MADISON, Wis. — The promoter of a fake elector scheme intended to keep 2020 presidential election loser Donald Trump in office, Kenneth Chesebro, will plead guilty to a felony charge for his role in the scheme in Georgia. He joins several other defendants who have pleaded guilty in the criminal case brought by prosecutors there. Chesebro was also active in Wisconsin, advising well-connected, right-wing Trump campaign lawyer Jim Troupis on how to carry out the fake elector scheme that involved other top state Republicans.
“A top promoter of the criminal conspiracy to keep Donald Trump in office after he lost the 2020 election has pleaded guilty to a felony charge for his role in the fake elector scheme in Georgia,” commented A Better Wisconsin Together Deputy Director Mike Browne. “That’s a damning indictment of the same conduct of numerous high-ranking and well-connected right-wing figures who participated in that scheme here in Wisconsin.”
According to media reports:
Prosecutors allege that Chesebro unlawfully conspired with Trump and lawyers associated with his campaign to have the group of Georgia Republicans sign the false elector certificate and to submit it to various federal authorities. He also communicated with Trump campaign lawyers and Republican leaders in other swing states won by Biden to get those states to submit false slates of electors as well, prosecutors alleged.
That included writing memos advocating for Republicans in those states to meet and cast electoral votes for Trump and providing detailed instructions for how the process should be carried out. In an email to Giuliani, he outlined strategies to disrupt and delay the joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, 2021, during which electoral votes were to be certified. He wrote that those strategies were “preferable to allowing the Electoral Count Act to operate by its terms.”
Chesebro’s contact in Wisconsin in the conspiracy to overturn the election was Jim Troupis, the lead attorney for the Trump campaign in the state who also filed lawsuits trying to throw out more than 200,000 votes in Milwaukee and Dane counties.
Troupis is a longtime right-wing political operator in Wisconsin whose connections include:
- Being retained by the campaign of MAGA Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson in the 2020 election cycle. Sen. Johnson and his office were involved in receiving documentation of the fake Wisconsin electors from Troupis and attempting to pass them on to then-Vice President Pence;
- Representing current state Supreme Court Chief Justice Annette Ziegler after it was discovered she presided over multiple cases involving a bank at which her husband was a director. Ziegler was found to have violated the Code of Judicial Ethics, and received a public reprimand. Ziegler did not recuse from the cases in which Troupis was representing the Trump campaign, and sided with Troupis and Trump on the losing side in the cases [Donald J. Trump v. Anthony S. Evers, 2020AP1971; Donald J. Trump v. Joseph R. Biden, 2020AP2038];
- Working for the campaign of former state Supreme Court Justice David Prosser in the recount in his 2011 election bid, receiving over $75,000 in payments; and
- Serving as part of the legal team that helped state Republicans in 2011 design and implement one of the most egregious gerrymanders of legislative districts in the nation.
In addition to Troupis, other Wisconsin Republicans involved in the fake elector scheme included then state party chair Andrew Hitt and current Wisconsin Elections Commission member Bob Spindell.