Pro-Trump attorney Kenneth Chesebro claimed in court Monday that Georgia’s allegedly fraudulent voters in 2020 were “duly elected and certified” to vote for Donald Trump in the Peach State – by their local Republican party.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis filed seven criminal charges against Chesebro in Georgia, calling him the architect of a fraudulent election scheme. Prosecutors have also charged three of the allegedly fraudulent pro-Trump voters: Cathy Latham, the former chair of the Republican Party in rural Coffee County; David Shafer, a former state senator and former chairman of the state GOP; and Shawn Still, a state senator.
They are four of Trump’s 18 co-defendants accused of plotting to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the Peach State.
Chesebro responded to those allegations in a flurry of filings on Monday, claiming he had no intention of defrauding anyone – just to maintain the status quo until Trump’s lawsuits over his defeat were resolved.
“Here, the Republican presidential election was qualified and elected by the Republican Party,” Chesebro’s attorney Manny Arora told Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee, emphasizing the word in bold and italics.
Kenneth ChesebroFulton County Sheriff’s Office
“The slate was not certified or identified, but that was not what was claimed. In fact, at the Republican election convention on December 14, 2020, David Shafer stated several times that the convention was intended for the “Republicans.” nominees as presidential elector,’” Arora added.
Chesebro’s attorney attached a transcript of the GOP voter meeting at the Georgia State Capitol on December 14, 2020, showing that Shafer provided this coverage.
“Furthermore, both David Shafer and Shawn Still stated on the record that the voters met to preserve any potential victory that could be achieved through litigation“ says the memo, highlighting the words.
That same day, Shafer publicly explained his motivations on Twitter, describing the meeting as an attempt to maintain Trump’s position in the litigation.
With the President’s lawsuit challenging Georgia’s election still pending, the Republican candidates for Presidential Elector met at noon today at the State Capitol and cast their votes for President and Vice President.
— David Shafer (@DavidShafer) December 14, 2020
If the voters’ status is “dependent” on the litigation, Chesebro argues, the various allegations against him cannot stand. He was charged with conspiring to impersonate a “peace officer or other official or employee.”
“If the officials referred to in Item 9 are merely the ‘duly elected and qualified’ presidential electors, then there is no crime here because the replacements were duly elected by the Republican Party and qualified as presidential electors.” , his defense motion states.
Chesebro says the same logic applies to his two counts of first-degree forgery and two other counts of making false statements and writings. Fulton County prosecutors note that the fake GOP voters sent their certificates to courts, statehouses, Congress and the U.S. Archivist. He had previously tried to reject the overarching accusation of blackmail on other grounds.
If his efforts to torpedo his criminal charges fail, Chesebro will stand trial on October 23, 2023 alongside his Trump-loyal lawyer Sidney Powell.