Trump Co-Defendant submits transcript of fake electors meeting to Fulton County court

August 22, 2023

Former Georgia Republican Party Chair David Shafer on Tuesday provided a transcript in Fulton County Court about what was happening behind closed doors related to the Georgia fake electors scheme.

Shafer, along with former President Trump, is among 19 co-defendants who were indicted by a grand jury on racketeering charges related to attempts to overturn Georgia’s 2020 election. All 19 co-defendants face racketeering charges. Shafer is also charged with impersonating a public officer, forgery, false statements and writings, and filing false documents.

He’s claiming he should have his case moved from state to federal court is because he was working essentially under the direction of then-President Trump when he, himself, acted as a fake elector.

He wrote in his court filing, “Mr. Shafer and the other Republican Electors in the 2020 election acted at the direction of the incumbent President and other federal officials.”

The transcript he submitted aims to underscore Trump’s close involvement in efforts to assemble a group of favorable activists on December 14, 2020 and have them sign documents claiming to be Georgia’s legitimate Presidential electors—rather than the Biden electors for whom the people of Georgia voted.

In Tuesday’s filing, Shafer underscored that the strategy was driven almost entirely by lawyers acting on Trump’s behalf. Among them was attorney Ray Smith, one of the other co-defendants charged in the case.

The transcript of the meeting, submitted by Shafer on Tuesday, reveals that Smith addressed the group before they signed the documents.

“We’re conducting this because the contest of the election in Georgia is ongoing,” Smith told the group, according to the transcript. “And so we continue to contest the election of the electors in Georgia. And so we’re going to conduct this in accordance with the Constitution of the United States and we’re going to conduct the electorate today similar to what happened in 1960 in Hawaii.”

Republicans behind the fake electors scheme have asserted that Democrats signed documents falsely claiming to be Hawaii’s legitimate electors in the Kennedy vs. Nixon Presidential election of 1960. In that case, Kennedy (D) had clearly already won the election, though Nixon (R) had won Hawaii, which had three electoral college votes at stake.

In the 2020 fake electors transcript, Shafer replies to Smith, “And if we did not hold this meeting, then our election contest would effectively be abandoned.”

Smith answers, “That’s correct.”

Shafer also submitted to the court a December 10, 2020 email that he received from local GOP attorney Alex Kaufman urging him to push forward with convening the fake electors a few days later. Smith, as well as Trump-affiliated attorneys Cleta Mitchell and Kurt Hilbert, are copied on the email.

Georgia prosecutors have rejected Shafer’s assertion that he was acting purely on the advice of Trump campaign attorneys, and suggested that he played a leadership role among the fake electors.

Shafer submitted the documentation the same day that former Trump attorney John Eastman—the author of the nationwide fake electors scheme—surrendered at the Fulton County jail after agreeing to a $100,000 bond deal.

On Monday, Trump agreed to a $200,000 bond deal. That evening he posted on Truth Social that he’ll be turning himself in at the Fulton County jail on Thursday.

PHOTO: Atlanta’s Fulton County Courthouse

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