Georgia on their Mind
Seventeen Georgia Republicans who participated in a fake electors scheme intended to help former President Donald Trump overturn his 2020 loss are "targets" of a special grand jury investigation in Fulton County and could face criminal charges, documents filed Tuesday confirmed. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis impaneled the grand jury to investigate "a multi-state, coordinated plan by the Trump Campaign to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere."
Sixteen of the Trump supporters who received June 28 letters informing them they are targets of the investigation had signed sworn statements on Dec. 14, 2020, proclaiming themselves Georgia's "duly elected and qualified" electors, even though Trump lost the state and President Biden's electors were certified. The 17th target, state Sen. Brandon Beach (R), allegedly facilitated communication between the fake electors and the Trump campaign.
"A 'target' letter is often the final step a local or federal prosecutor will take to inform an individual they are likely to be indicted before formal charges are brought," The Washington Post explains. Some legal experts, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, say the fake GOP electors "may have violated election fraud and forgery statutes, among others."
Lawyers for 11 of the 16 phony Trump electors filed a motion Tuesday to block the grand jury's "unreasonable and oppressive" subpoenas. The GOP electors were "abruptly" and "wrongfully converted" from "witnesses who were cooperating voluntarily" to targets, their lawyers claimed, and this status shift was "as best, a publicity stunt" to "force them to publicly invoke their rights" against self-incrimination.
The grand jury has also subpoenaed a raft of Trump allies, and at least two of them — Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) — are fighting the subpoenas in court, arguing their inquiries into the 2020 election are protected by the Constitution's Speech and Debate clause.