“Jan. 6 documents: Georgia legislators answered Trump’s call to overturn election”


With his chances of winning Georgia slipping away in December 2020, then-President Donald Trump hit upon a novel scheme to stay in power: State legislators would name him the winner.

So, while his allies spun dubious tales of voting fraud at the Georgia Capitol, Trump’s campaign called nearly 120 Republican legislators to ask whether they would appoint a slate of presidential electors who would vote for Trump instead of Democrat Joe Biden. A log of those phone calls recently released by congressional investigators shows some lawmakers were eager to help.

“Hell, yes,” said one. “100%,” replied another. “Very supportive and ready to go,” a third lawmaker told the campaign.

In all, about 30 Republican legislators expressed some level of support for allowing the General Assembly to name Trump the winner of the presidential election, according to the call log. The log and other documents released by investigators suggest scores of other lawmakers also may have supported the plan.

The documents appear to offer the fullest picture yet of Trump’s effort to pressure legislators to help him overturn the election — and the willingness of lawmakers to go along with that plan.

Some lawmakers say the documents are not accurate. Fourteen legislators the Trump campaign identified as supporting his plan told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that they either do not remember receiving such a call or said they never supported a plan to appoint Trump electors.

“I do think there were some issues with the election,” said state Rep. Kasey Carpenter, R-Dalton. “But that was not the way to go.”

No legislator contacted by the AJC admitted to taking the Trump campaign’s call or supporting his plan.Seventeen lawmakers the campaign identified as supporting Trump’s plan did not respond to requests for comment or could not be reached.

The reluctance of some lawmakers to talk about Trump’s plan is in stark contrast to the climate that gripped the Georgia Capitol in the wake of the 2020 election. With the president demanding loyalty and bullying politicians who failed to get in line, plenty of Georgia lawmakers were willing to publicly support his efforts. Calls to convene a special session to tighten voting rules quickly evolved into calls for legislators to “take back the power to appoint electors.”

The congressional documents don’t reveal the stance of every Republican lawmaker, and they don’t necessarily reflect how legislators would have voted if given the chance to overturn the election. That chance never came — Gov. Brian Kemp and legislative leaders rejected calls to convene a special session that would have allowed the General Assembly to name Trump the winner.

But the documents suggest plenty of lawmakers were ready to reject the will of a majority of Georgia voters on the flimsiest of pretenses.

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