In Georgia Trump Investigation, Most Fake Electors Take Immunity Deals

More than half of the bogus Georgia electors who were convened in December 2020 to try to keep former President Donald J. Trump in power have taken immunity deals in the investigation into election interference there, according to a court filing on Friday and people with knowledge of the inquiry.

In addition, Craig A. Gillen, the former deputy independent counsel in the 1980s-era Iran Contra scandal, has been hired to represent a fake elector who could still face criminal charges, David Shafer, the head of the Georgia Republican Party. Mr. Gillen specializes in cases involving racketeering, which is among the charges being weighed by Fani T. Willis, the district attorney of Fulton County, Ga.

Ms. Willis’s office has spent more than two years investigating whether the former president and his allies illegally meddled in the 2020 election in Georgia, which Mr. Trump narrowly lost to President Biden. A special grand jury that heard evidence in the case for roughly seven months recommended more than a dozen people for indictments, and its forewoman strongly hinted in an interview with The New York Times in February that Mr. Trump was among them.

Ultimately, it will be up to Ms. Willis to decide which charges to seek before a regular grand jury, which she has said she will do after a new jury is seated in mid-July. Her case is focused in part on a plan to create the slate of electors pledged to Mr. Trump in the weeks after the 2020 election despite Mr. Biden’s victory in Georgia.

Lawyers for the electors have argued they were simply trying to keep Mr. Trump’s legal options open, though when they met on Dec. 14, 2020, three vote counts had all affirmed Mr. Biden’s win there.

Even before any indictments are announced, the legal jockeying in the case has become intense. In March, Mr. Trump’s lawyers sought to quash the special grand jury’s final report, most of which remains sealed.

In April, Ms. Willis sought to have Kimberly B. Debrow, then a lawyer for 10 of the 16 Trump electors, thrown off the proceedings. According to a motion filed at the time by Ms. Willis’s office, some of the electors recently told prosecutors that Ms. Debrow and another lawyer, Holly Pierson, had not informed them of offers of immunity in exchange for cooperation that prosecutors made last year.

Ms. Debrow responded with her own filing on Friday, in which she called the accusation “completely without merit” and said she had made her clients fully aware, in writing, of what she called “generalized potential offers of immunity.”

Ms. Pierson, who along with Mr. Gillen represents Mr. Shafer, has called the district attorney’s assertions “entirely false.” Both Ms. Debrow and Ms. Pierson have been paid by the state Republican Party.

Ms. Debrow’s new filing also revealed that eight of her clients had been offered immunity deals and that all of them had accepted. At least one additional elector who is not represented by Ms. Debrow also has a deal in place, according to people with knowledge of the investigation who spoke on the condition of anonymity as the investigation is ongoing.

Ms. Debrow said in her filing that two clients had not been offered immunity deals and now had new lawyers, though she did not name the clients. A recent filing from Cathy Latham, a fake elector for Mr. Trump who was the Republican Party leader in rural Coffee County, Ga., revealed that she now has her own representation.

Ms. Latham played a key role in an effort by Trump allies to access voter data in her county after the 2020 election — another point of scrutiny in the investigation.

While all of the fake electors had long been identified by prosecutors as targets who could face criminal charges, three have been considered particularly vulnerable by those with knowledge of the investigation: Mr. Shafer, Ms. Latham and Shawn Still, a Georgia state senator who filed and later withdrew a lawsuit related to the vote count in Coffee County.

Mr. Still did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ms. Willis’s office declined to comment. Her office alleged in a filing last month that some of the Trump electors have accused another of illegal conduct.

But in her motion, Ms. Debrow called the allegation “categorically false.” She added that the court “need not take defense counsel’s word for the fact that none of the electors incriminated themselves or each other — these interviews were recorded.”

It will be left to Judge Robert C.I. McBurney of Fulton County Superior Court, who has been presiding over the inquiry, to sort through the competing motions.

Sean Keenan contributed reporting from Atlanta.

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