A number of the defendants in the sprawling racketeering (RICO) indictment brought against former President Donald Trump and 18 allies for efforts overturn the 2020 election have begun to report to jail in Fulton County, Georgia, for booking on state charges — and it’s clear some are handling that reality more gleefully than others.
Former Georgia Republican Party chairman David Shafer was proud to show off a beaming demeanor and literally made the mugshot his #NewProfilePicture on Wednesday.
David Shafer, former Georgia GOP chairman indicted for his role as “alternate” elector, shares mugshot after being booked at the Fulton County jail overnight. https://t.co/86jdBvAORY
— Anna Bower (@AnnaBower) August 23, 2023
According to the indictment, Shafer faces eight counts for RICO, impersonating a public officer, forgery in the first-degree (two counts), false statements and writings (three counts), and criminal attempt to commit filing false documents.
The indictment alleged that Shafer and co-defendants Shawn Still, a businessman and GOP politician, and Cathleen Latham, the former chair of the Coffee County Republican Party, impersonated a public officer by falsely casting themselves as legitimate presidential electors in writing, together forging a document purporting to be a “CERTIFICATE OF THE VOTES OF THE 2020 ELECTORS FROM GEORGIA.”
Shafer and Still were each indicted as well in connection with a second forged document which falsely claimed there was an electoral college vacancy to fill.
The 40th count of the indictment secured by Fulton County DA Fani Willis (D), which was the second to last count, further charged Shafer with lying “in the presence of Fulton County District Attorney’s Office investigators” on April 25, 2022.
Those alleged lies were:
1. That [Shafer] “attended and convened” the December 14, 2020, meeting of Trump presidential elector nominees in Fulton County, Georgia, but that he did not “call each of the individual members and notify them of the meeting or make any of the other preparations necessary for the meeting”;
2. That a court reporter was not present at the December 14, 2020, meeting of Trump presidential elector nominees in Fulton County, Georgia.
John Eastman, the former law professor whose license to practice is on the line after baselessly advising Trump in the so-called “coup memo” that then-Vice President Mike Pence could unilaterally set aside electoral votes and reverse Trump’s election loss, appeared less than pleased in his booking photo on nine counts.
The grand jury indictment charged that Trump lawyers John Eastman, Rudy Giuliani, Jenna Ellis, and Ray Stallings Smith III in connection with Dec. 3, 2020 efforts at a Georgia Senate Judiciary Subcommittee meeting to unlawfully appoint fake presidential electors as legitimate “alternate” electors.
In addition, Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani, Kenneth Chesebro and Eastman are accused of knowingly, and with the intent to defraud, engaging in a conspiracy to move the fake elector scheme forward by using the allegedly forged “RE: Notice of Filling of Electoral College Vacancy” document.
Defendants allegedly used that document “with knowledge that said document contained the false statements that DAVID JAMES SHAFER was Chairman of the 2020 Georgia Electoral College Meeting and SHAWN MICAH TRESHER STILL was Secretary of the 2020 Georgia Electoral College Meeting.”
Worsening the former Chapman University professor’s battle for his law license, Eastman and Trump were also charged together in count 27 for allegedly filing false voter fraud statistics in federal litigation against Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R).
“[O]n or about the 31st day of December 2020, knowingly and unlawfully filed a document titled ‘VERIFIED COMPLAINT FOR EMERGENCY INJUNCTIVE AND DECLARATORY RELIEF’ in the matter of Trump v. Kemp […] having reason to know that said document contained at least one of the following materially false statements,” namely:
1. That “as many as 2,506 felons with an uncompleted sentence” voted illegally in the November 3, 2020, presidential election in Georgia;
2. That “at least 66,247 underage” people voted illegally in the November 3, 2020, presidential election in Georgia;
3.That “at least 2,423 individuals” voted illegally in the November 3, 2020, presidential election in Georgia “who were not listed in the State’s records as having been registered to vote”;
4 That “at least 1,043 individuals” voted illegally in the November 3, 2020, presidential election “who had illegally registered to vote using a postal office box as their habitation”;
5. That “as many as 10,315 or more” dead people voted in the November 3, 2020, presidential election in Georgia;
6. That “[d]eliberate misinformation was used to instruct Republican poll watchers and members of the press to leave the premises for the night at approximately 10:00 pm. on November 3, 2020” at State Farm Arena in Fulton County, Georgia.
Trump is expected to report to the Fulton County jail on Thursday, ahead of a noon Friday deadline set by Willis. Trump’s man at the DOJ, environmental attorney Jeffrey Clark, and former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows have bristled about the deadline.
In response to Meadows’ request for an extension, Willis flatly denied the request — noting that two weeks was plenty of notice.
Willis was ordered to respond before 3 p.m. Wednesday to Clark’s separate emergency request for a stay of proceedings against him. Clark asked for a stay or restraining order so he would not need to make “rushed travel arrangements to fly into Atlanta” rather than “risking being labeled a fugitive.”
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