ATLANTA — A Georgia grand jury voted to indict former President Donald Trump and 18 of his allies, including former Georgia state Senator David Shafer.
Shafer became the chair of the Georgia Republican Party and was the organizer of the false electors meeting in Dec. 2020 that he insisted be held in secret -- even though Shafer continues to insist he allowed the press inside the State Capitol meeting room to record the event.
After the electors, including Shafer, cast their ballots for Donald Trump and signed the document later sent to Washington, he stepped outside Room 216 and spoke with Channel 2′s Richard Elliot.
“I mean, I arrived at noon. I mean, it’s in the law that electors are required to meet at noon, and we have the contest pending that’s undecided,” Shafer said.
At the time, Shafer insisted the meeting was legal and necessary to maintain a lawsuit filed by Trump’s attorneys in Fulton County.
Otherwise, he said, a judge might be able to toss it out saying the GOP had no electors, so there was no need for the suit.
“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.
But it’s that very meeting that caught the attention of prosecutors and of the Jan. 6 Commission.
That commission determined the false electors meeting in Georgia and in other key battleground states were part of a conspiracy to overthrow the popular vote and have then-Vice President Mike Pence refuse to accept the legal Democratic slate of electors and instead the Republican false slate of electors.
- Former President Donald Trump among 19 indicted in Georgia election interference case
- ‘They’re very grotesque’ Fulton DA opens up about threats made against her in Trump election probe
- Trump pleads not guilty, charged with efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election
Shafer was one of the Georgia false electors who received a letter from Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis informing him he was a target for possible criminal investigation and prosecution for his role in that scheme.
Later, after several electors received immunity deals in return for testimony, Shafer’s lawyers sent Willis a letter insisting he’d broken no laws and requested a meeting.
“Media reports have suggested that certain high-level members of then-President Trump’s legal team (John Eastman, Rudy Giuliani) may have developed plans to attempt to persuade Vice President Pence to count these contingent ballots as the valid electoral votes. Mr. Shafer was not involved in and had no knowledge of any such plans,” the letter read.
Outside that Dec. 2020 meeting, Shafer insisted he aggressively had to pursue the election challenge or under Georgia law, the contest was over.
“The precedent is that the election contest has not been resolved through, would have to under Georgia law, the contestant in an election must aggressively pursue that contest or it’s effectively abandoned,” Shafer said.
[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]
©2023 Cox Media Group