When truth is stranger than fiction, we tend to pay attention, if only to laugh at the absurdity of the moment. A Georgia State Senator and former candidate for governor, Michael Williams (R), reported to jail after indictments were filed for his arrest. The Republican conservative from Forsyth County was best known for his outrageous campaign stunts and disgraceful “Deportation Bus Tour” ad. He is accused of lying to police that $300,000 of computer servers, ostensibly used to mine as yet unknown cryptocurrencies, were stolen and then filing fraudulent insurance claims for same.
Williams’ lawyer, A.J. Richman, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that his client would be out of jail soon, since a jail bond had already been negotiated. He also claimed that, “Senator Williams looks forward to his day in court, and I will vigorously defend him.”
Williams’ campaign manager and close confidant, Seth Weathers, was also supportive. He claimed the charges were a “political witch hunt” and “without merit”, a common response these days when confronted by the truth. Still acting as if he were on the campaign trail, Weathers invoked a slogan that he had used before:
I guess it’s the price you pay for being a fearless conservative. With all the crazy shenanigans that go on in politics, who knows? Like they say, a grand jury can indict a ham sandwich.
Williams, being characterized as a “fearless conservative”, was repulsive to many in the cause, and several of his so-called conservative brethren were horrified by his hate and fear-based antics. As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote:
The stunts helped Williams attract heaps of national attention and scorn from many conservatives. He was universally ignored by his GOP rivals. At some debates, his rivals wouldn’t even respond to Williams’ taunts.
What was the nature of these stunts? As reported, these antics crossed the line of common courtesy:
He raffled off a deadly device after it was used in a mass shooting. He enlisted a TV reality star, “Dog” the Bounty Hunter, to promote his call for increased police pay. And he led a protest against a teacher who told a student to leave her classroom because he was wearing a T-shirt supporting Trump. He capped it with a “deportation bus tour” in the final week before the May vote that drew crowds of protesters – and jeers when it broke down between stops in north Georgia.
His race for governor was also viewed as a joke, placing fifth in a primary of only five candidates. He ran as an ardent Trump supporter, but no one followed his lead. After all his guff and bravado, Williams still remains a sitting member of the state Senate, but his term will end on January 14th.
Will this blowhard do jail time for lying about the theft of his supposed cryptocurrency mining servers? According to his attorney, A.J. Richman:
We’re not really apprised of their evidence yet. Right now, our position is Mr. Williams did not do this.
In the crypto world, however, positions can change quickly. Time will tell.