Shafer’s Lawyers: No “criminal intent or liability” in Elector Nominee’s actions.

Back in March, the attorneys for Georgia Republican Party Chairman David Shafer sent an 11 page letter to Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis detailing what they believe to be the legal case for the GOP’s actions in having the 16 Republican Presidential elector nominees cast an electoral college vote for Donald Trump.

The letter, a copy of which was obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, lays out what Shafer’s team is likely to claim should DA Willis charge them with a crime. The letter states in part:

We have extensively discussed the 1960 Hawaii precedent in a previous letter to you and in various court filings in the Special Purpose Grand Jury matter. The precedent is also specifically referenced in the advice of counsel email message attached to this letter as Exhibit A. As you may recall, the precise scenario which occurred in Georgia in 2020 occurred in Hawaii in 1960, except the positions of the political parties were reversed.

In the 1960 Presidential election, then-Vice President Richard Nixon, a Republican, carried Hawaii by less than 1% of the vote (0.06%), and the Republican presidential elector nominees were certified by the Governor of Hawaii as having been elected. Democrats filed a lawsuit contesting the certification of the election, and this contest was still pending as of December 19, 1960, the date that the presidential electors were required by federal law to meet. Both the certified Republican presidential electors and uncertified Democrat presidential electors separately met on December 19, and each cast electoral votes that were transmitted to Congress. When the election lawsuit was finally adjudicated on December 30, then-Senator John Kennedy was declared to have carried the state. Only because the Democratic nominee electors had taken the necessary step of casting their contingent presidential electoral ballots on the federally mandated date of December 19, 1960, the Governor of Hawaii was able to certify their votes for Senator Kennedy as President to Congress on January 4, 1961. Congress then counted the Hawaii electoral votes for Senator Kennedy, disregarding the previously and timely certified votes for Vice President Nixon.

Willis did not respond to the AJC’s request to comment on the letter. I guess we’ll have to wait until sometime between July 11 and September 1 of 2023 to find out what her office thinks of this letter.

The release of this letter is the latest in what appears to be the growing public fight over Trump’s and the Georgia GOP’s post 2020 election actions. Because it is taking Willis so long to announce her decision, I expect many more of these types of news stories – from both sides. Wouldn’t it be better to announce decisions to prosecute now and either let people get on with their lives, or battle these things out in court as opposed to in the media?

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