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'None of them have had to pay a penny out of pocket.' Georgia Republican Party spends $220k in fake Trump elector legal fees

Last year, the GAGOP paid two law firms that are defending 11 of the 16 fake electors in the Fulton County 2020 election investigation.

ATLANTA — The Georgia Republican Party paid at least $220,000 last year to two law firms defending fake presidential electors who could face charges as part of a Fulton County investigation into efforts by Donald Trump and his allies to overturn his 2020 loss.

According to recently filed campaign disclosures, the state party paid Strickland Debrow of Newnan, GA, about $170,000. Atlanta-based Pierson Law LLC, received roughly $52,000 from the Georgia GOP. 

The disclosures come as outgoing state party chair David Shafer, one of the 16 phony electors, announced last week that he wouldn't run for another term. In his farewell letter, Shafer revealed that the party paid the elector's legal expenses.

"Thankfully, our State Executive Committee voted to ratify their acts and pay (the elector's) legal expenses," he wrote. "I have raised the money to honor that commitment so that none of them have had to pay a penny out of pocket."

A spokesperson for the Georgia Republican Party didn't respond to questions before publication. Representatives for Strickland Debrow declined to comment for this story. Holly Pierson of Pierson Law told 11Alive that none of the electors "did anything wrong."

"It’s incredibly frustrating that any of the Republican electors were put in the position of having to obtain counsel when it is so abundantly clear legally that none of them did anything wrong," Pierson said. "Recognizing that fact, the Georgia Republican Party voted to step up and protect its membership, which was the principled and courageous thing to do. The Republican electors recused themselves from the vote to ratify their actions and cover their legal expenses, which was otherwise unanimous."

Sixteen Georgians served as phony electors for Trump. They are:

  • Shafer

  • Joseph Brannan

  • James "Ken" Carroll

  • Vikki Townsend Consiglio

  • Carolyn Hall Fisher

  • Burt Jones

  • Gloria Kay Godwin

  • David G. Hanna

  • Mark W. Hennesy

  • Mark Amick

  • John Downey

  • Cathleen Alston Latham

  • Daryl Moody

  • Brad Carver

  • Shaw Still

  • C.B. Yadav

The two firms paid by the Georgia GOP represented 11 of the electors — Amick, Brannan, Carver, Consiglio, Downey, Fisher, Godwin, Latham, Shafer, Still and Yadav.

Fulton County prosecutors honed in on the electors as part of their investigation to determine if the former president and his allies violated state law after the 2020 Presidential election.

Fulton County District Fani Willis said in a July 2022 court filing that the electors could face charges. A Fulton County Superior Court judge ruled last year that Willis couldn't prosecute Burt Jones, who currently serves as Georgia's lieutenant governor, because Willis hosted a fundraiser for Jones' Democratic opponent ahead of the November election.

The Prosecuting Attorneys Council of Georgia will determine if Jones should be investigated by a special prosecutor.

Legal experts previously told 11Alive that the electors may face fraud or forgery charges for the documents they submitted to state authorities and the National Archives. The 16 Republicans said that they were the duly elected presidential electors, and they falsely claimed that Trump won the election.

The Fulton County Special Purpose Grand Jury finished its eight-month investigation last month. The panel heard from 75 witnesses.

Three portions of the jury's report was released Thursday. Jurors expressed concern that at least one of the witnesses may have lied during testimony. Key sections of the report remain secret.

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