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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Elections

James Troupis

On Monday morning, two of Wisconsin’s presidential electors and a voter sued a group of “fake electors” who sought to deceive Congress in an attempt to help then-President Trump overturn the 2020 presidential election results.

The lawsuit, a first of its kind, was filed in state circuit court in Madison, the state’s capital, and named as defendants 10 Republicans and two others "who conspired with, aided, and abetted them," according to CBS News.

The two, according to the New York Times, are James R. Troupis, a Trump campaign lawyer, and Kenneth Chesebro, an attorney from Massachusetts who authored a memo in 2020 that proposed the fake elector scheme to Troupis.

Law Forward and Georgetown Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection (ICAP) sued the sham electors on behalf of the legitimate electors.

The plaintiffs are asking a Dane County judge to ban the Republicans from serving as electors in the future and order each of them to pay a $2,000 fine and up to $200,000 in damages to the Democratic electors.

“I don’t know that you can put a price on trying to steal democracy,” said Khary Penebaker, one of the plaintiffs and a Wisconsin Democratic National Committee member. “There has to be some kind of penalty. It has to be something. There has to be pure accountability for this. We cannot have this happen again.”

Wisconsin is one of seven states Trump lost in the last election where allies brought fought a slate of fake electors to cast electoral votes for him, anyway, to subvert the 2020 elections.

In the lawsuit, the defendants were accused of helping to “lay the foundation for a nationwide scheme to override the results of the 2020 election” and “the groundwork for the events of January 6, 2021.”

"They did so even though they knew that Biden and Harris had won the election in Wisconsin; even though those results had been recounted and certified; and even though Trump and Pence had exhausted all available legal mechanisms for challenging the outcome," the lawsuit alleged, according to CBS News.

“Although Defendants were unsuccessful in having their fake ballots counted, they caused significant harm simply by trying, and there is every reason to believe that they will try again if given the opportunity,” the lawsuit read, according to the Guardian. “Defendants’ actions also violated a host of state and federal laws. Thus far, however, none of the fraudulent electors has been held accountable. This lawsuit seeks to change that.”

None of the defendants in the lawsuit face criminal charges for their attempt to overturn the last election. Still, of the 84 sham GOP electors in the seven states that Trump lost to face civic penalties, the Wisconsin group is the first to face civic penalties.

In January, Michigan’s Democratic Attorney General, Dana Nessel, announced she had asked federal prosecutors to launch an investigation into 16 Republicans in the state who presented themselves as lawful electors and sought to cast electoral votes for Trump in a state Joe Biden won.

A week later, U.S. Deputy Attorney General, Lisa O. Monaco, told CNN that the Department of Justice was looking into the battleground states’ fake electors who falsely declared Trump victorious, despite Biden winning all states by a narrow margin.

Many of the fake electors have been subpoenaed by the House Select Committee, the congressional panel investigating the Capitol riot. Among the list is Robert F. Spindell Jr., a Republican and member of the Wisconsin Elections Commission, who tried to get Trump elected in Wisconsin, a state he lost by over 20,000 votes.

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Former vice president Mike Pence

In a scathing rebuke to his former partner at the White House, former Vice President Mike Pence has announced plans to campaign with Georgia Governor Brian Kemp on the eve of Georgia’s May 24 Republican primary.

Pence will headline Kemp’s election eve rally in defiance of former President Trump, who has repeatedly assailed the state governor for refusing to partake in a collective Trumpworld effort to subvert and overturn the 2020 presidential election results in Georgia.

Pence called Kemp “one of the most successful conservative governors in America” in a statement and on Twitter.

"Brian Kemp is my friend, a man dedicated to faith, family and the people of Georgia,” Pence stated. “I am proud to offer my full support for four more years of Brian Kemp as governor of the great state of Georgia.”

The endorsement, as US News put it, is the “ political equivalent of a raised middle finger” at Trump, who attacked the former VP repeatedly for certifying the results of the 2020 elections despite numerous calls from Trump and delusional far-right elements in his circle to overturn the elections.

"Mike Pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution," Trump said in a tweet on January 6, 2021, shortly after Pence refused to overturn the election results and right as a pro-Trump mob was breaching the sacred halls of Congress.

Two months later, in an exclusive interview, Trump defended the rioters who called for Pence’s hanging. “No, I thought he was well-protected, and I had heard that he was in good shape … because, uh, I heard he was in very good shape,” he said.

In February, Pence refuted Trump, saying the former president was “wrong” in alleging that then-Vice President Pence had the sole power to overturn the 2020 election results.

A month after that, Pence came swinging again — this time, at Trump and the Russia-loving arm of the Republican party. “There is no room in this party for apologists for Putin,” Pence said at a Republican National Committee retreat.

Prominent Republicans have endorsed candidates who Trump opposes, but Pence, who might be the most prominent of the group, has shown his willingness to buck the former president and his political ambitions.

Still angered by the stinging loss to the then-Democrat candidate for president Joe Biden, Trump has doled endorsements to his loyalists and attacked those who refused to parrot the Big Lie.

Trump has campaigned, raised money, and ran TV attack ads for Kemp’s opponent, former Senator David Perdue, who has long since pledged allegiance to Trump and his false claims of widespread voter fraud.

However, Kemp remains the strong favorite in polls, leading Perdue by an average of 22.3 percentage points in the hotly-contested primary. Leading GOP members are confident Kemp will win 50 percent of the vote to bypass a run-off with Perdue, per Politico.

Despite commanding the increasingly vocal MAGA wing of the GOP, Trump has endorsed some candidates who eventually failed to win their primaries. Last week Charles Herbster, the GOP candidate Trump endorsed in Nebraska’s governorship race, lost to a candidate endorsed by the state’s governor.