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Fake GOP electors targeted in Fulton County special grand jury probe
The 16 Republicans who submitted false documents claiming to be official Georgia electors and that Donald Trump won the state's election have been notified they could be prosecuted for their actions.
In a court filing Tuesday, 11 of the fake GOP electors, including party chairman David Shafer, filed a motion seeking to halt future testimony, have the Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis removed from prosecuting them and that any report be held under embargo or seal until after the midterm elections.
The Republicans write in their motion that originally the electors were considered witnesses in the ongoing probe of potential crimes committed in the failed effort to overturn the 2020 election, but on June 28 prosecutors notified them that "as our investigation has matured and new evidence has come to light" that they were now targets of the election probe.
State Sen. Burt Jones, the party's nominee for lieutenant governor and also a fake elector, is apparently a target of the investigation as well. Jones has also filed a motion to have Willis disqualified as the prosecutor. A judge has scheduled a hearing on that motion for Thursday.
Jones argues that Willis, a Democrat, is pursuing an investigation against him to benefit his opponent, Charlie Bailey, in the midterm election. Willis recently held a fundraiser for Bailey.
Willis wrote in response that Jones was not singled out based on his campaign and that she should not be removed from the investigation.
"Each of the sixteen persons who signed the unofficial Elector Certificate ultimately submitted to the National Archives received similar target letter, alerting that person both that his testimony was required by the special purpose grand jury and that he was target of the investigation," Willis wrote.
The 11 electors mentioned in Tuesday's filing include Mark Amick, Joseph Brannan, Brad Carver, Vikki Consiglio, John Downey, Carolyn Fish, Kay Godwin, Cathy Latham, Shafer, Shawn Still and CB Yadav. James "Ken" Carroll, David Hanna, Mark Hennessy, Daryl Moody are also targets of the probe, per Willis.
During and after the Dec. 14 meeting where the Republicans signed a false certificate claiming to be the "duly elected and qualified Electors for President and Vice President," Shafer argued that they were simply preserving their options if a lawsuit overturned the results.
In the court filing, attorneys for the fake electors also claim that their false documents were legally allowed, blamed the courts for not rectifying lawsuits before the Electoral College met and said that states have no jurisdiction to determine which elector slates are "'fake' or valid."
A footnote in the filing claims that "no Georgia court ever held an evidentiary hearing or ruled on the merits" of the Trump v. Raffensperger suit that was pending. The day before the meeting where the false paperwork was signed, the Georgia Supreme Court rejected an appeal to have the case heard, writing that they did not have jurisdiction.
The suit was eventually dropped, along with other challenges by the Trump campaign.
Tuesday's filing is the latest evidence that the Fulton County special grand jury probe is zeroing in on potential crimes committed in the efforts to subvert Georgia's thrice-counted election results.
In recent weeks, the wide-ranging probe has also subpoenaed South Carolina U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, Rudy Giuliani and others in Trump's inner circle in relation to a series of unofficial legislative hearings during which lawmakers were urged to select Republican electors based on false claims of voter fraud.