Fake Donald Trump electors settle civil lawsuit in Wisconsin, admit they were trying to overthrow election


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ADISON, Wis. (AP) — Ten Republicans who posed as fake electors for former President Donald Trump in Wisconsin and filed paperwork falsely saying he had won the battleground state have settled a civil lawsuit and admitted their actions were part of an effort to overturn President Joe Biden's victory, attorneys who filed the case announced Wednesday.

Under the agreement, the fake electors acknowledged that Biden won the state, withdrew their filings and agreed not to serve as presidential electors in 2024 or any other election where Trump is on the ballot.

The 10 fake electors agreed to send a statement to the government offices that received the Electoral College votes saying that their actions were “part of an attempt to improperly overturn the 2020 presidential election results.”

The settlement marks the first time that any Trump electors have revoked their filings sent to Congress purporting that Trump had won in seven battleground states. Fake electors were charged in Georgia and Michigan, and Trump faces charges in Georgia and in a federal investigation of his conduct related to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

The settlement was announced by Law Forward, Georgetown University Law Center’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection and the Madison-based Stafford Rosenbaum law firm.

“Americans believe in democracy and the idea that the people choose their leaders through elections,” said Jeff Mandell, one of the attorneys who brought the case on behalf of Democratic voters, including two who served as Biden electors. “The defendants’ actions violated those bedrock principles. We brought this case to ensure that they are held accountable.”

There is no known criminal investigation ongoing in Wisconsin. Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul has signaled that he is relying on federal investigators to look into what happened in Wisconsin, while also not ruling out a state probe.

Democrats brought the lawsuit last year seeking $2.4 million in damages from 10 Republicans who submitted a document to Congress falsely declaring Trump as the 2020 election winner in Wisconsin. They also sued two of Trump’s attorneys, including one who has already pleaded guilty to other charges stemming from the 2020 election in Georgia.

The case was scheduled to go to a trial by jury in September 2024, two months before the presidential election.

Under the deal, the fake electors don’t pay any damages or attorneys fees and there is no admission of wrongdoing or liability.

The Wisconsin GOP electors have long said that they were partaking in the plan in case a court later ruled that Trump had won the state. One of the fake electors, former Wisconsin state Republican Chairman Andrew Hitt, repeated that position in a statement Wednesday.

“The Wisconsin electors were tricked and misled into participating in what became the alternate elector scheme and would have never taken any actions had we known that there were ulterior reasons beyond preserving an ongoing legal strategy,” he said. Hitt said he has been working with the Justice Department since May of 2022 and he will not be supporting Trump in 2024.

The fake elector plan hatched in seven battleground states was central to the federal indictment filed against Trump earlier in August that alleged he tried to overturn results of the 2020 election. Federal prosecutors said the scheme originated in Wisconsin.

Fake electors met in Wisconsin and six other states where Trump was defeated in 2020 and signed certificates that falsely stated Trump, not Biden, won their states. The fake certificates were ignored.

One of the attorneys named in the Wisconsin lawsuit, Kenneth Chesebro, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of conspiracy to commit filing false documents after being charged with participating in efforts to overturn Trump’s loss in Georgia. Chesebro was charged alongside Trump and 17 others with violating the state’s anti-racketeering law.

The Wisconsin lawsuit cites a memo Chesebro sent to Trump’s attorney in Wisconsin, Jim Troupis, in November 2020 detailing the elector plan.

Under the settlement, the 10 fake electors promised to assist the Department of Justice with its ongoing investigation. They also agreed to help the Democrats as they continue their lawsuit against Troupis and Chesebro.

Troupis and Chesebro did not return voicemail messages seeking comment.

The fake electors also released nearly 600 pages of documents related to their scheme, under terms of the settlement.

Those show one Republican involved with the fake elector plot texting another one referring to their action declaring Trump the winner of Wisconsin as a “possible steal.” The sender said they felt compelled to go along with the plan or else Trump supporters would be upset and there “would be a target on my back.”

Government and outside investigationshave uniformly found there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could have swung the election from Biden. Trump has continued to spread falsehoods about the 2020 election.

Electors are people appointed to represent voters in presidential elections. The winner of the popular vote in each state determines which party’s electors are sent to the Electoral College, which meets in December after the election to certify the outcome.
MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - This weekend, for the first time, one of Wisconsin’s 2020 fake electors for Donald Trump is speaking out in an attempt to clear his name.

Andrew Hitt is breaking his silence in an interview that will air Sunday on the political talk show “Upfront.”

Federal and state prosecutors who’ve indicted the former president say the Republican elector votes in key states Trump lost, like Wisconsin, were part of an elaborate scheme by Trump’s campaign to overturn the election after legal challenges and recounts showed Joe Biden won.

Asked if he would do it again, Hitt said, “It’s such a hard question to answer. If I knew what I know now, no, absolutely not.”

“We were tricked,” Hitt continued. “We weren’t made aware of any ulterior motive or scheme, and we wouldn’t have gone along with it had we been told about it.”

The 10 electors, who include an official on the Wisconsin Elections Commission, settled a civil lawsuit acknowledging that Biden won the state and agreed not to serve as presidential electors in 2024 or any other election where Trump is on the ballot.
Legal Settlement Sheds Light on Wisconsin’s Electoral Conspiracy
A recent legal settlement has shed light on a plot by attorneys Kenneth Chesebro and Jim Troupis, who were working for then-President Donald Trump. They had hatched a plan involving false electors in an attempt to declare Trump the winner in Wisconsin. This strategy was part of a broader attempt to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election across several battleground states.

Documents Expose Detailed Scheme

As part of the settlement reached in a civil lawsuit filed by Democrats in 2022, Chesebro and Troupis surrendered over 1,400 pages of documents, including emails, text messages, photos, and videos. These documents provide a comprehensive account of how the plot originated in Wisconsin and was then replicated in six other states, including Georgia, where Chesebro has since pleaded guilty to related charges.

Legal Proceedings and Agreements
The legal action targeted Chesebro, Troupis, and 10 Republicans in Wisconsin who falsely posed as electors. The settlement concludes the lawsuit without an admission of guilt from the attorneys. However, they agreed to abstain from participating in similar efforts in future elections, with Troupis also making a financial restitution to the plaintiffs.

Troupis’ Defense
In defending the actions, Troupis stated that pursuing alternate elector ballots was a legitimate action given the contestable nature of the 2020 election results. He emphasized that the settlement was a means to avoid protracted litigation and did not constitute an admission of wrongdoing.

The Role of Electors Explained
he controversy centers around electors, who are appointed to represent voters in the U.S. presidential election. The scheme involved drafting false certificates for bogus electors, undermining the process that determines which party’s electors are sent to the Electoral College based on the state’s popular vote.

The Strategy Behind the False Certificates
The documents reveal Chesebro and Troupis’ use of obscure legal justifications for their actions. They also showcase the strategic discussions aimed at delaying the certification of electoral votes and influencing public opinion through conservative media outlets.

Wisconsin’s Legal Battles
In November 2020, amidst legal challenges to the election results in Wisconsin, the documents highlight Chesebro’s suggestion to Troupis about influencing the state’s Supreme Court justices. This was part of their broader strategy to support Trump’s efforts to invalidate votes.

No Criminal Probe in Wisconsin
While Michigan and Nevada have initiated criminal charges against fake electors, Wisconsin has not launched a criminal investigation. The state’s Attorney General has hinted at relying on federal authorities while not dismissing the possibility of a state-level investigation.