Prosecutors discovered a previously unknown memo drafted by a lawyer allied with former President Donald Trump, which outlined a plan to overturn the 2020 election, according to the New York Times on Tuesday.
According to a copy of the memo obtained by the Times, lawyer Kenneth Chesebro admitted that he was proposing a “a bold, controversial strategy” that the Supreme Court ultimately would reject. Chesebro argued that even if the plan failed to pass, it would bring attention to claims of voter fraud and “buy the Trump campaign more time to win litigation that would deprive Biden of electoral votes and/or add to Trump’s column.”
The Dec. 6, 2020 memo was unearthed during Trump’s third indictment last week, and shed a light on how the former president’s allies developed their plot to overturn Joe Biden’s win.
The document, which prosecutors described as a “fraudulent elector memo,” revealed that Chesebro proposed the appointment of fake electors, and detailed a “messaging” strategy to use them as evidence of the former president’s supposed victory.
“I believe that what can be achieved on Jan. 6 is not simply to keep Biden below 270 electoral votes,” Mr. Chesebro stated in the memo. “It seems feasible that the vote count can be conducted so that at no point will Trump be behind in the electoral vote count unless and until Biden can obtain a favorable decision from the Supreme Court upholding the Electoral Count Act as constitutional, or otherwise recognizing the power of Congress (and not the president of the Senate) to count the votes.”
The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot previously cited two memos from Chesebro in a December report, but apparently did not uncover the Dec. 6 memo. Prosecutors are using the newly disclosed document as a key link into how the Trump team’s efforts to keep the ex-president in power evolved into a criminal conspiracy.
The discovery of the memo arrives after Trump was charged on four criminal counts: conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights.
The indictment lists six other individuals as co-conspirators, including Rudy Giuliani, and lays out how a co-conspirator matching the description of former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark plotted to invoke the Insurrection Act to keep Trump in power. None of the co-conspirators have been charged yet, although Special Counsel Jack Smith‘s statement indicates that could change.
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