3 Organizers Of Trump Fake Elex Plot—Including Chesebro—Charged In Wisconsin

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - OCTOBER 20: Kenneth Chesebro speaks to Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee during a hearing where Chesebro accepted a plea deal from the Fulton County District Atorney at the Fulton Cou... ATLANTA, GEORGIA - OCTOBER 20: Kenneth Chesebro speaks to Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee during a hearing where Chesebro accepted a plea deal from the Fulton County District Atorney at the Fulton County Courthouse October 20, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. Chesebro was facing seven charges related to his alleged role as the legal architect in using Trump electors in Georgia and other key states to undermine the 2020 elections. (Photo by Alyssa Pointer/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul unveiled charges on Tuesday against three people who helped devise and implement the 2020 fake electors scheme, a complaint first obtained by TPM shows.

Attorney Ken Chesebro, former state judge Jim Troupis, and GOP operative Mike Roman were each charged with one count of entering into a conspiracy to commit forgery.

An attorney for Chesebro declined to comment to TPM. Roman and Troupis did not immediately return requests for comment.

Per a copy of the complaint obtained by TPM, prosecutors cast the three defendants as trying to use the alleged forgery of Wisconsin’s electoral college votes as a means to overthrow the results of the 2020 election. That, the complaint says, was done in concert with senior, unnamed Trump campaign officials.

Prosecutors cited in the complaint text messages and other records that Chesebro provided while cooperating with state prosecutors as part of the case.

The complaint portrays Chesebro as generating a series of increasingly aggressive legal theories, all based around the fake electors plan, to prevent the election from being resolved for as long as possible. Troupis, the complaint says, then sent these ideas to the Trump campaign, which then selected Mike Roman to help implement the fake elector slates.

By Jan. 6, the complaint says, Chesebro, Troupis, and Roman were working together to ensure that the fake Trump elector certificates made it to Mike Pence. After Chesebro texted Troupis that he was with Roman’s “top guy,” Troupis replied: “Excellent. Tomorrow let’s talk about SCOTUS strategy going forward. Enjoy the history you have made possible today.”

Chesebro developed the fake electors legal theory that underpinned the Trump campaign’s efforts to convene slates of fake electors in states that they lost. In Chesebro’s thinking, the electors could use the ballots to first preserve a potential Trump victory in states that he had lost, and then to throw a wrench in Congress’s formalization of Biden’s win on January 6.

Records obtained by TPM this year show that Chesebro worked closely with Troupis and Roman in implementing the plan. Troupis introduced Chesebro to senior Trump campaign officials, while Roman helped corral Trump electors.

The Wisconsin charges mark the first time that Troupis has faced charges for his involvement in the fake electors scheme. Chesebro pleaded guilty in the Fulton County, Georgia RICO case last year before agreeing to cooperate in several other states’ probes; Roman faces charges in Georgia and Arizona over his involvement.

Photos and messages released in a separate, civil lawsuit in Wisconsin against Chesebro and Troupis show the Trump attorney present as the state’s fake electors convened on Dec. 14. Chesebro has not settled the case, though the electors themselves admitted that the effort was a sham to end the case.

The docket sheet records the date of the forgery offense with which Chesebro was charged as November 17, 2020. Emails and other records obtained by TPM show that Chesebro sent a memo that day to Troupis titled “The Real Deadline for Settling a State’s Electoral Votes.”

Troupis and Chesebro had been working on a lawsuit for the Trump campaign challenging the count in Wisconsin; on Nov. 17, Chesebro, Troupis, and other Wisconsin attorneys held a conference call about the case. Emails show that Troupis asked Chesebro to draft his thinking about electors and the “hard deadline” of January 6 on that day.

After receiving the memo, Troupis began to introduce Chesebro to senior figures from Trump’s national campaign. Chesebro further developed the fake electors idea, and was tasked by eager Trump campaign officials to implement it.

The effort added runway for the Trump campaign to continue the legal fight — and its pressure on Congress and the Supreme Court — into Jan. 6 and, as TPM’s reporting shows, potentially beyond. Chesebro, a Harvard-educated lawyer and former acolyte of Larry Tribe, has mostly stayed silent about his role in the scheme, speaking only to TPM in a wide-ranging June 2022 interview about how he came to work for the Trump campaign.

Read the complaint here:

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Notable Replies

  1. Wisconsin going for the big cheese. Seems fitting……

  2. The Cheese now been indicted in Wisconsin. These jokes just write themselves

  3. Avatar for tpr tpr says:

    The lawsuits need to keep coming until these guys suffer more than a bad news cycle.

  4. The hammer needs to come down on all of these traitors. It needs to be crystal clear that the MAGA movement is anathema to the rule of law, the sense of decency and the moral compass of this nation.

  5. I have no idea what AG Josh Kaul is doing. After 3.5 years of near silence, he comes with these fairly skinny charges. I have responded to every one of his campaign emails lambasting him for not doing anything. I guess we will see if this is for real…but it doesn’t hurt the people it needs to hurt (to borrow a RW mantra).

    The real effect this could have had for the '22 election was to hold the entire R party, and the entire WI R ecosystem up for examination and keep them all in the news and battling charges that they were traitors, forgers, insurrectionists, and attempted to disenfranchise every man, woman, and child in the state. All the top R luminaries, scrambling and lawyering up and fending off reporters…for 3.5 years. Now THAT has an effect and hurts the people that need hurting.

    ETA: Including Ron Johnson who was playing courier for these fuggs and schlepping the fraudulent elector certs into the U.S. Capitol.

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