3 Trump allies charged in Wisconsin for 2020 fake elector scheme

Washington — Three allies to former President Donald Trump were charged in Wisconsin on Tuesday in connection to an alleged scheme to send slates of fake electors to Congress after the 2020 presidential election.

Kenneth Chesebro, James Troupis and Michael Roman each face one felony count of forgery, according to court records. The three are set to make their initial appearances in Dane County Circuit Court on Sept. 19, court records show. Violators face up to six years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. 

Chesebro, an attorney, wrote a six-page memo in December 2020 that laid out a plan for organizing Trump’s supporters to serve as fake electors after that year’s presidential election in crucial swing states where he lost. The plot entailed those so-called alternate electors meeting on Dec. 14, 2020, when legitimate members of the Electoral College would meet to certify the results of their states’ elections. The fake electors would also sign false certifications claiming Trump won. As part of the scheme, then-Vice President Mike Pence would count their state electoral votes as cast for Trump, even though President Biden had won their states, during a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, 2021.

The alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election to keep Trump in office have led to indictments in several battleground states, including Arizona, Michigan, Nevada and Georgia. Trump is facing 10 charges in an election-related case brought by prosecutors in Fulton County, Georgia, as well as federal charges in Washington, D.C., stemming from the alleged efforts to subvert the transfer of presidential power. He has pleaded not guilty to all counts.

Cheseboro, too, was charged in the sprawling racketeering case in Georgia. He pleaded guilty in October to one count of conspiracy to commit filing false documents. Prosecutors said he devised the strategy to appoint alternate electors in several states, which was part of the broader plot to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Roman, a longtime GOP operative, served as director of Election Day operations for Trump’s 2020 campaign and was also charged in Fulton County. He faces seven counts there related to the fake elector scheme and has pleaded not guilty. Roman also was indicted in Arizona on charges stemming from the alleged attempt to keep Trump in office for a second term.

Troupis briefly served as a circuit court judge in Wisconsin and represented Trump in the state during the last presidential election.

Attorneys for the three men could not immediately be reached for comment.

In response to reports of the charges, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, said, “Good.”

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