A transcript of a December 2020 meeting among those who became the Republican slate of alternative electors in Georgia appears to directly contradict claims levied by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis in her August indictment of former President Donald Trump and 18 others involved with his efforts to contest the 2020 election.
Attorney Kenneth Chesebro (pictured above), who is among those indicted in the Georgia racketeering case against former President Donald Trump, submitted the transcript to Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAffee in a filing that seeks to dismiss charges related Republican slate of alternative electors.
In the August 14 indictment, Willis accused “several” of the defendants of creating “false Electoral College documents” and “unlawfully holding themselves out as the duly elected and qualified presidential electors from the State of Georgia” in a “racketeering” scheme in which they falsely presented themselves to be public officials. Willis claimed the plan was solidified during a meeting on December 14, 2020, but did not reference the transcript in her indictment.
Chesebro’s lawyers now argue the Republican Electors were only “qualified and elected by the Republican Party” and “did not purport to be certified or ascertained” to vote in lieu of the state’s actual electors unless legal action determined Trump to be the official winner in Georgia. The attorneys write that the electors, including former Georgia Republican Party Chairman David Shafer and State Senator Shawn Still (R-Johns Creek), were meeting on December 14 “to preserve any potential victory” for Trump “that may transpire through litigation.”
The transcript provided to the court was previously obtained by The Federalist earlier this month. That outlet described its contents as exculpatory evidence that could exonerate both Shafer and attorney Ray Smith, who represented the Trump campaign during the December 14 meeting.
In the meeting, the transcript reveals, Shafer specifically asked Smith to clarify that the electors would be “Republican nominees for Presidential Elector” and not “duly elected and qualified” presidential electors, contrary to the claims made by Fulton County in the August indictment. Though Willis made a series of allegations about the December 14 meeting, she did not reference the transcript.
Beyond the transcript, the lawyers point to a post written by Shafer on X, then Twitter, on December 14, in which they say he acknowledged Republican Electors “met and voted solely in a contingent capacity.”
“Had we not met today,” the former Georgia Republican Party chair wrote in a pair of 2020 posts, “the President’s pending election contest would have been effectively mooted.” He added that the Republican Electors’ meeting was necessary to preserve Trump’s “rights under Georgia law.”
Had we not meet today and cast our votes, the President’s pending election contest would have been effectively mooted. Our action today preserves his rights under Georgia law.
— David Shafer (@DavidShafer) December 14, 2020
Willis’s office did not return a press inquiry from The Georgia Star News to ascertain whether it is in possession of the transcript, and if it is, whether her office received the document before or after the August 14 indictment was filed.
Chesebro’s case was severed from the greater indictment last week in the first major blow to Willis’s case. He and attorney Sidney Powell are now expected to be tried, jointly, on October 23, and a trial date for Trump and the 16 other defendants whose cases remain joined has not been set.
– – –
Tom Pappert is the lead reporter for The Georgia Star News and a reporter for the Arizona Sun Times. Follow Tom on X/Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Kenneth Chesebro” by Kenneth Chesebro.