Georgia and Trump: Takeaways from the push to overturn the 2020 election

Republican state senator Greg Dolezal speaks during a press conference at the Georgia State Capitol on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 in Atlanta. Georgia State Senators spoke on Tuesday about alleged election security problems in Georgia's election. (Rebecca Wright for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Rebecca Wright for the Atlanta J

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Republican state senator Greg Dolezal speaks during a press conference at the Georgia State Capitol on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 in Atlanta. Georgia State Senators spoke on Tuesday about alleged election security problems in Georgia's election. (Rebecca Wright for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Rebecca Wright for the Atlanta J

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution spent months investigating then-President Donald Trump’s campaign to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in Georgia. Here’s some of what we learned:

– Many Georgia Republicans supported Trump’s efforts to overturn the election, and a handful of state senators played key roles. Among other things, they cited false voting fraud allegations in a failed effort to persuade the General Assembly to rescind Biden’s victory.

– In his final days in office, then-state Sen. William Ligon went to great lengths to aid Trump’s campaign. The Brunswick Republican was in Washington on Jan. 6 to assist Republicans who tried to prevent congressional certification of Biden’s victory. Ligon’s plans were disrupted when Trump supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol.

– In early December 2020, Trump called individual Georgia lawmakers as he tried to persuade the General Assembly to demand a special legislative session that could reverse Biden’s victory.

– False allegations of voting fraud in Georgia played a key role in Trump’s unsuccessful effort to persuade the U.S. Justice Department to help him stay in office. That effort ultimately led to the resignation of Byung “BJay” Pak, the top federal prosecutor in Atlanta.

– Some of the Georgia Republican politicians who aided Trump are now seeking higher office, and even those who didn’t embrace his claims in 2020 are making them part of their campaign strategies in 2022. If those Republicans win, they would be in a better position to help overturn a future election.

Georgia 2020 election investigation

Between the Nov. 3 presidential election and Jan. 6, Georgia was at the center of the biggest election dispute of modern American history. AJC reporters worked day and night for months to capture the election results and multiple recounts, allegations of fraud, investigations, legislative hearings, lawsuits, protests, rallies, press conferences. Here are stories from our ongoing coverage.

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