Who is David Shafer? Former chair for Georgia GOP indicted with Donald Trump

David J. Shafer, a prominent figure in Georgia's political landscape, has been indicted for his alleged involvement in organizing an unofficial slate of electors after the 2020 United States presidential election. Shafer has been indicted along with former President Donald Trump and 17 others. 


Born on April 29, 1965, Shafer was raised in Dunwoody, went to DeKalb County Public Schools, and graduated from University of Georgia with a degree in political science.

He has traversed the political arena in Georgia for decades. His journey began in the early 1990s as the executive director of the Georgia Republican Party. He further solidified his presence by managing Republican businessman Guy Millner's gubernatorial campaign in 1994, even though the campaign ended in a narrow defeat against Governor Zell Miller.

Shafer's tenacity drove him to pursue various political roles, and in 2002, he emerged victorious in a nonpartisan special election to become a Republican member of the Georgia State Senate, representing Senate District 48, which is a suburban area north of Atlanta and encompasses portions of Fulton and Gwinnett counties. His consistent reelections in subsequent years fortified his position in the state's political landscape.


In 2018, Shafer's aspirations reached for the position of lieutenant governor, yet he faced a narrow loss in the primary runoff election against Geoff Duncan. Additionally, he was accused of sexual harassment, but the complaint was dismissed. His political fortunes took a turn, however, when he was elected chairman of the Georgia Republican Party in May 2019, coinciding with a series of high-profile events and controversies. 

Of note is Shafer's involvement in supporting Georgia's voting reform bill, SB 202, in 2021. While it gained the backing of Republicans, Democrats and voting rights advocates criticized the bill as overly restrictive. In the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, Shafer's participation in attempts to challenge the election results garnered substantial attention. He joined forces with the Georgia Republican Party and the Donald Trump campaign in filing a lawsuit contesting the certification of Georgia's election results, based on unsupported claims of election fraud.

A pivotal moment in Shafer's trajectory occurred when he allegedly 16 fraudulent Electoral College votes to the U.S. Senate and the National Archives on Dec. 14, 2020. Testifying before the United States House Select Committee on the Jan. 6 attack, he admitted that the Trump campaign had directed the Georgia GOP to present a slate of false electors, drawing further controversy and public scrutiny.

In June 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice subpoenaed Shafer, and Fulton County prosecutor Fani Willis sent him a target letter, suggesting that he and two other Republican officials could face indictment for their roles in the fake electors scheme.

Shafer's defense maintains that he acted on advice from Donald Trump's legal counsel, further complicating the legal and ethical debates surrounding his actions. 

Here is the list of Shafer's charges:

  • 1 - Violation of the Georgia RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act
  • 8 - Impersonating a public officer
  • 10 - Forgery in the first degree
  • 12 - False statements and writings
  • 14 - Criminal attempt to commit filing false documents
  • 16 - Forgery in the first degree
  • 18 - False statements and writings
  • 40 - False statements and writings