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Georgia’s GOP lieutenant governor says Giuliani’s false fraud claims helped lead to restrictive voting law

“This is really the fallout from the 10 weeks of misinformation that flew in from former President Donald Trump,” Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan mentioned on CNN’s “New Day.” “I went back over the weekend to really look at where this really started to gain momentum in the legislature, and it was when Rudy Giuliani showed up in a couple of committee rooms and spent hours spreading misinformation and sowing doubt across, you know, hours of testimony.”

Duncan’s remarks spotlight the persevering with aftermath from a pair of appearances Giuliani made earlier than Georgia state lawmakers in December when he was serving on Trump’s authorized crew. Giuliani tried, unsuccessfully, to persuade legislators to convene a particular session to overturn Joe Biden’s victory within the state. In addition to constructing momentum for brand spanking new voting restrictions, Giuliani’s appearances have additionally piqued the curiosity of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who’s investigating Trump’s efforts to affect Georgia’s election outcomes.

Giuliani didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark in response to Duncan’s remarks. But throughout his December testimony, Giuliani falsely claimed that hundreds of useless folks voted within the Georgia election, insisted that voting machines had modified folks’s votes and advised hundreds of others had voted illegally.

“Those machines are like Swiss cheese. You can invade them. You can get in them. You can change the vote,” Giuliani incorrectly informed state legislators on December 30.

Giuliani additionally took goal at Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger — who refused to help Trump in his efforts to overturn the election — saying, “your secretary of state is engaged in what I consider an unlawful cover up.”

There’s no proof to assist Giuliani’s claims. Officials in Georgia counted the ballots thrice, every time reaffirming that Biden received the state in the course of the presidential election.

But these remarks nonetheless managed to acquire traction with GOP state lawmakers, who handed a package deal of election reforms that imposed new voter identification necessities for absentee ballots, restricted the usage of poll drop packing containers and made it a criminal offense to strategy voters with meals and water whereas they wait in line. The invoice additionally eliminated the secretary of state as chairman and a voting member of the Georgia State Election Board and gave state lawmakers extra management over elections.

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Georgia GOP officers who helped thwart Trump’s efforts to overturn Georgia’s election outcomes have supported some elements of the brand new laws whereas panning different elements of it, notably the efforts to rein within the secretary of state’s authorities.

“The secretary of state did a great job. I think that was one of the parts, too, that concerned me about the final passage of the law, which ultimately was a culmination of Democratic and Republican ideas,” Duncan informed CNN.

“But some of the punitive, you know, responses to taking Raffensperger off that elections board was just trying to tip their hat to Donald Trump, and I just didn’t think that was a necessary step.”

As for Giuliani, he’s doubtless to face further scrutiny from the Atlanta-area district legal professional. While the crux of Willis’ investigation is Trump’s efforts to meddle within the state’s election, she can also be inspecting Trump allies who might have assisted him in these efforts. One space Willis is exploring: whether or not Giuliani might have violated the law by making false statements in entrance of the state legislature, in accordance to an individual acquainted with the investigation.

Willis can also be anticipated to request further info from Duncan, who acquired a doc preservation request from her workplace earlier this yr. The request famous that no Georgia officers are anticipated to be targets of her investigation.

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Updated on April 12, 2021 3:06 am

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