Newly-released info shows Trump’s Wisconsin team led the way on the fake electors scheme

(Left) Trump campaign attorney Jim Troupis speaks during a Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee hearing, Dec. 16, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via AP, File); (Right) Lawyer Kenneth Chesebro is sworn in during a plea deal hearing, Oct. 20, 2023, at the Fulton County Courthouse in Atlanta. (Alyssa Pointer/Pool Photo via AP, File)

By Pat Kreitlow

March 4, 2024

Two Wisconsin attorneys release documents and a video showing the fake electors applauding after signing false paperwork about the 2020 results.

The release Monday of more than 1,400 pages of documents, emails, text messages, photos, and videos provide more detail about the extent to which people at the highest levels of former President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign knew about the fake elector scheme in Wisconsin following that year’s presidential election.

As part of a lawsuit settlement, attorneys Kenneth Chesebro and Jim Troupis, a former Dane County judge who was acting as a the Trump campaign’s attorney in Wisconsin, made the material public to explain their role in helping to create, organize, and execute a plan to offer up “alternative electors” to the rightful ones won by President Joe Biden—with the intent that Congress or the courts would cast doubt on the actual election results and take steps to unlawfully award the election to Trump.

The newly released material includes a 10-minute video of the fake electors who cheered and took photos as they cast and signed ballots for Trump at the Wisconsin State Capitol.

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. The 2020 results from those state-based races were read before a joint session of Congress on January 6, 2021—a process interrupted by a violent and deadly attack on the US Capitol by Trump supporters. 

There are no direct communications between the attorneys and Trump in the documents, but there are exchanges with top campaign aides and Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani.

Troupis and Chesebro, a Wisconsin Rapids native, worked out a strategy rationalizing the legal possibility of fake electors—which in Wisconsin included Robert Spindell, who was and remains a member of the Wisconsin Election Commission. Troupis and Chesebro drafted false certificates for the fake electors and discussed ways to influence public opinion on talk radio and elsewhere.

In the weeks after the election, when recounts had affirmed Biden’s victory but Trump was still trying to invalidate thousands of absentee votes in the state, Chesebro suggested to Troupis that they contact conservative radio hosts in Milwaukee and Madison: “Mostly to maximize the chance that SCOW (Supreme Court of Wisconsin) justices hear about this quickly and prejudge the case?”

He ended with a winking emoji.

The Trump campaign replicated the strategy in six other states including Georgia, where Chesebro has already pleaded guilty to charges stemming from efforts to overturn the state’s election results.

The agreements settle a civil lawsuit brought by Democrats in 2022 against the two attorneys and the 10 fake electors. The fake electors settled in December and agreed to admit their actions were part of an effort to overturn Biden’s rightful victory in Wisconsin. There is no admission of wrongdoing or liability in the agreements in which Chesebro and Troupis promise to never participate in similar efforts involving future presidential campaigns.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


  • Pat Kreitlow

    The Founding Editor of UpNorthNews, Pat was a familiar presence on radio and TV stations in western Wisconsin before serving in the state Legislature. After a brief stint living in the Caribbean, Pat and wife returned to Chippewa Falls to be closer to their growing group of grandchildren. He now serves as UNN's chief political correspondent and host of UpNorthNews Radio, airing weekday mornings 6 a.m.-8 a.m on the Civic Media radio network and the UpNorthNews Facebook page.



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