Brian K. Pritchard’s reaction to court’s decision: deny the court’s decision; attack Kemp, Raffensperger, and Carr

WSB Radio talk show host Shelley Wynter is reporting embattled 1st Vice Chairman of the Georgia Republican Party Brian K. Pritchard has announced that he has no plans to resign in the wake of a court finding he illegally registered to vote while serving probation for a 1996 felony conviction in Pennsylvania, and then proceed to illegally vote NINE times.

Pritchard’s statement, rather than offering some sort of mea culpa or even an admission of error, showed a high level of delusional defiance that has become the hallmark of his defense:

“Just want to be clear if people want to side with Brad Raffensperger, Chris Carr, and the AJC, go right ahead….. I have not been found guilty of anything…. I will continue my grassroots work every day and will not buckle to false attacks!” <emphasis added>

Pritchard didn’t stop at this simple statement, but posted an 11 minute long video ranting about how the world was out to get him for exposing the truth and the “attack” against him for illegal voting is only because Brad Raffensperger, Chris Carr, Brian Kemp, Kelly Loeffler, Shelley Wynter, Erick Erickson, Fani Willis, and a host of others “don’t like him.”

Along with attacking Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Attorney General Chris Carr, both of who’s offices participated in the case against Pritchard, Pritchard is using some word play reminiscent of when President Bill Clinton famously asked for the definition of “is”.

However, it is completely accurate of Pritchard to state, “I have not been found guilty of anything.”

According to ALJ Lisa Boggs’ decision released on Wednesday, March 27, Pritchard has only been found to have committed violations of election law, affirming that decision by the State Elections Board that Pritchard violated state election laws when he registered to vote and voted NINE times while still serving probation for a felony sentence.

The administrative case against Pritchard was first brought before the State Elections Board on February 10, 2021. According to the official transcript of the meeting, on page 21, the SEB members discussed criminal prosecution. Board Member Matt Mashburn asked, “is there any indication that the local district attorney has indicted him for felon voting, or are they waiting on us?”

Frances Watson, an investigator with the Secretary of State’s Office, responded, “No. They have no <sic> indicted him, and I believe Mr. Weaver (Pritchard’s attorney) may have further for that. I know that they were made aware of this, and they declined to — they were going to let it come to us first, but I believe that he has since spoken to the district attorney.”

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger adds, “So in other words, the district attorney would be waiting for action from this Board.”

Beginning near the top of page 22, Raffensperger continues, “Okay. In normal practice, we’ve sent cases to the Attorney General’s Office, and then in some of the more serious charges, we’ve sent it to both the local DA and also the Attorney General’s Office.”

The SEB finishes their discussion (page 24) with a unanimous vote to refer Pritchard to both the AG and the DA. The AG’s office represented the SEB in the hearing before Judge Lisa Boggs.

However, within the discussion, Pritchard’s attorney, George Weaver, told the Board that he believed any criminal prosecution would be precluded by the statute of limitations. In his statement to the Board, Weaver says, “I would suggest that — under my review anyway — the statute of limitations ran years ago.”

For most of the worst criminal acts in Georgia, the statute of limitations is seven years from the commission of the crime (except there is no statute of limitations for murder), but only four years for most other felonies.

Pritchard registered and voted in four elections in 2008 and in five more elections in 2010. The compliant against Pritchard was not filed to his local election board in Gilmer County until 2014. At that time, according to Bogg’s decision, Pritchard asked to have his registration removed from the voter rolls. (page 10). SEB Member Anh Le asked the investigator, “How was he able to vote nine times, and we didn’t catch it before – – at the county level?”

Frances Watson responded, “I do not know why it was not — the only thing that I can think is because it was an out-of-state conviction is that it may not have been on their list of felons.”

In Georgia, the crime of False Registration (O.C.G.A. § 21-2-561), carries a felony penalty of imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years or to pay a fine not to exceed $100,000.00, or both.

The crime of Voting by Unqualified Elector or Giving False Information (O.C.G.A. § 21-2-571) carries a felony penalty also of imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years or to pay a fine not to exceed $100,000.00, or both. In this case, multiply it by NINE times.

There is another hurdle that prosecutors will have to contend with where Pritchard’s repeated claims that he did not know could frustrate prosecutors’ efforts in obtaining a conviction. I know this because there were charges I had to dismiss on the same element during the brief time I was in the Cobb County Solicitor’s Office…that is each crime requires convincing a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that the person knew they were committing a criminal act:

Any person who votes or attempts to vote at any primary or election, knowing that such person does not possess all the qualifications of an elector at such primary or election, as required by law, or who votes or attempts to vote at any primary in violation of Code Section 21-2-223 or who knowingly gives false information to poll officers in an attempt to vote in any primary or election shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years or to pay a fine not to exceed $100,000.00, or both” (§ 21-2-571 emphasis added).

Pritchard has been steadfast in repeating constantly he did not know he did anything wrong.

Judge Boggs states in her decision that Pritchard may not have known, but at least should have known, but the decision was for a civil penalty, not a criminal conviction. So Pritchard is factually and legally correct…he has not been found guilty of anything…except that one, small original felony in 1996.

Even if Pritchard is not criminally prosecuted because the statute of limitations has run or the difficulty of proving beyond a reasonable doubt he knew he was committing a crime, or both, the fact remains that there was, indeed, a finding of fact that Pritchard did illegally vote.

Thus far, I have not seen any statement from Georgia Republican Party Chairman Josh McKoon. Anyone who has spent any time in politics knows that you release bad news late on Friday and good news first thing Monday to either bury it in the weekend, even more so for a holiday weekend, or trumpet it at the beginning of the news week, so McKoon may be waiting on better timing. Until then, Pritchard will continue to deny any wrong doing in the face of clear and convincing evidence to the contrary and without accepting any consequences for his own actions…the same behavior and mindset Americans, and especially conservatives, have contended for decades was the problem with the political class.

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