Trump Camp Urged Fake Georgia Electors To Keep Scheme Cloaked In ‘Complete Secrecy,’ Email Shows

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Richard B. Russell Airport on November 1, 2020 in Rome, Georgia. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

Then-President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign seemed at least vaguely aware that the fake Trump elector scheme was something of a shady cloak-and-dagger operation, as indicated by an email from a campaign director obtained by the Washington Post and CNN.

Robert Sinners, Trump’s election operations director in Georgia, sent the 16 fake Trump electors in the state an email on Dec. 13, 2020 urging them to keep quiet about their upcoming gathering the next day at the Georgia Capitol, where they signed certificates falsely claiming to be electors.

“I must ask for your complete discretion in this process,” Sinners wrote, according to the Post and CNN. “Your duties are imperative to ensure the end result — a win in Georgia for President Trump — but will be hampered unless we have complete secrecy and discretion.”

The campaign official directed the sham electors to falsely tell the security guards at the Georgia Capitol that they were there to meet with either state Sen. Brandon Beach (R) or state Sen. Burt Jones (R), who was one of the 16 electors.

“Please, at no point should you mention anything to do with Presidential Electors or speak to the media,” Sinners wrote, with the text highlighted in bold, according to the Post.

Sinners defended the email in a statement to the Post and CNN, claiming he was just doing what lawyers and Georgia GOP chair David Shafer, another fake Trump elector, had told him to do. 

“I was advised by attorneys that this was necessary in order to preserve the pending legal challenge,” Sinners said.

The ex-Trump campaign official, who now works for Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R), also tried to distance himself from Trump’s election steal crusade — part of which involved pressuring Raffensperger into finding fake votes to steal Georgia for Trump in early January 2021.

“Following the former president’s refusal to accept the results of the election and allow a peaceful transition of power, my views on this matter have changed significantly from where they were on December 13th,” Sinners told the Post and CNN.

Shafer’s lawyer, Robert Driscoll, told the two outlets that his client, who’s testified in front of the House Jan. 6 Committee, hadn’t tried to keep the meeting a secret.

“None of these communications, nor his testimony, suggest that Mr. Shafer requested or wished for confidentiality surrounding the provisional electors,” Driscoll said.

It’s true that the fake electors’ meeting didn’t stay a secret; Shafer gave an interview immediately after the gathering on Dec. 14 flat-out announcing that “we were required to hold this meeting to preserve [Trump’s] rights,” as the then-president tried to sue his way into stealing the election, the Post noted.

Sinners’ email was obtained by federal prosecutors, CNN reported, highlighting the Justice Department’s focus on Trump’s bogus elector plot as part of its broader investigation into the events surround Jan. 6. The House Jan. 6 Committee and Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis in Georgia are also probing the fake elector scheme.

Latest News
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: