Atlanta

Released testimony sheds new light on meeting of false electors in 2020 presidential election

ATLANTA — With the new Congress starting Tuesday, the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection is no longer standing.

But before it dissolved, it released a cache of witness testimony including from Georgians involved in efforts to overturn the election.

Among the testimonies released was that from the chair of the Georgia Republican party.

David Shafer led the group of false electors in December 2020 and now Channel 2′s Richard Elliot has learned what he told the committee about that day.

Committee members wanted to learn about efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election in Georgia, including efforts to call a special session to toss out the Democratic electors and allow the legislature to pick pro-Trump electors.

Shafer testified he opposed those efforts, preferring instead to go through the courts.

“I didn’t think it was politically possible or the best way to proceed,” Shaffer said during his testimony.

He also talked about his participation in the slate of false electors.

Channel 2 Action News was there when that slate met at the state capitol in December 2020, with Shafer leading the meeting.

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When questioned about it, Shafer testified that the only reason they met was to keep former President Donald Trump’s elections lawsuits alive and that he was unaware of larger efforts to use the slate to overturn the election in Congress.

“I became persuaded that we needed to go through the motions of casting our votes exactly as prescribed by the code in order to preserve this (legal) Remedy for President Trump if he ultimately prevailed in the election contest that was pending.”

After the false electors meeting, Shafer met with Elliot and essentially said the same thing.

“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 this meeting, then his lawsuit would effectively been mooted,” Shafer said at the time.

The testimony may shed light on Shafer’s testimony before the Fulton County special purpose grand jury.

Shafer has one of those target letters saying he is at risk for possible criminal charges.

We do expect to get a report from that grand jury soon, likely in a few weeks.

Elliot attempted to contact Shafer for comment for this story, but he declined.

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