A Georgia judge on Wednesday singled out the chairman of the state’s Republican Party, saying he had a “substantively” different role than 10 other fake electors who supported former President Trump in the 2020 election.
Judge Robert McBurney in the Superior Court of Fulton County, Georgia, said in a court ruling that David Shafer was “not just another alternate elector” and that he must have separate counsel in an investigation probing efforts to overturn Georgia’s 2020 results.
Shafer’s “role in establishing and convening the slate of alternate electors, his communications with other key players in the District Attorney’s investigation, and his role in other postelection efforts to call into question the validity of the official vote count in Georgia” separate him from the other 10 alternate electors, the judge wrote.
The attorneys seeking to represent all 11 “alternate” electors are Holly Pierson and Kimberly Debrow.
In his ruling, McBurney said the attorneys “may represent David Shafer or the other ten alternate electors — but not both.”
McBurney is overseeing the court proceedings of a special grand jury in Fulton County investigating allegations that Trump and his allies wrongfully intervened to reverse now-President Biden’s victory in the state.
In the wide-ranging case, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D), who opened the criminal probe last year, is investigating 16 Georgia Republicans who were offered as fake electors for the state in the 2020 election.
The fake electors signed certificates declaring Trump had won the presidential election and offering themselves as official electors in order to certify Georgia’s election results for the former president.
Despite the scheme, a slate of Democratic electors ultimately certified the 2020 election for Biden, who won the state by thousands of votes.
But Willis has said she is interested in the actions of those 16 fake electors and is seeking their testimony in the probe.
As chairman of the Georgia Republican Party, Shafer allegedly convened Republicans in the state’s capitol in December 2020 in addition to signing off himself as a fake elector, according to CNN.