We’re proud of our leading role in holding Wisconsin’s fraudulent electors accountable. Will you donate to support our work today?

On March 4, 2024, in settling this lawsuit, James Troupis and Kenneth Chesebro provided a trove of documents showing their roles in the scheme and agreed not to participate in a similar scheme in any future presidential election.

The resolution of this litigation provides much-needed transparency into how the fraudulent electors scheme was conceived and developed, and it exposes the key roles both Troupis and Chesebro played not only in executing the scheme in Wisconsin, but also around the nation.

news clipping of a Washington post article titled "Pro-Trump lawyers central to alternate-elector plot settle Wisconsin lawsuit"
news clipping from AP "settlement in Wisconsin fake elector case offers new details on the strategy by Trump lawyers"

On December 6, 2023 Law Forward, in collaboration with Georgetown University Law Center’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection (ICAP) and Stafford Rosenbaum LLP, have announced a historic settlement agreement in the Fake Electors case Penebaker et al v. Hitt et al.

The agreement includes a public acknowledgment from the Elector Defendants that their votes, cast at the behest of the Trump Campaign and the Republican Party of Wisconsin, were part of an effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election and disrupt the peaceful transition of presidential power.

The claims against those defendants, James R. Troupis and Kenneth Chesebro, remain ongoing in this case. 

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The coordinated and deliberate effort to subvert the will of the voters must not happen again. Thankfully, we are beginning to see that those who seek to subvert our democracy will be held to account for their actions.

As we continue to pursue civil accountability for Mr. Chesebro in Wisconsin, we welcome his decision to plead guilty in Georgia.

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Our democracy matters. So, we must seek accountability for those who attempt to undermine it. Wisconsin voters have been waiting for nearly three years to hold the fraudulent electors accountable for their misconduct. Their coordinated and deliberate effort to subvert our democracy must not happen again. The ruling on 8/10/23 to allow the civil case to proceed is the next step in that process.

We are pleased with the Judge’s order, which will provide our clients with the opportunity to fully investigate and present our case in court.

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On Aug. 8, 2023 Dane County Circuit Court Judge Frost ordered the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) to release records related to fraudulent elector and WEC member Robert Spindell. Most of us believe in open and transparent government – this is doubly true as we seek to gather more information about those who sought to undermine the will of the people.

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On May 24, 2023 Judge Remington scheduled the trial for Sept. 3, 2024. It is important that the trial be concluded prior to the next slate of electors being chosen in October 2024.

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On May 15th, 2023 Judge Remington denied the fraudulent electors’ attempt at delaying accountability by requesting a change in venue. The matter will be resolved in Dane County Court, as it should be, just one block from where the scheme was carried out.

On May 8th, 2023, Judge Remington agreed that Spindell, one of Wisconsin’s fraudulent electors and a member of the Wisconsin Elections Commission, should recuse himself in the Wisconsin Elections Commission complaint hearing about him.

Associated Press News Clipping

On March 24, 2023 we filed an amended complaint in Penebaker v. Hitt et al to reflect what we’ve learned, thanks in large part to the January 6th Committee, about how the conduct in Wisconsin relates to the national effort to overturn the will of the people in the 2020 election. This submission does not change any course of action but adds finer detail to the facts of what transpired.

The reappointment of Mr. Troupis, who attempted to overturn the will of the people by advising the fake electors to break the law, is the latest in a string of decisions that erode our democracy. We tracked those trends over last year’s term in our “Deconstructing Democracy” report.

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On Feb. 10, 2023, Judge Peterson granted our motion to remand in Penebaker et al v. Hitt et al, ensuring that the case will proceed in state court. This is an important step towards holding these twelve individuals, including Wisconsin’s 10 fraudulent electors, accountable for their illegal actions when attempting to overturn the will of the people by falsely assuming the office of presidential electors.

On Jan. 13, 2023, fraudulent elector Spindell celebrated voter suppression in Milwaukee among communities of color. Voting rights groups widely condemned his comments.

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UPDATE – Jan. 3, 2022: we are waiting for a procedural ruling on which court the fraudulent electors case will be in, and once we know which court we will – through discovery – decide if it is appropriate to add more defendants.

On Dec. 19, 2022, the January 6th Congressional Committee referred Dr. John Eastman – one of the architects of the fraudulent electors scheme – to the DOJ for prosecution.

CBS News newspaper clip that reads "Who is John Eastman and why is he being referred for charges by the Jan. 6 committee?"

On July 28, 2022, we renewed our call for Dane County District Attorney Ozanne to investigate the Fraudulent Electors for their scheme to overturn the will of 3.3 million Wisconsin voters. With shocking revelations from the Jan. 6 Committee, the time for accountability is now.


