Tag: kenneth chesebro
Kenneth Chesebro

Leaked Testimony Shows How Fake Electors Plot Led To Insurrection

CNN has obtained audio of attorney Kenneth Chesebro talking with Michigan state prosecutors about Donald Trump’s failed efforts to overturn the 2020 election. In that recording, Chesebro explains how what he now calls “a photo-op … gone south” spun out the false electors scheme and reenergized Donald Trump’s effort to overturn the election. All with a big assist from an attorney named … Kenneth Chesebro.

According to Chesebro’s testimony, a meeting took place at the White House on December 16, 2020, in which several attorneys who had worked for Trump’s campaign at the state level came in to tell him the jig was up. “We had been told before the meeting not to say anything that would make [Trump] feel better about his chances than before the meeting had started,” Chesebro said.

Only Chesebro didn’t follow that advice. Other attorneys delivered bad news to Trump, including Chesebro’s friend and fellow attorney Jim Troupis, who reportedly told Trump things were “over” in Wisconsin. But when it was Chesebro’s turn to speak, he delivered a different message.

“I ended up explaining that Arizona was still hypothetically possible because the alternate electors had voted,” said the former Trump attorney. “And I explained the whole logic. I basically summarized a lot of the Nov. 18 memo, and I explained that Justice [Ruth Bader] Ginsberg and Professor Lawrence Tribe had both written that Jan. 6 was the real deadline. So, because the alternate electors had voted, we had more time to win litigation.”

It’s not often someone goes on record to explain how their actions helped give rise to an insurgency, but that’s exactly what Chesebro seemed to describe.

The statement about Arizona’s alternate electors was like a bomb tossed into the meeting. According to CNN, Chesebro’s “optimistic comments” gave Trump renewed hope that his attempts to overturn the election were not finished. Former Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus, who was also present, was reportedly “concerned.”

“Right after the meeting,” Chesebro says in the recordings, “Troupis said that Reince Priebus was extremely concerned with what I told the president about Arizona, and about the real deadline being January 6. And he was going to do damage control. Reince was going to follow up and was trying to mitigate whatever optimism I guess I created.” Trump apparently paid no more attention to Priebus at that meeting than when he served as Trump’s first chief of staff. But it certainly would be interesting to interview Priebus about his thoughts on the fateful December 16 confab.

That Chesebro was eager to talk about false electors isn’t a surprise. He authored a sweeping memo on Dec. 6, 2020, in which he described the majority of the scheme. Right up until January 6, Chesebro was shoving the scheme along at every step, emailing party chairs, working with Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman, and pulling out all the stops to create an alternative reality in which neither the Constitution nor the Electoral Count Act really matters.

According to the racketeering indictment filed in Fulton County, Georgia, Chesebro helped coordinate the selection of false electors in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. That included not just sending letters and emails to Trump campaign staffers and Republican Party officials, but even coming up with the wording on the fake certificates that false electors would sign. In the case of Arizona, Georgia, and New Mexico, Chesebro appears to have created the fake certificates himself.

Chesebro went on to craft a memo for Giuliani and another for John Eastman explaining “multiple strategies for disrupting and delaying the joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, 2021.” In the final draft of one of these delay-and-disrupt memos, Chesebro declared that any of his strategies would be “preferable to allowing the Electoral Count Act to operate by its terms.”

That memo goes on to speculate about what might happen after Republicans overturned the election on January 6 and handed the White House back to Trump. The situation, Chesebro says, would be “messy” and the Supreme Court might try to intrude, but none of that mattered. What mattered was making sure Joe Biden and Kamala Harris never took office.

In short, no one is in this thing deeper than Chesebro. No one did more to keep the conspiracy going, even when others on Trump’s team were ready to throw in the towel. And no one, but no one, should be happier about prosecuting attorneys being willing to strike a deal than Kenneth John Chesebro.

Chesebro already pleaded guilty in the Georgia case to a single felony charge of attempting to file false documents. For this, he got five years probation, paid a $5,000 fine, and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. That’s not a bad deal for someone who was facing seven felony counts and whose name appeared in 35 acts allegedly supporting the criminal conspiracy at the heart of the racketeering indictment.

Chesebro is clearly cooperating with investigators in Wisconsin, as well as Arizona and Nevada, though the full extent of any deal he made in those states is not known. CNN has also identified Chesebro as an unindicted co-conspirator in Trump’s federal trial for election interference, which suggests he may also be cooperating with special counsel Jack Smith.

On the one hand, this is all great because no one knows more about the scheme to disrupt the Jan. 6 vote count than Chesebro. However, no one did more to create and encourage that scheme. If Chesebro’s testimony helps convict Trump, then it was worth it. If there’s any other result, it was not.

