“I didn’t have much to share. I searched for relevant documents and couldn’t find anything,” Shepherd told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It was very cut and dry. If I had anything, I would have shared it.”
To take his place, Gartland tried to recruit Shepherd, who said he declined because by then it was clear the pro-Trump efforts to invalidate Georgia’s election had failed.
Shepherd said he searched through texts, chats and emails but he had been kicked off a private GOP message group and didn’t have access to dispatches from the “inner circle in state party leadership.”
Shepherd added that he suspected prosecutors contacted the people outlined in a January 2022 AJC story about Republicans who refused to serve as false electors.
C.J. Pearson, who didn’t serve as an elector because he moved to Alabama to attend college, said investigators contacted him but he hasn’t been interviewed yet. He told the AJC he was willing to cooperate.
Two other Georgians who refused to serve on the phony slate of GOP electors didn’t immediately comment late Thursday on whether they had been interviewed by federal investigators.
John Isakson, the son of the late U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, previously told the AJC he agreed to serve as a Trump elector if the former president won reelection but refused to be included on the new slate. He said that participating seemed like “political gamesmanship.”
The fourth would-be elector, state Rep. Susan Holmes of Monticello, had previously declined to comment on her decision not to join the slate.
The 16 Republicans who filled out the fake slate are a cross section of influential leaders. They include state GOP Chair David Shafer and state Sen. Burt Jones, a Trump-backed candidate who this week won the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor.
Jones has not been contacted by the Justice Department and isn’t a known subject of investigation, officials said.
It’s the latest sign that investigators are sharpening their scrutiny of the Republican electors who met at the state Capitol in December to authorize a false slate for Trump.
At the time, GOP officials said they were submitting alternate slates in case Trump’s legal challenges were successful. Each of the challenges was rejected by courts.
The Justice Department also is reviewing phony Electoral College documents to determine whether the electors committed crimes, and a congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection issued subpoenas to two Georgians on the fake slate.
And Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis recently confirmed that the phony GOP electors were also under scrutiny as part of her investigation into Trump’s attempt to reverse his defeat.