On July 6, 2022, Jeff Mandell appeared on The David Pakman Show to discuss the civil complaint against the fraudulent electors.

On May 17, 2022 we filed suit against the 10 fraudulent electors along with two attorneys who helped orchestrate the illegal scheme.

This lawsuit is the first-ever against the fraudulent electors, who falsely sought to have their votes counted on January 6.

The filing alleges that by fraudulently assuming the office of elector despite certified election results indicating that they were not permitted to do so,  the defendants illegally usurped the role of Wisconsin’s rightful electors and undermined the legal authority of voters to choose which candidate will receive the state’s electoral votes.

We must hold them accountable for their illegal, unprecedented, and profoundly anti-democratic actions.

On April 14, 2022, we filed suit against the Wisconsin Election Commission and Commissioner/Fraudulent Elector Spindell under the state’s open records law because he did not provide all documents related to public comments he made in November about the complaint against the fraudulent electors. On behalf of our client the Service Employees International Union, we also argued that the Wisconsin Election Commission mishandled our complaint and asked the Judge to throw out their finding. It’s important for the court to find that commissioners could not rule on cases involving themselves in order to prevent future bad patterns.

On March 15, 2022 the Wisconsin Elections Commission dismissed our complaint in a procedurally tainted, error-filled, and legally unsupported decision. The WEC did not respond to our request for Spindell to be recused, and he did not recuse himself. We continue to actively pursue numerous avenues for accountability for the fraudulent electors.

On Feb. 15, 2022 we wrote to the Dane County District Attorney to request that he uphold the rule of law in Wisconsin and investigate and prosecute criminal violations. It has been one year since our original complaint identified Wisconsin’s fraudulent electors, and the people of Wisconsin continue to wait for justice and protection against future attempts to usurp the power of their votes.

On Feb. 1, 2022 we wrote to Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General Murphy to follow up regarding the need for Wisconsin Election Commissioner Spindell to be recused from voting on the fraudulent electors complaint.

On Jan. 28, 2022 the Jan. 6 Select Committee subpoenaed two of Wisconsin’s fraudulent electors, Andrew Hitt and Kelly Roh.

 

On Jan. 26, 2022, MSNBC’s Joy Reid profiled our letter to Wisconsin Attorney General Kaul. State laws were broken, and that necessitates enforcement at the state level.

On Jan. 26, 2022 we wrote to Assistant Attorney General Murphy stating that the Wisconsin Election commission’s failure to act amounted to a dismissal of our Feb. 15, 2021 complaint, and we will have no choice but to bring a lawsuit if the commission doesn’t act soon or provide information about how it is handling the case.

On Jan. 25, 2022 CNN reported that federal prosecutors are reviewing the fake Electoral College certifications.

On Jan. 22, 2022 Congressman Mark Pocan asked the U.S. Attorney General to investigate.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, headline says Mark Pocan has asked the US Atty General to investigate Republicans who filed false paperwork about WI's presidential electors

On Jan. 20, 2022 Milwaukee County District Attorney Chisholm’s office sent a letter saying Wisconsin Attorney General Kaul’s Department of Justice or federal prosecutors were best suited to investigate the matter.

On Jan. 6, 2022 our President Jeff Mandell noted in an op-ed that holding the fraudulent electors accountable is crucial to the struggle to preserve American democracy.

On Dec. 21, 2021 MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow invited our President and Lead Counsel Jeff Mandell on to discuss the fraudulent electors.

On Feb. 15, 2021 Law Forward asked Milwaukee County District Attorney Chisholm to investigate these fraudulent electors. On behalf of our clients (several individual voters and the SEIU Wisconsin State Council), we separately filed a complaint with the Wisconsin Election Commission. We also sent a letter to the Wisconsin Office of Lawyer Regulation regarding the actions of one of the fraudulent electors, Attorney Andrew Hitt. On April 2, 2021 we filed a reply brief with the Wisconsin Election Commission.

No individual gets to serve in elective office in defiance of the people’s votes. Yet in Wisconsin in December of 2020, that basic principle of our democracy was attacked when 10 individuals, impersonating the legally selected and authorized Presidential Electors of the state, flouted the will of the people as expressed at the ballot box and fraudulently attempted to misappropriate Wisconsin’s participation in selecting the next President of the United States.

These fraudulent electors acted in violation of state law, which specifies that the people of Wisconsin choose the Presidential Electors through their votes on the November ballot. The fraudulent electors sent the false documents they created to the U.S. Congress, in an apparent effort to make sure that they would be counted as Wisconsin’s actual ten electoral votes on January 6th.

The rule of law is essential to a functioning democracy. Attempts to subvert the will of the people of Wisconsin cannot go unchecked – so we took action.