Anyway, Chesebro seems willing to spill the beans about anything in exchange for staying outside of a prison cell. In the recording of his meeting with Michigan prosecutors, he said, “There was a subsequent email a week later, where Troupis said that it’s extremely important that no one ever learn what happened in the meeting. And I don’t actually know, but it was probably related to what I told the president about the real deadline and about Arizona. So there was something very sensitive about what happened in the meeting that there was concern about, that had to be kept quiet.”

Four indictments later, we know what the concern was about.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

Kenneth Chesebro

Trump Lawyer Chesebro Aiding Prosecutors In Two 'Fake Elector' Probes

Attorney Kenneth Chesebro, who has already pleaded guilty to election interference in Georgia, is now aiding prosecutors who are pursuing charges against "fake electors" in two new states in an attempt to avoid additional criminal charges.

According to CNN, Chesebro — who was one of the architects of the "fake elector" scheme that attempted to overturn the 2020 election in multiple swing states — is now assisting state attorneys general in both Michigan and Wisconsin's fake elector investigations. Confirmation from CNN's sources about Chesebro's cooperation comes even before Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul (D) has publicly announced the investigation. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D), for her part, has confirmed that an investigation is underway and still ongoing.

The news about Chesebro's cooperation in Michigan and Wisconsin comes after his cooperation with other state attorneys general in Arizona and Nevada. While details of his cooperation have not yet been released, it could resemble his plea deal in Georgia, where Chesebro has agreed to provide Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis with testimony in her prosecutions of former President Donald Trump, attorneys Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman and Jeffrey Clark, among others.

Scott Grubmann, an attorney representing Chesebro, said his client personally "never believed" that Donald Trump won the 2020 election despite his role in concocting the fake elector plot.

"If you ask Mr. Chesebro today who won the 2020 presidential election, he would say Joe Biden," Grubmann said.

The "fake elector" scheme involved Republican activists in various swing states presenting themselves as members of the electoral college in states President Joe Biden won in 2020, in an attempt to instead deliver their respective states' electoral college votes to Trump. Chesebro admitted the fake elector gambit was legally dubious and would likely not pass muster in the Supreme Court.

Chesebro initially rejected a plea offer in Georgia, though he pivoted in late October after fellow Trump attorney Sidney Powell inked her own plea deal.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Chesebro Looked Impressive On Paper, But Sadly Had No Ethics At All

Chesebro Looked Impressive On Paper, But Sadly Had No Ethics At All

Where did Kenneth Chesebro come from? Son of a Wisconsin music teacher, he amassed sterling credentials, a Harvard Law degree chief among them. On paper he was impressive. But then he joined a conspiracy to overthrow the democracy. Chesebro gives credentials a bad name.

He applied his legal skills to veil criminal activity under plausible-sounding theory — all the while covering, so he thought, his own posterior. In the end, Chesebro was charged with working on slates of faked electors to overturn results in several states.

One can only marvel at his fancy legal spinning designed to facilitate the destruction of America's revered institutions. But being the careful lawyer he was, Chesebro told the Trump camp that the scheme "could appear treasonous." You don't say.

What made him do it? It isn't that he had been a Democrat who went to the other side. Yes, he had helped his Harvard mentor Laurence Tribe work for Al Gore in the disputed 2000 election. If he jumped the political chasm to advocate for Donald Trump, that was his right.

But if he truly believed in the MAGA cause, that the election was stolen, he wouldn't have agreed to flip on Trump. He would have taken the lumps and tried to defend himself in court.

The best explanation for Chesebro's performance is simpler, and boy, it is sad.

"He wanted to be close to the action," is how Tribe put it. He wanted attention.

Chesebro's Ivy polish was surely a draw for Trump given the downmarket personas of his other legal advisers. There was the batty Sidney Powell, the strutting John Eastman in his jaunty hat and flapping scarf, and the pathetic Rudy Giuliani.

Making a plea deal in the Georgia election interference case, however, puts Chesebro in the intimate company of Powell, whose swanning on TV about the plot to steal the election got so weird Trump had to fire her. Even back then, Chesebro was too smooth to join Powell in her utterly nutty claims that a dead Hugo Chavez was pulling the strings for Joe Biden. A discussion of what Powell truly believed is best left to the psychiatric profession, not the legal one.

Chesebro reportedly did tell the Trump team that a Supreme Court ruling before Jan. 6 would be more favorable to their cause if the justices feared there would be "wild" chaos on that day. This was a reference to Trump's Dec. 19 tweet: "Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!"

What could be the harm in adding a tablespoon of intimidation into the devil's cake mix? Though Chesebro opined that there was only a 1% chance the justices would step in, appealing to them, he offered, could have "possible political value."

