Savannah mayor recalls being elector during 2020 Election as Trump faces charges in Georgia

Published: Aug. 24, 2023 at 2:31 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - All eyes are on Georgia. Former President Donald Trump is set to turn himself in Thursday night in Fulton County after being indicted on 13 charges related to trying to overturn the 2020 election.

Trump and 18 others were given the deadline of Friday at noon to turn themselves in to the Fulton County Jail.

The mayor of Savannah was one of the electors in this election. Van Johnson was one of 16 electors in the State of Georgia. He said that he remembers the day as being surreal, but not being able to put his finger on why.

Now, he said it all makes sense.

“Now I kind of understand why. That while we were addressing the issues and doing the duty that assigned to us, that in another room in the same Capital, there were other people that were not duly elected electors that were conducting other business that was contrary to the desires and the express interests of the State,” Johnson said.

According to the indictment against Trump and 18 other people, a number of the defendants “corruptly solicited Georgia legislators to unlawfully appoint their own presidential electors for the purpose of casting electoral votes for Donald Trump.”

The indictment also reads that several defendants, “created false Electoral College documents and recruited individuals to convene and cast false electoral college votes.”

Johnson remembers what he called “secret protocol” being in place the day he cast his electoral vote. He says that he and the other electors had to meet in one place, and then be transported to another to actually cast their vote.

“Obviously the State of Georgia understood that there were some things that were going on and wanted to make sure that we were safe, but more importantly that the process was handled in accordance with the law,” Johnson said.

Johnson added that with the indictments, the State of Georgia is still upholding the law, and that the only thing to do now is let the judicial system do its work.

“It’s disappointing that we have to go through this or that we are going through this. But at the end, we hope that the high standards we have holds out above everything else, and that ultimately decisions are reached, and then we move on from there,” Johnson said.