After Donald Trump’s defeat three years ago, Republicans in several states created forged election materials, pretending to be “duly elected and qualified electors,” and sent the documents to, among others, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. Archivist, as if the fake materials were legitimate. They were not.
Once the fake electors’ scheme was exposed, many of the legal questions have surrounded whether the initiative crossed criminal lines, but there was also a civil dimension to this. As regular readers might recall, some actual electors sued Wisconsin’s illegitimate electors in May 2022, arguing, “Thus far ... none of the fraudulent electors has been held accountable. This lawsuit seeks to change that.”
Whatever happened to that case? The Associated Press reported on the newly announced settlement.
Under the agreement, the fake electors acknowledged that Biden won the state, withdrew their filings and agreed not to serve as presidential electors in 2024 or any other election where Trump is on the ballot. The 10 fake electors agreed to send a statement to the government offices that received the Electoral College votes saying that their actions were “part of an attempt to improperly overturn the 2020 presidential election results.”
As part of the same court settlement, these 10 Republicans have also agreed to assist the Justice Department in its investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
In case this isn’t obvious, this is the first time fake pro-Trump electors have in any state — including those in Georgia and Michigan where criminal charges are pending — agreed to revoke their bogus filings.
What’s more, as a Washington Post report added, the defendants in this civil case shed additional light on how and why their scheme unfolded.
Documents released as part of the settlement revealed one of the Wisconsin Republicans appeared to refer to the attempt to install Trump for a second term as a “possible steal.” That Republican expressed skepticism about the plan but told others he was going along with it in part because he feared he would face blowback from Trump supporters if he didn’t.
The legitimate electors have also sued two pro-Trump lawyers who assisted the fake electors in the Badger State. That case is still ongoing. Watch this space.