Kenneth Chesebro is considered one of the “architects” of the fake electors scheme, which sought to invalidate the results of the 2020 election in seven states. He is one of 19 people, including Donald Trump, who have been indicted by a grand jury in Fulton County, GA. Chesebro also has been identified as unindicted “Co-Conspirator 5” in the federal indictment brought by Justice Department Special Counsel Jack Smith, for his role in the conspiracy to overturn the results of the election.
Chesebro was a member of the legal team that represented former President Donald Trump, including in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election.
He authored an internal Trump campaign memo in December 2020 that laid out a plan to use false slates of electors from Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin to subvert the 2020 election results.
Chesebro acknowledged that the proposal was “a bold, controversial strategy” that the U.S. Supreme Court “likely” would reject, but he argued it was worth pursuing anyway because it would focus public attention on the Trump campaign’s claims of voter fraud and buy the campaign “more time to win litigation that would deprive Biden of electoral votes and/or add to Trump’s column.”
In a later memo, Chesebro laid out what he called the “President of the Senate” strategy, in reference to former Vice President Mike Pence’s role on Jan. 6, 2021. He recommended that Pence take the position that he had the authority to determine which electoral votes to count or ignore, an idea rejected by credible legal scholars. Donald Trump reportedly pressured Pence to adopt this view, but after hearing arguments from former Vice President Dan Quayle, conservative jurist Michael Luttig and others, Pence ultimately rejected Trump’s demands.
Why was Chesebro indicted?
Chesebro wrote several memos detailing increasingly “crazy” plans to implement the fake elector scheme in the wake of the 2020 election. As a result of his role in this scheme, he was initially charged with 7 felony counts in Fulton County.
Chesebro ultimately pled guilty to 1 felony count of conspiring to commit filing false documents based on these allegations just as his trial in Georgia was set to begin.. In pleading guilty, he admitted to plotting to unlawfully utilise fake electoral certificates filled out by the Georgia fake electors to overturn the will of Georgia voters.
As a condition of his plea deal, he agreed to offer testimony against Trump and other defendants, if the prosecutors ask him to, and to turn over documents relevant to the case.
The decision to plead guilty was an important and surprising admission of guilt from a defendant who had previously maintained that he did nothing illegal.
If successful, the fake elector scheme Chesebro helped engineer would have overturned the will of the voters in seven states and allowed the loser of the 2020 presidential election to unlawfully remain in power.