Trump lawyer's secret memo details 'bold, controversial strategy'

Donald Trump lawyer Kenneth Chesebro’s secret campaign memo detailing ‘bold, controversial strategy’ to flip 2020 election revealed in January 6 indictment

  • The New York Times on Tuesday obtained a memo written by a Trump-supporting lawyer, Kenneth Chesebro, on December 6, 2020
  • The memo, sent to another Trump lawyer, James Troupis, details Chesebro’s proposal to have ‘fake electors’ overturn the election on January 6, 2021
  • The memo is one of at least three Chesebro sent with plots for ‘fake electors’: Chesebro is not charged in Jack Smith’s indictment, but is a co-conspirator

A plot to overturn the 2020 election with the help of ‘fake electors’ was spelled out in a memo obtained by The New York Times on Tuesday, with the document revealing a key pillar of Jack Smith’s indictment of Donald Trump.

The memo was sent on December 6, 2020 by a lawyer allied with Trump, Kenneth Chesebro, to another lawyer working for the then-president, James Troupis.

It was one of at least three memos which Chesebro sent to the Trump team sketching out a legal rationale for overturning the Biden victory when the votes were certified on January 6, 2021.

The ‘fake electors’ strategy is one of the key accusations made in the August 1 indictment of Trump on charges of trying to overturn the election.

Chesebro is not named in the indictment, and is not currently facing charges, but is referenced as ‘Co-Conspirator 5’.

He is described in the indictment as ‘an attorney who assisted in devising and attempting to implement a plan to submit fraudulent slates of presidential elections to obstruct the certification proceeding.’ 

Donald Trump is seen on Tuesday addressing a rally in Windham, New Hampshire before details of a secret memo one of his lawyers sent about overturning the 2020 election was revealed

Kenneth Chesebro is identified in the indictment as ‘co-conspirator five’. He sent at least three memos to other Trump-supporting lawyers suggesting ways the 2020 election could be overturned

The existence of the Chesebro memo was first revealed in last week’s indictment, but its contents were not made public.

Donald Trump’s six co-conspirators described in DOJ indictment revealed – including his former attorney Rudy Giuliani and ex-federal prosecutor Sidney Powell 

The memo lays out Chesebro’s plan to have a group of pro-Trump electors assemble on December 14, 2020, in six contested states, and produce fake votes.

Chesebro admitted he was proposing ‘a bold, controversial strategy’ that the Supreme Court ‘likely’ would reject.

But, he argued, it was a viable way to ensure Joe Biden’s win was not approved on January 6 by turning attention on claims of Democrat voter fraud, giving Trump’s lawyers time enough to emerge victorious from various legal battles to ‘deprive Biden of electoral votes and/or add to Trump’s column’.

‘It seems feasible that the vote count can be conducted so that at no point will Trump be behind in the electoral vote count unless and until Biden can obtain a favorable decision from the Supreme Court upholding the Electoral Count Act as constitutional, or otherwise recognizing the power of Congress (and not the president of the Senate) to count the votes’, the lawyer wrote. 

He recommended the meeting of pro-Trump electors be presented as ‘a routine measure that is necessary to ensure’ that the correct electoral slate could be counted by Congress if courts or legislatures later concluded that Trump had actually won the states.

And he acknowledged that it would be a provocative step: Chesebro recommended that the meetings be held behind closed doors.

Prosecutors described the memo as a plot to create ‘a fake controversy that would derail the proper certification of Biden as president-elect’.

Chesebro devoted much time to the role played by Mike Pence, the vice president, whose certification of the votes on January 6 would in normal times be purely ceremonial and uneventful.

Chesebro advocated for Pence to take ‘the position that it is his constitutional power and duty, alone, as president of the Senate, to both open and count the votes.’

He claimed Pence could count the fake votes by the Trump electors as long as there was a lawsuit pending, which challenged Biden’s win.

But the plan was scuppered by the former Vice President, who ultimately told Trump and his allies that he was not constitutionally entitled to carry out their wishes.

Trump, according to the indictment, told Pence that he was ‘too honest’.

Jack Smith is pictured on August 1 explaining the indictment at a Washington DC press conference

The Capitol is pictured under attack on January 6, 2021 after Chesebro and others suggested a plan to void the election results

Rioters are seen storming the Capitol on January 6, 2021

On Tuesday night, Trump again attacked Smith over the indictment.

He also raged against the claim that the January 6 Committee, investigating the riot, failed to adequately preserve documents, data and video depositions.

Barry Loudermilk, a Republican from Georgia who is looking into the actions of the January 6 Committee, told Fox News Digital that his staff had been unable to get the material it needed to probe the now-disbanded committee.

‘Part of our task as this oversight subcommittee is to actually address the security failures, look into how did it happen… how were these folks able to get into the Capitol,’ Loudermilk said.

He said the documents they obtained came over in boxes and were completely unorganized.

‘Nothing was indexed. There was no table of contents index. Usually when you conduct this level of investigation, you use a database system and everything is digitized, indexed.

‘We got nothing like that. We just got raw data,’ he said.

‘So it took us a long time going through it and one thing I started realizing is we don’t have anything much at all from the Blue Team.’

Trump said Loudermilk’s allegations meant Smith’s case should be thrown out.

‘So now that I have full Subpoena Power because of the Freedom of Speech Sham Indictment by Crooked Joe Biden, Deranged Jack Smith, and the DOJ, it has just been reported that the Unselect January 6th Committee of Political Hacks and Thugs has illegally destroyed their Records and Documents,’ he wrote on social media.

‘This is unthinkable, and the Fake Political Indictment against me must be immediately withdrawn. The system is Rigged & Corrupt, very much like the Presidential Election of 2020.

‘We are a Nation in Decline!’

What charges is Donald Trump facing?

Trump has been indicted three times and is facing a litany of criminal charges. Here is a breakdown of each case, the allegations the former President is facing, and potential sentences he could cop if found guilty.

Investigation into 2020 Election

The latest indictment to land in Trump’s lap stems from an investigation into efforts to overturn election results in 2020 that saw Joe Biden elected as the new President, and the Capitol riots on January 6, 2021. 

He faces four counts: Conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights.

Each count carries potential penalties ranging from fines to 20 year prison terms. 

Trump meanwhile argues the charges brought against him are simply a Democrat-led ploy to prevent him from winning the upcoming 2024 election, and says he was not responsible for the actions of his supporters at the Capitol.

Investigation into mishandling of classified documents

Trump is also facing some 40 charges pertaining to his alleged mistreatment of classified documents after he left presidential office.

Prosecutors allege he removed classified material from the White House, pointing out that there were roughly 100 documents marked as sensitive in the stash found at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida.

He is charged with the mishandling of the documents as well as attempts to obstruct investigators from retrieving them. 

Several of the counts he is facing carry 20-year sentences.  

Trump has pleaded not guilty to all counts. 

Investigation into hush money payments 

Trump was hit with 34 counts of falsifying business records with regard to various hush money payments made to pornstar Stormy Daniels over their alleged affair. 

Each count carries a sentence of up to four years.

However, it is unlikely Trump would be slapped with a full sentence for all the charges, even if found guilty in all three cases. 

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