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The Missing Link Has Been Discovered

No, not some kind of half-monkey half-human. The missing link in the fake-elector scheme. It is well-established that Donald Trump tried to retain power after he lost the 2020 election. It is also well-established that slates of fake electors popped up in seven states (Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin), where some of the "electors" signed certificates saying they were the duly elected electors. Up until now, it hasn't been clear if these two things were connected. Did fake slates of electors just happen spontaneously, or what? A new report in The New York Times explains how the pieces fit together.

Here's what happened. On Dec. 6, 2020, it was becoming clear that all of Trump's attempts to get the courts to overturn elections in the seven states named above were failing. The date on which the presidential electors were required to meet and vote was 8 days away, on Dec. 14, 2020. Something had to be done, and fast, or it would be too late. Panic was setting in. That's when lawyer Kenneth Chesebro wrote a memo outlining a bold strategy to substitute fake electors for the real ones. In the memo, Chesebro said that the fake electors would cast their fake electoral votes on Dec. 14 and then on Jan. 6 Mike Pence would decide to count the fake ones instead of the real ones. Pence knew nothing about this plan at the time.

Three days later, Chesebro drew up specific instructions to create the fraudulent slates of electors. He wanted lawyers in seven states to put together fake slates of electors who would certify that Trump won their states, even though he actually lost them. Another lawyer, John Eastman, championed the plan and worked closely with Trump to execute Chesebro's plan. In Special Counsel Jack Smith's recent indictment, Chesebro and Eastman are listed as co-conspirators, although not by name. They could still be indicted.

The day after, Rudy Giuliani got Chesebro's memo to start the process of getting the fake electors. Giuliani sent an e-mail to co-conspirator #6, probably Boris Epshteyn, asking for suggestions who the lawyers should be in each state to collect the fake electors. That day, Epshteyn sent Giuliani an e-mail recommending lawyers in each of the seven states. Then Giuliani got the ball rolling. This whole process is the basis for the indictment. If any of the four—Chesebro, Eastman, Giuliani, or Epshteyn—flip to save their own necks and agree to testify, the other three (and Trump) will be in exceedingly deep doodoo. If none of them flip voluntarily, Smith could put one or more of them on the witness stand, grant them immunity (thus taking away their Fifth Amendment right to avoid testifying), and force them to choose between spilling the beans or going to prison. The fact that Smith knows all this now and has the memo is going to put Chesebro and the others in a tough position. (V)

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