So, Trump campaign operatives scrambled to fly copies of the phony certificates from Michigan and Wisconsin to the nation’s capital, relying on a haphazard chain of couriers, as well as help from two Republicans in Congress, to try to get the documents to then-Vice President Mike Pence while he presided over the Electoral College certification.
The operatives even considered chartering a jet to ensure the files reached Washington, DC, in time for the January 6, 2021, proceeding, according to emails and recordings obtained by CNN.
The new details provide a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the chaotic last-minute effort to keep Donald Trump in office. The fake electors scheme features prominently in special counsel Jack Smith’s criminal indictment against the former president, and some of the officials who were involved have spoken to Smith’s investigators.
The emails and recordings also indicate that a top Trump campaign lawyer was part of 11th-hour discussions about delivering the fake elector certificates to Pence, potentially undercutting his testimony to the House select committee that investigated January 6 that he had passed off responsibility and didn’t want to put the former vice president in a difficult spot.
These details largely come from pro-Trump attorney Kenneth Chesebro, who was an architect of the fake electors plot and is now a key cooperator in several state probes into the scheme. Chesebro pleaded guilty in October to a felony conspiracy charge in Georgia in connection with the electors’ plan, and has met with prosecutors in Michigan, Nevada and Wisconsin, who are investigating the sham GOP electors in their own states.
Chesebro is an unindicted co-conspirator in the federal election interference indictment against Trump.