Ex-Trump Campaign Attorney Chesebro, Two Others Charged in Wisconsin Fake Elector Scheme

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A former attorney for former President Donald Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign was charged in Wisconsin today with forgery in connection with a scheme to send fake electors to Congress in order to subvert the results of the election, according to court documents. 

Kenneth Chesebro is charged in the Dane County Circuit Court with a single felony count of forgery. Two other Trump allies — James Troupis and Michael Roman — face the same offense, records show. 

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul (D) announced the charges Tuesday in a news conference. When asked by reporters about the possibility of additional charges, Kaul would only say that the investigation is “ongoing.” 

According to a copy of the complaint, the charges were filed in connection with the Trump campaign’s 2020 fake elector scheme that Trump and his allies attempted in multiple states, including Arizona and Georgia. 

Chesebro and Roman were both charged along with Trump in the Georgia election subversion case. Chesebro pleaded guilty in October of last year to a felony count of conspiracy to file false documents. He avoided jail time as part of his plea agreement. In April, an Arizona grand jury indicted over a dozen Trump allies, including Roman, in connection with the fake elector scheme in that state.

The Wisconsin case centers on the trio’s involvement in a multi-state effort to send fake state electors to Congress to elect Trump instead of President Joe Biden, who won Wisconsin by roughly 20,600 votes.

After Election Day on Nov. 3, 2020, Chesebro sent two memos — one dated Nov. 18; the other Dec. 6, 2020 — to Troupis, stating that electors representing Trump and then-Vice President Mike Pence should meet and cast their votes for Trump and Pence on Dec. 14, 2020, according to the complaint. That’s when the Electoral College was expected to formalize the winner. 

In the December memo, Chesebro falsely asserted that Pence, who was tasked with certifying the election results, could potentially count the fake electors as long as a court challenge was pending, according to the complaint. Troupis allegedly sent both memos to the White House. 

On Dec. 14, when the real electors met at the Wisconsin state Capitol building, another meeting took place at the building with 10 fake electors, who the complaint called “unappointed electors.” Electors are people who are appointed to represent voters in presidential elections by the political parties in their respective states. Around the time of the meeting, the complaint says, Chesebro sent messages to Roman and Troupis stating: “WI meeting of the *real* electors is a go!!!”

Although the scheme didn’t keep Trump in the White House, the former president’s overall efforts to overturn the election result led to a mob of his supporters violently storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. On that day, Pence, facing pressure from the Trump campaign, certified that Biden won.

Since 2020, a number of former Trump attorneys and allies who took part in the scheme to overturn the election have faced professional and criminal consequences for their conduct. Close allies such as former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Jan. 6 architect John Eastman were charged in multiple indictments and face recommendations of disbarment. Trump faces four indictments, two of which are related to 2020. 

Read more about the Arizona fake elector indictment here.

Read more about the Georgia election subversion indictment here.