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Saturday, April 17, 2021

Geoff Duncan, Georgia’s GOP lieutenant governor, says Giuliani’s false fraud claims helped result in restrictive voting legislation

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“That is actually the fallout from the ten weeks of misinformation that flew in from former President Donald Trump,” Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan stated on CNN’s “New Day.” “I went again over the weekend to essentially take a look at the place this actually began to achieve momentum within the legislature, and it was when Rudy Giuliani confirmed up in a few committee rooms and spent hours spreading misinformation and sowing doubt throughout, you realize, 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 workforce. Giuliani tried, unsuccessfully, to persuade legislators to convene a particular session to overturn Joe Biden’s victory within the state. Along with constructing momentum for brand new voting restrictions, Giuliani’s appearances have additionally piqued the curiosity of Fulton County District Legal professional 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. However throughout his December testimony, Giuliani falsely claimed that 1000’s of useless individuals voted within the Georgia election, insisted that voting machines had modified individuals’s votes and steered 1000’s of others had voted illegally.

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

Giuliani additionally took purpose 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 contemplate an illegal cowl up.”

There is no proof to assist Giuliani’s claims. Officers in Georgia counted the ballots 3 times, every time reaffirming that Biden received the state throughout the presidential election.

However these remarks nonetheless managed to achieve traction with GOP state lawmakers, who handed a bundle 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 method 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.

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 features of it, significantly the efforts to rein within the secretary of state’s authorities.

“The secretary of state did a fantastic job. I feel that was one of many elements, too, that involved me in regards to the last passage of the legislation, which finally was a fruits of Democratic and Republican concepts,” Duncan advised CNN.

“However among the punitive, you realize, responses to taking Raffensperger off that elections board was simply attempting to tip their hat to Donald Trump, and I simply did not assume that was a mandatory step.”

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

Willis can be anticipated to request further info from Duncan, who acquired a doc preservation request from her workplace earlier this 12 months. The request famous that no Georgia officers are anticipated to be targets of her investigation.

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