Fact Check: JAG Did NOT Arrest Georgia Secretary Of State Raffensperger For Treason -- It's A Made-Up Story

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk
Fact Check: JAG Did NOT Arrest Georgia Secretary Of State Raffensperger For Treason -- It's A Made-Up Story Made-Up Story

Did the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps arrest Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger for treason in December 2023? No, that's not true: The chief operating officer for the Secretary of State's office posted a message on social media saying the claims are "ridiculous crap." The website where this claim was made has a disclaimer that states it publishes fabricated content.

The claim appeared in an article (archived here) published by Real Raw News on December 18, 2023, with the headline "JAG Arrests Georgia Sec. of State Brad Raffensperger for Treason." It began:

U.S. Navy JAG investigators on Friday arrested Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger for treason, fulfilling President Donald J. Trump's January 2021 pledge to hold him accountable for interfering with the 2020 presidential election.

This is what the post looked like on Real Raw News at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2023-12-19 at 10.14.49 AM.png

(Source: RealRawNews.com screenshot taken on Tues Dec 19 16:28:00 2023 UTC)

Gabriel Sterling, the chief operating officer for Raffensperger, posted a message on December 18, 2023, on X, formerly known as Twitter (archived here), about the article:

Under the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act (archived here), the military does not have the authority to arrest civilians. This act can be voided under certain circumstances explicitly authorized by the U.S. Constitution or Act of Congress. Congress.gov (archived here) does not show legislation making such authorization.

Additional Lead Stories fact checks that mention the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps can be read here.

Real Raw News

Real Raw News has a long history of publishing false claims in mock news stories, many of them about convictions and executions of various public figures at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. For example, the site reported former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was hanged (she wasn't); former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta was executed (he wasn't); and "the military" convicted former Attorney General William Barr on charges of treason (it didn't).

The website for Real Raw News includes a disclaimer that declares the site does not stand by the contents of the stories, calling them entertainment. Specifically, it says:

Information on this website is for informational and educational and entertainment purposes. ... We have included this disclaimer for our protection, on the advice on legal counsel.

Real Raw snip.jpg

(Source: RealRawNews.com screenshot taken Tue Aug 3 16:39:48 UTC 2021)

Lead Stories has covered claims published by Real Raw News in the past. Previous Lead Stories debunks of Real Raw News items are collected here.

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  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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