George Chidi in train (l) Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer in Oppenheimer

@neonflag/Twitter Universal Pictures/YouTube Remix by Caterina Cox

‘One of the greatest spectacles of my life’: Atlanta grand jury witness in Trump case who had 11pm ticket to Oppenheimer made it, loved it

He only missed a few scenes.

 

Marlon Ettinger

Tech

George Chidi, the Atlanta-based reporter who witnessed Republican activists drawing up their own slate of electors at the Georgia Capitol in 2020, made it to Oppenheimer Monday evening.

“[I]t was one of the greatest auditory spectacles of my life,” he told the Daily Dot of the movie.

Chidi live-tweeted a thread about his time Monday waiting to testify in front of the Fulton Grand Jury, which released a 41-count indictment against 19 people including former President Donald Trump for attempting to overturn the 2020 election Monday night, and worried that he might not be able to make it to the screening. “I thought I’d be safe at a 11 p.m. showing,” he tweeted. “Fingers crossed.”

“I walked in five minutes after it started,” Chidi told the Daily Dot. “Maybe a hair less. Oppenheimer was handing the poison as I walked in.”

Chidi was at the Atlanta Capitol on Dec. 14, when electors across the country met to cast their votes for the President and Vice-President. The night before, he told the New Yorker, he’d looked through a list of Georgia’s official Republican electors. On it was C.J. Pearson, a young conservative activist who Chidi has talked with before.

“I thought he might be there for the pomp and circumstance of it all,” Chidi told the New Yorker.  “Only he doesn’t make eye contact with me. He just goes into Room 216 … I’m, like, Holy shit, you guys are gonna pull something.”

Chidi went in and started filming a Facebook Live, he recounted to the New Yorker. “Oh, he’s got a camera” somebody said after he asked what they were up to in the room. Somebody told him they were having a meeting, so he asked what type as he got hustled out of the room.

“A woman answers that it’s an ‘education meeting,’” Chidi told the New Yorker, and he’s “reasonably certain,” the woman who said that was Cathy Latham. Latham, who was charged in the Fulton County indictment for her involvement in computer crimes in Coffee County, was the chairwoman of the Coffee County Republican Party.

Chidi told the New Yorker he thought Fulton County’s district attorney Fani Wilis might have been interested in his testimony because the woman he thinks was Latham lied to him and stopped him from filming what they were doing.

“It was a sign they knew what they were doing is wrong,” he said. “Why do it behind closed doors?”

Chidi told the Daily Dot that the last moment of the movie hit him hard.

“I have to say, as I was sitting there an hour in and experiencing the surreal, I was asking myself how much of what I experienced today was real,” Chidi sais.

“I mean, imagine you’re sitting around at a bar in 1998 or so, listening to a Foo Fighters song in the background and having beers with friends as you think about the plots of science fiction fantasies that start with ‘Donald Trump becomes president.’ You would have been laughed out of the room. Global pandemic. Mercenary armies. Cryptocurrency. Fucking Twitter. Life is super fucking weird.”

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