Whenever a major news outlet is reporting supposed inside information, it’s always important to keep in mind that insider details don’t just find their way to a reporter’s desk by magic. Someone involved with the story has made a decision to feed information to a reporter while keeping their own name off it. Sometimes it’s as simple as wanting to get the truth out there without fear of retaliation. Other times it’s a matter of someone involved with the story strategically leaking an incomplete, falsely spun, or even fictional version of the story in the hope of shifting public perception.
Take, for instance, Wednesday’s CNN report about Fulton County Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis supposedly offering immunity deals to fake electors in the hope of getting them to testify against Donald Trump and other big fish in the case. From its headline on down, the article is almost bizarrely aimed at creating the public appearance that Willis is blowing it.
The headline says the DA has hit a “roadblock” in the case. The article then goes on to claim she’s “undermined” her own case by being too “aggressive” toward the fake electors. The article reveals that the fake electors were even “initially cooperative” until the DA decided to get too “aggressive” and they decided to stop cooperating. Oh, these poor fake electors! The District Attorney pushed them too hard with regard to the crimes they committed, and now their feelings are hurt!
The entire CNN article is written from their point of view, portrays them as sympathetic, all while portraying the DA as both acting in bad faith and incompetent. It’s almost painfully obvious that the fake electors in question are CNN’s source for the article, and that the fake electors have gone running to the media in the hope of putting public pressure on the DA to… be more nice to them?
It’s actually not all that clear what the fake electors are trying to make happen here. If the District Attorney is indeed offering them immunity in exchange for testifying against the bigger fish, it would mean they’ve already won. All they would have to do is testify and then go on with their lives. It’s almost enough to make you wonder if perhaps the fake electors have falsely leaked that they’ve been offered immunity in an attempt at placing public pressure on the DA to give them immunity. Really, who knows what’s going on here?
I suspect the most important sentence in the article is this one: “A spokesperson for Willis declined to comment.” In other words, whatever the fake electors are trying to accomplish by running to the media and getting CNN to print this kind of article, DA Fani Willis apparently finds it uninteresting. If things were going south and she felt the need to defend herself publicly, she could have done so. Unlike the DOJ, she’s been willing to speak about her Trump case on the record with the media from time to time. She’s choosing not to when it comes to this leak.
Keep in mind that DA Willis has already long ago designated the fake electors as criminal targets. That means she intends to criminally indict them, put them on trial, and send them to prison. Sure, she might be willing to give them immunity in exchange for flipping on Trump and the bigger fish. But she holds all the cards, and they’re the ones who are just hoping they don’t end up behind bars. Given that we’re coming very close to what is believed to be Willis’ intended timeframe for dropping the first indictments, perhaps this article is the fake electors’ last ditch attempt at trying to avoid being imminently indicted. We’ll find out soon enough.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report