Geoff Duncan, Georgian lieutenant governor of the GOP, says Giuliani’s false fraud claims contributed to restrictive voting law

“This is really the fallout from the 10 weeks of misinformation that came in from former President Donald Trump,” said Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan on CNN’s “New Day”. “ I went back over the weekend to really see where this really started to gain momentum in the legislature, and it was when Rudy Giuliani appeared in some committee rooms and spent hours spreading misinformation and casting doubt, you know, for hours. of testimony. “

Duncan’s comments highlight the continuing aftermath of a few appearances Giuliani made for Georgia state lawmakers in December while serving on Trump’s legal team. Giuliani tried, unsuccessfully, to convince lawmakers to convene a special session to reverse Joe Biden’s victory in the state. In addition to creating momentum for new ballot restrictions, Giuliani’s action has also sparked the interest of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who is investigating Trump’s efforts to influence Georgia’s election results.

Giuliani did not immediately respond to a request for comment in response to Duncan’s comments. But during his December testimony, Giuliani falsely claimed that thousands of dead voted in elections in Georgia, insisted that voting machines had changed people’s votes and suggested that thousands of others voted illegally.

“Those machines are like Swiss cheese. You can invade them. You can get in. You can change the mood,” Giuliani mistakenly told state lawmakers on Dec. 30.

Giuliani also targeted Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger – who refused to assist Trump in his bid to reverse the election – saying, “Your Secretary of State is involved in what I consider an illegal cover.”

There is no evidence to support Giuliani’s claims. Officials in Georgia counted the ballots three times, confirming each time that Biden won the state in the presidential election.

But those comments still managed to get to grips with the GOP’s state legislators, who passed a package of electoral reforms that imposed new voter identification requirements for absent ballots, limited the use of ballots, and made it a crime to target voters with food and water while waiting in line. The bill also removed the Secretary of State as chairman and a voting member of the Georgia State Electoral Council and gave state legislatures more control over elections.

GOP officials in Georgia who helped thwart Trump’s attempts to reverse Georgia’s election results have backed some components of the new legislation while delaying other aspects of it, most notably efforts to rein in the Secretary of State. to keep.

“The Secretary of State has done a great job. I think that was also one of the parts that worried me about the final passing of the bill, which was ultimately a culmination of Democratic and Republican ideas,” Duncan told CNN.

“But some of the punitive, you know, responses to Raffensperger’s removal from that electoral board were just trying to throw the hat on Donald Trump, and I just didn’t think that was a necessary step.”

As for Giuliani, he will likely face additional investigation by the Atlanta area attorney’s office. While at the heart of Willis’ investigation is Trump’s attempts to interfere with state elections, she is also investigating Trump allies who may have assisted him in those attempts. One area Willis is investigating: whether Giuliani may have broken the law by making false statements in front of the state legislature, according to a person familiar with the investigation.

Willis is also expected to request additional information from Duncan, who received a document retention request from her office earlier this year. The request noted that no Georgian official will be the target of her investigation.