Panel to review whether fake Trump elector should be suspended from Senate

Credit: Shawn Still for state Senate

Credit: Shawn Still for state Senate

Gov. Brian Kemp appointed a three-member panel to assess whether a Georgia legislator who served as a fake elector should be suspended after he was charged as part of what prosecutors call a vast “criminal enterprise” to overturn Donald Trump’s 2020 defeat.

The governor on Friday tapped Attorney General Chris Carr, House Majority Leader Chuck Efstration and Senate Majority Leader Steve Gooch to review state Sen. Shawn Still’s case. Still and the three panelists are Republicans.

Still is one of 19 defendants — including Trump — in the indictment brought by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis that alleges the former president led an illegal scheme to reverse Joe Biden’s victory in Georgia.

Still was one of 16 Republican electors who convened to cast their ballots for Trump in December 2020 — even as the state’s official Democratic electors met to cast their ballots for Biden. He later won a Gwinnett-based Senate seat in 2022.

The indictment charges Still and two other fake electors — former state GOP chair David Shafer and Cathleen Latham — of impersonating public officers, forgery, false statements and attempting to file false documents in connection with the fake electors.

Each has said they did nothing wrong, and all three have asked for their cases to be moved to federal court.

“The evidence at trial will show that Sen. Still is innocent as the day is long,” Still attorney Tom Bever said last month. “We look forward to our day in court to clear his good name.’”

Under Georgia law, Still could be suspended from the Senate while the case is pending.

The commission is required to provide a “speedy hearing” under state law and produce a written report within 14 days. If the commission determines the indictment relates to or adversely affects the administration of Still’s office, and the public is adversely affected, Kemp is mandated by state law to “suspend the public official immediately.”

Still’s indictment has added to a fraught environment in the state Senate, where normally congenial GOP colleagues have been engaged in a bitter back-and-forth over efforts to punish Willis for bringing the charges.