New recordings and emails that CNN obtained recently show the great lengths to which Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign went to in its effort to keep the former president in power.
The new information shows that just two days prior to January 6, 2021, Trump operatives scrambled to get copies of phony certificates that were going to be used by fake electors from Wisconsin and Michigan to Washington, D.C.
Those certificates ended up getting stuck in the U.S. mail, leading the operatives to rely on couriers and help from two GOP members of Congress, the documents show. The efforts were made to try to get the documents to Vice President Mike Pence, who as president of the Senate, was presiding over the certification of the Electoral College vote.
The scheme revolved around these fake electors is at the heart of the criminal indictment against Trump handed down by Special Counsel Jack Smith.
The information that CNN obtained also shows that one of the top campaign lawyers for Trump was in on a last-minute discussion about how the certificates could be delivered to Pence.
That lawyer, Kenneth Chesebro, was also indicted as part of state-level investigation in Georgia. This information potentially undercuts the testimony he gave to the now-defunct House select committee that was responsible for investigating the January 6 protests.
During that testimony, Chesebro said he didn’t have responsibility over that, passing the role off to other people because he didn’t want to put Pence in a tough spot.
Now, though, Chesebro has flipped and has become a witness for the prosecution as part of a plea deal he struck in the case. That deal was agreed to in October, and saw him plead guilty to a felony charge of conspiracy in Georgia.
He’s also had meetings with prosecutors in Wisconsin, Nevada and Michigan – all of whom are also investigating the fake electors plot in their states.
While Chesebro was not part of the federal election interference indictment, his testimony could end up proving damning to Trump in that case.
The information CNN obtained revealed what he told investigators in Michigan, as well as the fact that he attended a meeting in the Oval Office in December 2020 – at which he briefed the former president about the plan to use fake electors and how it all tied into January 6.
Emails CNN obtained also show that Chesebro communicated with Matt Morgan and Mike Roman – a top campaign lawyer and a top campaign official for Trump, respectively – about how the fake certifications could make their way to the nation’s capital January 5.
Then, Cheesebro said that Republican Senator Ron Johnson from Wisconsin and another congressman from Pennsylvania helped to get those documents to Pence.
As Chesebro told prosecutors in Michigan:
“This is a high-level decision to get the Michigan and Wisconsin votes there. And they had to enlist, you know, a U.S. senator to try to expedite it, to get it to Pence in time.”