Elections officials in two Georgia counties sued by former President Donald Trump after the 2020 election have recovered legal fees, which they say came from the plaintiffs in the case: Trump, his campaign and Georgia’s Republican Party chair.
The lawsuit, filed in December, falsely alleged that tens of thousands of illegal votes had been cast in Georgia in the 2020 election — a scale sufficient to change the election results in Trump’s favor, the suit argued. The suit was rejected by a Fulton County court due to paperwork errors, then rejected by the state’s Supreme Court because, the court found, Trump and Shafer had “not shown that this is one of those extremely rare cases that would invoke our original jurisdiction.”
Trump and Shafer dropped the suit in January, a day after the Capitol insurrection and the congressional certification of Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. Trump later endorsed Shafer’s bid for reelection as Georgia GOP chair.
In February, Cobb and DeKalb county election officials filed motions for attorneys fees, with the former party writing that “Given the number of failed lawsuits filed by the former president and his campaign, petitioners apparently believed that they could file their baseless and legally deficient actions with impunity, with no regard for the costs extracted from the taxpayers’ coffers or the consequences to the democratic foundations of our country.”
Now, the defendants have withdrawn their motions in separate filings, saying that the plaintiffs have paid them.
“Said motion is hereby withdrawn because Plaintiffs, through counsel, have provided payment for the full amount of attorneys’ fees requested in Ms. Hamilton’s motion,” read the Monday filing from county attorneys representing Erica Hamilton, director of voter registration and elections for DeKalb County.
“We told them if the fees were paid, then the motion would be withdrawn, and that’s what happened,” Daniel White, the attorney who represented the Cobb Board of Elections and Registration, told TPM.
White said the money came from Squire Patton Boggs, the firm of the attorney representing Trump and Shafer, Randy Evans.
“The two motions (for attorneys’ fees) have been withdrawn,” Evans, who did not respond to TPM’s request for comment, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which first reported the development.
White told TPM that the the payment came out to $15,554 for Cobb County’s legal costs. DeKalb received $6,104.50, a county spokesperson said.
“There was no settlement agreement,” Evans told the Journal-Constitution. “The taxpayers in DeKalb and Cobb have been fully reimbursed. There are no other details because there are no other details.”