Fulton County DA sends ‘target’ letters to GOP fake electors including Lt. Gov Nominee Jones
The latest sign Sen. Burt Jones’ campaign for Lt. Governor may be in trouble is the fast moving investigation by Fulton District Attorney Fani Willis into Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election using fake electors.
Willis has sent so-called target letters to prominent Georgia Republicans informing them they could be indicted for their role in a scheme to appoint alternate electors pledged to the former president despite Joe Biden’s victory in the state, according to legal sources familiar with the matter.
According to news reports, a target letter was reportedly sent to state Republican party Chair David Shafer, warning him that he may be indicted as part of Willis’ investigation, according to two sources familiar with the matter. The letter was first reported by Yahoo News, which also reported other Georgia officials received similar target letters. Among others reportedly receiving one of those target letters are GOP State Sen. Burt Jones, Gov. Brian Kemp’s running mate for lieutenant governor and State Sen. Brandon Beach.
Shafer reportedly helped organize the fake slate of electors in state, which Trump lost by nearly 12,000 votes, acted as a pro-Trump elector in Georgia. Sources close to the investigation say Jones, Shafer and others were among those who participated in a closed-door meeting at the state Capitol on Dec. 14, 2020, in which 16 Georgia Republicans selected themselves as the electors for the state, although they had no legal basis for doing so.
Shafer, according to a source who was present, presided over the meeting, conducting it as though it were an official proceeding, in which those present voted themselves as the bona fide electors in Georgia — and then signed their names to a declaration to that effect that was sent to the National Archives.
Schafer has faced inquiries from federal investigators, Georgia prosecutors, and the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol. Shafer has been cooperating with prosecutors. He told the House select committee investigating the January 6 riot in February that the fake electors scheme came at the direction of the Trump campaign after then-President Trump lost the state’s vote.
As a result of the Fulton D.A. ‘s investigation into him, lawyers for Sen. Jones asked a court to disqualify Willis from any prosecution related to him on Friday, arguing she has a conflict of interest and a political bias in his case. Jones is currently running for lieutenant governor in Georgia. He is citing a campaign fundraiser Willis hosted for Jones’ Democratic opponent Charlie Bailey last month.
If the judge does not disqualify Willis, Jones has asked that any report from the special grand jury be sealed until after the November 8 election, “to prevent any improper and undue influence therein.” Jake Orvis, Bailey’s campaign spokesman, called Jones’ new court filing an attempt “to distract from the fact he attempted to overthrow the United States Government.”
Willis’ office dismissed the political bias claims in a statement Friday. “The motion is without merit,” Deputy District Attorney Jeff DiSantis said. “The District Attorney supports Charlie Bailey because she worked with him as a prosecutor and knows he will support law enforcement as Lieutenant Governor. Her support for Mr. Bailey has nothing to do with his opponent, nor does her fulfillment of her oath of office to investigate and prosecute crimes occurring in Fulton County have anything to do with anyone else’s campaign for elected office.”
DiSantis added: “The District Attorney will respond to Mr. Jones’ motion in court.”