any evidence obtained by the Special Grand Jury to support those recommendations. In April, Cathy Latham, one of the GA fake electors and former head of the Republican Party in Coffee County, joined Trump in making a similar request to the court.
DA Willis opposes Trump move to shut down investigation
On May 15, Fulton DA Fani Willis asked the court to dismiss former president Trump’s motion, saying it and the similar motion by Cathy Latham were “procedurally flawed and advance arguments that lack merit.”
DA Willis signals indictments may come this summer
In April, DA Willis said she would announce possible criminal indictments in her investigation into interference in the 2020 Georgia election between July 11 and September 1. She urged law enforcement to beef up security preparations.
One of the focuses of Fulton County DA Willis’s investigation is whether there was pressure or threats by Donald Trump and his allies pushing Georgia officials to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in the state.
Trump called Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia Secretary of State, on January 2, 2021, after there had already been multiple recounts and audits in the state confirming that Joe Biden had won. Trump stated during this call that he won the Georgia 2022 presidential popular vote by “hundreds of thousands of votes” and that the certified election results were incorrect. He asked SoS Raffensperger to “reexamine” the results and “find 11,780 votes,” the number of votes that would have been needed for him to overtake Joe Biden in the vote count.
Pressuring an elections official to overturn the results of an election is a possible violation of Georgia and Federal law.