Both Chesebro and Powell made plea deals to snitch on other Trump allies. They include promises not to lie at the co-defendants' trials. Back in September, Scott Hall, a Georgia bail bondsman, became the first Trump ally to plead guilty in the racketeering case.

They're all getting sweet probation deals.

On January 6, Chesebro donned a MAGA hat and descended on the Capital to stop the certification of the election that Joe Biden clearly won. But he will not spend a day in prison, unlike the dopes who charged past him and broke into the Capital.

Because he knew what he was doing, Chesebro proved himself more ethically vacant than the Trumpian mobs. He applied oily legal arguments made potent by an elite education. Supporting an insurrection against the United States, he undoubtedly figured, could be a good career move.

Chesebro now says he abhorred the violence on January 6. Wouldn't he just.

Froma Harrop's column for Creators Syndicate appears in more than 150 newspapers. She is based at the Providence Journal. Follow her on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at fharrop@gmail.com.

Reprinted with permission from Creators.

"Before The Next Teardrop Falls": Jenna Ellis Makes Courtroom Confession

"Before The Next Teardrop Falls": Jenna Ellis Makes Courtroom Confession

Jenna Ellis, the lawyer who in 2020 described herself as part of Donald Trump’s “elite strike force team,” has reached a plea deal with Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis in Georgia and will plead guilty to a felony she committed when she worked to help Trump overturn the election results in Georgia. She was charged with soliciting a public officer to violate his oath to the people of Georgia. She pleaded guilty to a single felony count of aiding and abetting false writings and statements.

Ellis is the third Trump lawyer to plead guilty to committing crimes in the racketeering case against Trump and 18 other co-defendants. The other lawyers are Sidney Powell, who pleaded guilty last Thursday, and Kenneth Chesebro, who entered a plea of guilty the following day, on the morning his trial was set to begin. Another co-defendant, Scott Hall, pleaded guilty to five counts of conspiracy to interfere in the performance of official election duties in the Coffee County theft of election data.

In her guilty plea, Ellis agreed to complete three to five years of probation, to pay a $5,000 fine, to do100 hours of community service, and to write a letter of apology to the people of the state of Georgia. Ellis tearfully read her letter of apology aloud to the judge this morning, beginning by introducing herself “as an attorney who is also a Christian, I take my responsibilities as a lawyer very seriously, and I endeavor to be a person of sound moral and ethical character in all of my dealings.”

Except when it came to helping her hero Donald Trump steal the election of 2020 , apparently.

Previously, like Powell and Chesebro before her, Ellis recorded on video a lengthy “proffer,” giving prosecutors details of the facts she will be able to testify to when she is called to give evidence against her co-defendants, including Trump.

Prosecutors read aloud the indictment against Ellis, including portions that detailed how she wrote memos for Trump about how Vice President Pence could go about overturning the election results on January 6, 2021, when he presided over the certification of electoral ballots in the Congress. The indictment also outlined how she had traveled with fellow Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani to the battleground states of Pennsylvania, Arizona, Michigan, and Georgia, where she gave false information about the election to state lawmakers, urging them to use their powers to overturn the election results in their states in favor of Trump. Ellis has already been sanctioned by a Colorado judge for the false statements she made about the election, and in court today, she admitted to making more false statements on behalf of Trump.

She claimed she made the statements “in a reckless state of mind,” and in her apology stated that she had “relied on lawyers with many more years of experience than I to provide me with true and reliable information.” She went on to say that she had failed to do “due diligence” and check her facts. In other words, as a “Christian” lawyer, Jenna Ellis blamed her failures on other lawyers, said she had been “misled” by them, and said she no longer believed the lies she told about Trump being the winner of the 2020 election. “If I knew then what I know now, I would have declined to represent Donald Trump in these post-election challenges,” Ellis said in her apology letter.

One lawyer who would seem to have “misled” Ellis is Rudy Giuliani. Another would seem to be John Eastman, and yet another may be Jeffrey Clark. None of these men will probably be sleeping very comfortably tonight, thinking of the testimony she is set to give against them, not to mention Donald Trump, the client on whose behalf she, Powell, and Chesebro told all their lies.

Donald Trump’s friends, lawyers, campaign workers, and go-fers are discovering, one after another, that their loyalty to the former president ends at the jailhouse door.

Lucian K. Truscott IV, a graduate of West Point, has had a 50-year career as a journalist, novelist, and screenwriter. He has covered Watergate, the Stonewall riots, and wars in Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He is also the author of five bestselling novels. You can subscribe to his daily columns at luciantruscott.substack.com and follow him on Twitter @LucianKTruscott and on Facebook at Lucian K. Truscott IV.

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