Trump's team raises First Amendment concerns in Georgia election tampering case. (Part-2)

Shafer, a former state Republican Party chairman, is accused of helping Georgia Republicans cast Electoral College votes for Trump despite the state's election having been certified for Democrat Joe Biden. Shafer is accused of impersonating a public officer, forgery, fraudulent statements and writings, and document forgery.

Craig Gillen, Shafer's lawyer, maintained that his actions were legal and in conformity with the Electoral Count Act. Gillen said Congress should decide whether Georgia's electoral votes should be counted for Democrats or Republicans on Dec. 14, 2020, because a legal challenge to the presidential election results was underway. He said that suggests Shafer and the other Republicans who convened to cast electoral votes acted appropriately.

Gillen denied that Shafer and others impersonated a presidential elector since electors are not public authorities. The prosecution's Will Wooten contended that Shafer and others were prosecuted because they falsely identified themselves as the state's presidential electors, which is a legal office.

Gillen also requested that the indictment exclude “duly elected and qualified presidential electors,” “false Electoral College votes,” and “lawful electoral votes.” He argued those statements assert that the Democratic elector slate was valid and the Republican slate was not. He called those “prejudicial legal conclusions” concerning trial matters that should be addressed by the judge or jury.

Wooten rejected it because “every allegation in an indictment is a legal conclusion.” Trump and the others were indicted last year for trying to illegally change the 2020 Georgia presidential election, which Biden narrowly won.

All accused faced anti-racketeering charges and other crimes. Four defendants pleaded guilty after negotiating with prosecutors. Trump and others have denied culpability. Unset trial date. Willis wants the trial in August.

An evidence hearing last month examined Willis and Wade's personal lives and claims of an unlawful relationship for several days. The judge rejected defense requests to remove Willis and her office if Wade resigned. McAfee allowed the defendants to appeal to the state Court of Appeals.

The court rejected six of the 41 counts in the indictment, including three against Trump, this month because prosecutors failed to offer enough detail about the offenses.

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