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Wisconsin AG Files Phony ‘Fake Elector’ Charges Anyway After Admitting GOP Plan Was Legal

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul announces charges in alternate electors case.
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‘Now Democrats are weaponizing Wisconsin’s judiciary,’ U,S. Sen. Ron Johnson said after Attorney General Josh Kaul announces charges against Trump lawyers.

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It was only a matter of time before Wisconsin’s far-left attorney general bowed to leftist pressure and filed charges against former President Donald Trump’s representatives in a politically driven investigation into “false electors.” The timing is curious, however — with the charges dropping just a few days after a Manhattan kangaroo court found Trump guilty in a Soviet-style show trial. 

Attorney General Josh Kaul held a crowded press conference Tuesday on the steps of the State Capitol to announce felony charges tied to the 2020 plan by Trump campaign attorneys to draft a slate of alternate electors in the event a recount in the closely contested swing state or a court ruling found the Republican president had defeated Democrat challenger Joe Biden. 

Kaul, as Democrats demanded, alleges attorneys Kenneth Chesebro and Jim Troupis engaged in a scheme to enlist 10 “false electors” to help Trump’s alleged attempt to overturn Biden’s victory in the Badger State. The attorney general’s charges against the attorneys, along with political operative Michael Roman, massage a state forgery-uttering law to accuse the defendants of knowingly promoting a false slate of electors as authentic, or at least uttering as much. 

The three men each face a maximum sentence of up to six years in prison and a $10,000 fine if found guilty of the Class H felony. 

“This is an investigation into alleged criminal conduct, and we’re gonna follow the facts wherever they lead,” Kaul said. “The investigation is not focused on any particular person, but on those facts, and what information we can gather, and then making a determination based on the law,” Kaul told reporters hungry for the latest get-Trump headline. 

Change of Heart

The long-awaited charges — demanded by angry Democrats and seething left-wing activists for years — are the latest trumped-up complaints brought by Democrat prosecutors against Trump and his allies. Alternate electors also face criminal counts in Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, and, most recently, Arizona. 

Kaul, who previously served as an attorney with debunked Russian dossier peddler Marc Elias’ old law firm, had long remained mum on possible charges. In late April, Kaul spokeswoman Gillian Drummond told USA Today that the office would not “confirm or deny the existence of an investigation, except in unique public safety circumstances.” She did say that Kaul “believes that those who committed crimes in an effort to unlawfully subvert the outcome of an election should be held accountable.”

The leftist AG was taking a lot of heat for failing to deliver the heads of Trump’s allies on a political platter, despite the fact that the Wisconsin Elections Commission had twice rejected complaints from a leftist lawfare group about the Republican alternate electors. Interestingly, the Wisconsin Department of Justice said the Republicans who attempted to cast electoral votes for Trump did not violate any election laws. 

Kaul’s agency “concluded that Republicans were legitimately trying to preserve Trump’s legal standing as courts were deciding if he or Biden won the election,” the Associated Press reported.

So why the sudden change of heart? It’s not clear whether the reporters at Kaul’s celebratory press conference asked that question. 

One legal expert who spoke to The Federalist said Kaul seemed to have found an opening after a Manhattan jury last week found Trump guilty on 34 felony counts of Frankensteinian charges of improper bookkeeping and election interference tied to a reported nondisclosure agreement involving an on-screen prostitute. If Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg could get a guilty conviction on a lemon of a case that legal experts assert is easily reversible on appeal, Kaul stands a pretty good chance of racking up convictions in a liberal Dane County Court, the source said. Like Manhattan, Madison, Wisconsin, — the state capital city and the seat of Dane County — is one of the deepest blue communities in the country. 

‘Weaponizing Wisconsin’s Judiciary’

“I think these are political prosecutions that are outside of the law,” Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow in the Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies told me last month about Democrats’ prosecutions against Republican alternate electors. “Quite apart from the historical precedent for the moment, keep in mind that what these individuals did in Arizona, Georgia, and elsewhere is get alternate electors to be ready as a contingency if it was decided the election should be overturned.” 

There’s nothing illegal about that, von Spakovsky, a former member of the Federal Election Commission, said. 

As The Federalist recently reported, leftists have tried — and failed — to push their phony “fake electors” lawfare scheme elsewhere. 

In Pennsylvania, even far-left Democrat Gov. Josh Shapiro, who was the Keystone State’s attorney general at the time, was forced by the facts to concede that “our office does not believe this meets the legal standards for forgery.” The Trump alternate electors there specified that if the courts later determine that they are the “duly elected and qualified electors,” their certification of the election for Trump would then be considered valid. 

In New Mexico, Democrat Attorney General Raúl Torrez looked into the alternate electors plan by Republicans but found the conduct did not warrant criminal charges. 

Kaul insists Wisconsin is different because the alternate electors there, unlike in some other states, didn’t include conditional language noting that they were merely attempting to preserve Trump’s right to claim the electors, should circumstances change. Andrew Hitt, former chairman of the Wisconsin Republican Party, has claimed that the alternate electors were “tricked” into believing as much. Such claims were at the center of a civil lawsuit in which Chesebro and Troupis admitted no “liability or culpability” but agreed they would not prepare alternate slates of electors in the future without being “certified as the persons elected as presidential electors under state law,” Wisconsin Public Radio reported. 

The leftist lawfare plan in Wisconsin, as elsewhere, was to extract a confession of wrongdoing from their “election-denying” political enemies — and $2.4 million. They didn’t get what they were hoping for on either account. Troupis, a former judge and long-time attorney for the Republican Party, at the time said he signed the agreement “to avoid endless litigation, and nothing in today’s settlement constitutes an admission of fault, nor should it.” 

In a statement, the attorney cited Harvard Law School Professor Lawrence Lessig’s report fully supporting the Trump team’s actions in Wisconsin. 

“He concludes, as we did at the time, that given the results of the 2020 recount were appealable (and were appealed) to the United States Supreme Court, it was a reasonable course of action and expected that the Trump-Pence electors would cast alternate elector ballots. Indeed, Professor Lessig concludes that ‘To find civil liability [as the Biden Elector Plaintiffs sought here] … would, in my view, violate the Supremacy Clause of the United State Constitution.’”

Troupis noted that Kaul’s DOJ reached a similar conclusion in its 2022 opinion to the Wisconsin Elections Commission. 

Wisconsin’s senior U.S. senator, Ron Johnson, called Kaul’s change of heart “outrageous.” 

“Now Democrats are weaponizing Wisconsin’s judiciary,” the Republican wrote Tuesday on his X account. “Apparently conservative lawyers advising clients is illegal under Democrat tyranny.” 

“Democrats are turning America into a banana republic.”


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