Wisconsin Trump electors settle lawsuit, agree Biden won in 2020

In a settlement reached on Wednesday, ten Republicans who falsely claimed that Donald Trump had won Wisconsin in the 2020 election have agreed to retract their inaccurate filings and acknowledge Joe Biden as the winner of the presidency. They also agree not to serve as presidential electors for 2024, or any other election in which Trump will be on the ballot.

The civil settlement reached on Wednesday marks the first agreement by pro-Trump voters to retract their false registrations and refrain from repeating their actions at the next presidential elections. Republicans in two more states are facing criminal charges after falsely claiming they were presidential electors. Investigations in three other states are also underway.

The documents released in the settlement show that Wisconsin Republicans referred to the effort to install Trump for a 2nd term as a possible steal. They expressed skepticism but said they were going along with the plan because they feared blowback from Trump’s supporters if not.

The lawsuit was filed by two of the rightful electors in the state last year. It alleged that the Republicans were involved in a conspiracy against voters, and demanded up to $200,000 per Trump elector. The settlement does not involve any money exchange.

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The Biden electors continue their lawsuit against the two attorneys who helped the Wisconsin Republicans – Jim Troupis, an ex-Dane County Judge who led Trump’s efforts to recount in the state and Kenneth Chesebro who advised Republicans across the country and pleaded guilt in October for conspiring to overturn Biden’s victory in Georgia.

Republicans from seven states where Biden won – Arizona, Georgia Michigan Nevada New Mexico Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – filled out documents in December 2020 falsely declaring that Trump won. Trump’s supporters then used this material to try and prevent Congress from certifying Biden as the winner. Congress announced Biden’s victory on Jan. 6, 2020, just hours after the pro-Trump mob had stormed U.S. Capitol.

Jack Smith, a special counsel for the Department of Justice has investigated the attempts to overturn 2020 results. Meanwhile, state and local prosecutors have been conducting investigations into the GOP electors. Some Republican electors have been charged with felony offenses by prosecutors in Michigan and Georgia. State probes in Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico are also underway.

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In Wisconsin, Republicans claimed they had met at the Capitol of the state to sign paperwork that would allow their votes to count in case a court overturned Biden’s victory. The meeting took place about an hour after Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld Biden’s victory with a decision of 4-3. Trump appealed the ruling unsuccessfully to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The 10 Republicans also agreed to refrain from participating in elections in which Trump will be on the ballot in 2024, or any other election where Trump may appear. They also said that they would not participate in attempts to submit falsified electoral paperwork for any election. The 10 Republicans also agreed to help the Department of Justice in its investigation, and support the Biden electors while they pursue their lawsuit against Troupis & Chesebro. Troupis didn’t immediately respond to an inquiry for comment and Chesebro’s attorney did not initially have a comment.

In the settlement, Wisconsin Republicans admitted that Biden had won the 2020 elections and claimed they were not Wisconsin’s real electors as they had claimed three years earlier.

In a statement that was included in the settlement, they stated: “We oppose attempts to undermine public confidence in the final results of the presidential election in 2020.” “We withdraw the documents that we signed on December 14, 2020 and ask that the public, as well as all other entities to whom they were sent, disregard them.”

Andrew Hitt who served as the Wisconsin Republican Party chairman in 2020 and Robert Spindell who is a Republican activist and also works for the state agency that administers elections and certifies results are among the ten who have agreed to the settlement.

Spindell didn’t immediately return my call. In a written statement, Hitt claimed that he was deceived along with the other victims.

Hitt stated that “the Wisconsin electors had been tricked into participating in the scheme of alternate electors and we would not have taken any action if we knew there were ulterior motives beyond maintaining an ongoing legal strategy.”

Hitt said that he had been cooperating since May 2022 with the Department of Justice and that he wouldn’t support Trump in 2017.

He said, “I won’t be supporting Trump in 2020.” “We face serious challenges in this country, and we need to elect a president who won’t repeat the mistakes of 2020 and who will concentrate on solving these difficult problems.”

Darryl Carlson told other participants in a text at the time, that the group met at the request of Trump’s attorneys and the Republican Party of the state. According to documents released as part of settlement, he wrote: “They didn’t want a technicality to ruin the possible theft.” He did not respond immediately to a Wednesday request for comment.

Carlson, a Republican District Chairman at the time, expressed his frustration in the same text message about what might happen if Carlson skipped the meeting. “I feel that I must do it or else there will be a mark on my back for the chairman in my district,” he wrote.

Someone texted Carlson the day after electors’ met to say that it would have nice to have had better candidates in 2020. Carlson replied: “Umm, and in 2016, lol.” Carlson is now an assistant to Rep. Scott Fitzgerald, R-Wis., who later said, “This nation’s party system has broken.”

Kelly Ruh was another member who saw the meeting as fruitless. She wrote, “What a waste a day off.” Bill Feehan, on the other hand, struck a very different tone. He posted photos of the meeting the next day to his Facebook page and wrote, “I’m fighting until the end.” Ruh, and Feehan, did not respond to our requests for comment.

Records also show that Republicans wanted to keep their meeting from the public’s view. They changed the room they met in at the State Capitol to avoid walking past the office of a Democratic legislator whose staff could recognize them. According to text messages, they brought a four man armed security squad.

The attorneys for the Biden electors viewed the settlement agreement as a successful one because it included records detailing how the Republicans implemented their plans. They hoped that it would stop anyone from ever filing false voter paperwork again.

Scott Thompson, an lawyer with the