05/18/2024

Some Crim

Track the Untold Stories

Left: Court records made public as part of a settlement this week involving fake electors in Wisconsin surfaced this photo of Ken Chesebro at the Capitol on Jan. 6. Behind him in background wearing black jacket ad with face in profile is far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. / Right: Ken Chesebro is sworn in as he prepares to plead guilty to racketeering charges in Georgia. Oct. 20, 2023. (Alyssa Pointer/Pool Photo via AP)

‘I’ve done very, very well financially the last few years’: Chesebro texts show pleas to allies to watch fake elector plot unfold

Left: Court records made public as part of a settlement this week involving fake electors in Wisconsin surfaced this photo of Ken Chesebro at the Capitol on Jan. 6. Behind him in background wearing black jacket ad with face in profile is far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Right: Ken Chesebro is sworn in as he prepares to plead guilty to racketeering charges in Georgia. Oct. 20, 2023. (Alyssa Pointer/Pool Photo via AP)

A trove of new text message and emails handed over to prosecutors in Michigan investigating the 2020 presidential election fake electors plot reportedly expose the desperate maneuvering done by pro-Trump lawyer Ken Chesebro as he invited the former president’s allies to come to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6 to watch the scheme unfold.

Chesebro pleaded guilty in October to conspiring to file fake elector slates for Trump in Georgia. He is not charged in Michigan, where Attorney General Dana Nessel filed felony charges last July against 16 Republicans who are accused of submitting bogus electoral certificates on the former president’s behalf.

These communications, first reported by CNN, are a new batch of records separate of the series that were unearthed this March, where Chesebro and Trump campaign lawyer James Troupis’ messages exposed greater details underpinning the alleged fake elector scheme. These new messages stem from Chesebro accounts on X (formerly Twitter) and Gmail. They were reportedly obtained through search warrants and with Chesebro’s cooperation.

Related Coverage:

    The messages reportedly show, among other things, Chesebro asking David Clarke, the avid Trump ally and former Milwaukee County Sheriff, as well as Jim Hoft, owner of the right-leaning conspiracy theory website Gateway Pundit, to attend the certification on Jan. 6 “gratis.”

    Chesebro is said to have offered to pay their way, covering airfare and accommodations at what was then Trump’s Washington, D.C., hotel. At one juncture Chesebro apparently told another contact, radio host Vicki McKenna of Wisconsin, that it really wouldn’t be a problem for him to get her and her husband into town.

    “Happy to pay for flights if that would help,” he wrote. “It’s really no big deal; I’ve done very, very well financially the last few years. And I would feel great having you able to be at the center of the Trump universe.”

    It is unclear if McKenna replied. Hoft, however, declined the offer, saying he had his own accommodations.

    The reporting notes other messages show Chesebro urging friendly media outlets to be even friendlier to Trump by broadcasting his theory that a series of “alternate” electors could upend the certification and hand the election to the outgoing president.

    Whether Clarke ever accepted these offers is unclear and the Gateway Pundit did not immediately respond to request for comment on Wednesday.

    The company recently filed for bankruptcy due to an onslaught of litigation alleging the site disseminated false claims about the 2020 election. Hoft told the Washington Post he intended to continue publishing in the meantime.

    An attorney for Chesebro confirmed CNN’s reporting in part during an appearance on MSNBC this week but played down the messages’ contents, saying it doesn’t amount to much.

    It is noteworthy, however, that when Chesebro met with Nessel’s team of investigators in December he did not mention his Twitter account, instead saying he didn’t use social media to chat with people privately. These new message represent 160 sent messages and close to 30 others Chesebro received on social media apps spanning 2014 to 2021.

    In one message to Hoft, Chesebro said it “would help to publicize if Pence claims the power to revolve disputes about the electoral votes on Jan. 6, he’d simply be doing what Jefferson did,” Chesebro wrote to Hoft just after Christmas 2020.

    “Excellent!! Thanks,” Hoft replied.

    Chesebro’s and Trump’s interpretation of the 2020 election was resoundingly rejected in dozens of court cases by this time, including in Wisconsin.

    To wit, it was James Wigderson, another Wisconsin contact of Chesebro’s, who told him to “spare me this stuff” when Chesebro came running to him with claims of fraud in the state, the messages showed.

    Wigderson, who ran a conservative news site, was blunt with Chesebro.

    “Thanks. Trump lost,” he wrote.

    Join the discussion 

    The post ‘I’ve done very, very well financially the last few years’: Chesebro texts show pleas to allies to watch fake elector plot unfold first appeared on Law & Crime.