(Bloomberg) -- Harrison Floyd, one of 18 people indicted with Donald Trump in the Georgia election fraud case, insists the 2020 race was stolen from the former president and says the evidence he’s seeking will show it.
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Floyd, the former director of Black Voices for Trump, claims more than 41,000 votes should have been excluded from the final tally in Fulton County, which would have swung the Georgia election from Joe Biden to Trump.
A minor player in the case, Floyd isn’t alone in clinging to the discredited theory — Trump and at least one other defendant, attorney John Eastman, have said the election was stolen. They are pressing on even after Georgia’s top elections official recertified the results in December 2020, and the governor recertified the 16 presidential electors.
By contrast, four defendants have pleaded guilty to charges brought by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, including attorney Sidney Powell, once a prominent conspiracy theorist.
Undeterred, Floyd’s lawyers requested a vast array of records over the past month from state and local election officials about the investigations into voter fraud. A judge said Friday it’s too soon for him to grant the request.
Floyd wants the information to defend himself against charges that he joined a racketeering conspiracy to overturn the election and that he participated in a scheme to manipulate Georgia election worker Ruby Freeman into giving false testimony about voter fraud on Election Day.
“Mr. Floyd intends to present as his defense, evidence that President Trump did not lose the November 3, 2020, election in the state of Georgia,” Floyd’s lawyers argued in a filing this week in Fulton County Superior Court, where he was indicted.
With these records, Floyd’s lawyers argued, officials could show the results are “inherently trustworthy, reliable and true.” It’s also a chance to “discredit Mr. Floyd and all the defendants, including President Trump, who claim the election was stolen and to once and for all put the concerns of so-called ‘election deniers’ to bed,” his lawyers said.
They argue that Floyd couldn’t have had intent to commit the crimes charged if he didn’t believe that Trump lost.
On Friday, lawyers for three government agencies asked Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee in Atlanta at a hearing to quash Floyd’s sprawling subpoenas as irrelevant and too much work.
“We understand that the defense theory at trial is going to be to essentially litigate the 2020 election,” said Jackson Sharman III, an attorney for Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. “But that defense theory doesn’t overcome the burden to the office, especially when what the office has is going to be of very limited relevance to what he is actually defending.”
McAfee said Floyd, like other defendants, was charged under Georgia’s racketeering law in a conspiracy to overturn the election.
“If that is the scope, how is the election not relevant?” McAfee asked.
Chad Alexis, a lawyer for the county’s elections office and the clerk, also told McAfee it would take weeks or months to comply.
“The election, by all official accounts, has been decided,” Alexis said. “There’s no court that I know of that has invalidated those results.”
Floyd attorney Christopher Kachouroff said reviewing the evidence goes to the heart of his defense.
“What happens if we show that Trump won?” Kachouroff said. “If Trump won, there are no false statements. The indictment goes away. If we don’t know who won, the state can’t prove false statements, they go away.” If Trump won, “it sets up a defense of mistake of fact.”
When Alexis said the county elections board no longer has the records sought, Kachouroff said he’d withdraw that subpoena.
The judge told the secretary of state’s office to file a new motion by Nov. 9 to say how much time and money it would take to comply. He gave the county until the end of the month.
McAfee said he hadn’t decided whether the subpoenas were relevant to Floyd’s defense, but he must weigh if they’re “burdensome and oppressive.”
The case is State of Georgia v. Harrison Floyd, 23SC188947, Superior Court of Fulton County (Atlanta).
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