A recently revealed secret memorandum from Donald Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign has come to light, showcasing the former president’s strategy to overturn the 2020 election outcome by using the Supreme Court. This memorandum is a central piece of evidence in the latest set of charges against Trump.
The previously undisclosed document, penned by a lawyer involved in Trump’s unsuccessful 2020 reelection campaign, details the ex-president’s intentions to interfere with the certification of the electoral college results for that year. The goal was to extend the process and postpone the final joint session during which Joe Biden’s victory over Trump would be confirmed.
The memo, first reported by The New York Times, played a role in the indictment with four counts that was issued against Trump by a grand jury in Washington DC last month. The author of the memo, Kenneth Chesebro, is referred to in the indictment as an unindicted co-conspirator in Trump’s alleged plot to hinder the certification of the 2020 election.
Dated December 6, 2020, a month prior to the day a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, the memo advised the campaign to gather the electors who would have cast votes for Trump and then-Vice President Mike Pence to secure a win in six contested states. These electors were to assemble in their respective state capitals and fabricate fake Electoral College certificates to be submitted to Washington as authentic documents.
These forged certificates were intended to be utilized by Pence as he oversaw the certification process. Trump and his allies aimed to pressure Pence into accepting the fraudulent certificates as valid while rejecting the legitimate ones, thereby declaring themselves the winners of the 2020 election.
This scheme, which is a significant element in the charges leveled against Trump by a Washington DC grand jury, lacked legal justification, as evaluated by various US government lawyers, including those from Trump’s own White House counsel and other legal advisors.
The Wisconsin-based attorney, who the indictment describes as “co-conspirator 5,” in the indictment, was initially brought in by the Trump campaign to aid in contesting Trump’s loss to Biden in Wisconsin. As per evidence compiled by the House January 6 select committee, he communicated two other memoranda on November 18, 2020, and December 9, 2020, to Trump’s associates in swing states who were involved in the deceptive elector scheme.
Chesebro’s memo clarified that he was not necessarily advocating for this approach, but rather he highlighted the necessity of the fake electors to “create a scenario under which Biden can be prevented from reaching 270 electoral votes, even if Trump has not managed by then to obtain court decisions (or state legislative resolutions) invalidating enough results to push Biden below 270.”
He acknowledged that the dubious strategy might be difficult to execute, but he also recommended that Trump’s campaign adopt a messaging strategy to present the illicit plan as a routine procedure.