State of Wisconsin

Wisconsin 2020 Fraudulent Electors Challenge

Penebaker v. Hitt

Lawsuit filed on behalf of Wisconsin voters challenging the fraudulent electors (including former Wisconsin GOP Chair Andrew Hitt) who attempted to submit alternate election results claiming that Donald Trump won Wisconsin’s 10 electoral votes following the 2020 election. The plaintiffs (two of whom were lawfully elected presidential electors) allege that on Dec. 14, 2021, the day designated for the Electoral College to meet, the defendants — Wisconsin residents who were not legitimate presidential electors — met and “purported to cast their votes for Trump and Pence,” attempted to fill the vacancy of a member who did not attend the meeting, “executed a document titled Certificate of Votes of the 2020 Electors of Wisconsin” and, following standard certification procedures, transmitted the document to the president of the U.S. Senate, the archivist of the United States, the Wisconsin secretary of state and the chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. According to the plaintiffs, they did so knowing President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris won the election in Wisconsin and therefore won the state’s electoral votes. The plaintiffs argue that the fraudulent electors were “fundamental to the scheme” to overturn the election that “caused permanent and irreparable damage to the country’s political institutions generally, and to representative government in Wisconsin specifically.”

The plaintiffs allege that these fraudulent electors violated several Wisconsin statutes and federal laws (including engaging in a civil conspiracy and unlawfully holding public office) and that the defendants’ actions constitute a public nuisance. They seek to prevent the defendants from attempting to falsely assume the office of a presidential elector in the future and request monetary damages. On June 15, 2022 the case was moved to federal court. On Feb. 10, 2023, the case was remanded back to state court. On Aug. 10, a Wisconsin judge largely denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss, thereby allowing litigation to proceed.

On Dec. 6, 2023, the fake elector defendants reached a settlement with the plaintiffs. The fraudulent electors acknowledged that Joe Biden won the presidency and withdrew documents related to their scheme to overturn the election.

RESULT: In March 2024, the remaining defendants — Trump’s Wisconsin campaign attorney, James Troupis, and legal adviser, Kenneth Chesebro — entered into settlement agreements with the plaintiffs, thereby ending the litigation. Under the settlement agreements, both Troupis and Chesebro agreed that they would not assist any presidential campaign in the future in the preparation of fraudulent electoral certificates and votes. They also agreed to pay the plaintiffs a monetary settlement and provide them with documents.

Case Documents (WI circuit court)

Case Documents (Federal court)

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