Emails reportedly connect Trump campaign to fake electors scheme

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Around this time three years ago, Republicans in seven states — Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — hatched what became known as the “fake electors” scheme. As it turns out, we’re still, even now, learning more about how plot unfolded.

To briefly recap, as part of the gambit, GOP operatives created forged election materials, pretending to be “duly elected and qualified electors,” and sent the documents to the U.S. Senate and the U.S. Archivist, as if the fraudulent materials were legitimate. They were not.

In terms of accountability, prosecutors have already filed criminal charges against many of the fake electors in several states, and with investigations ongoing, that list might yet grow.

But as the process advances, just as notable are the related revelations about how the scheme came together. As we’ve discussed, this was not a freelance operation. It’d be a different kind of story if assorted Trump fans coincidentally engaged in a live-action-role-playing fantasy, simultaneously and independently coming up with the idea of creating fraudulent election materials as keepsakes.

That’s clearly not what happened. The Detroit News reported overnight on internal campaign emails pointing to the Trump campaign’s direct role in orchestrating the plot.

The documents, which have become part of Attorney General Dana Nessel’s ongoing investigation into the slate of false electors, showed that Trump’s campaign staff helped coordinate the Republicans’ gathering inside state party headquarters on Dec. 14, 2020. Then, Trump’s team prepared the official mailing of the false certificate to Vice President Mike Pence and the National Archives, according to the emails.

The same emails confirmed that when local Republicans were uncertain about whether their forged materials would make it to Capitol Hill ahead of Congress’ Jan. 6 meeting, it was Trump campaign employees who helped “develop and execute a plan to fly the certificates there themselves.”

Stepping back, it’s worth recognizing the importance of Kenneth Chesebro, the attorney who helped take the lead on the fake electors scheme in the aftermath of Trump’s defeat. In October, Chesebro pleaded guilty in the Georgia election interference case, and soon after, The New York Times reported on Chesebro’s central role as a witness against the GOP operatives who participated in the plot he helped create.

Around the same time, CNN reported on Chesebro cooperating with the probe in Michigan, and we’re now starting to get a better sense of the results of his collaboration.

The Detroit News’ article, based on emails that have not been independently verified by MSNBC or NBC News, added:

The internal Trump campaign emails indicate that it was Trump campaign employees, not the electors, who presented the false document to federal government agencies. And in court last month, multiple Michigan Republican officials linked the Trump campaign to the organization and execution of the false electors’ scheme. Asked why it appeared those who coordinated the false electors plan hadn’t been charged by the Attorney General’s office, Nessel spokesman Danny Wimmer said the investigation remains “active and ongoing.”

I don’t imagine we’ve heard the last of this one. Watch this space.

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