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Kenneth Chesebro among 3 charged in Wisconsin over 2020 elector plot

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin’s attorney general filed charges Tuesday against a former aide and two lawyers who advised President Donald Trump during a meeting of Republicans claiming to be the state’s 2020 presidential electors, even though Trump had lost the state.

These charges are the first in Wisconsin related to an assembly election. Prosecutors separately charged Republicans involved in similar efforts in Arizona, Michigan, Nevada and Georgia.

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul (D) charged Trump campaign aide Michael Roman and attorneys Kenneth Chesebro and James Troupis with one count of forgery each, according to online court records. Copies of the criminal complaints were not immediately available.

If convicted, each faces a maximum sentence of six years in prison and a $10,000 fine. They are expected to make their first court appearance in September, and their case will likely extend beyond this fall’s election unless they reach a plea deal.

Troupis, Chesebro and a lawyer for Roman did not immediately respond to messages. Roman’s attorney, Kurt Altman, said he and Roman had just learned of the charges and were reviewing them.

After narrowly losing the 2020 election in Wisconsin, Trump requested a recount in the state’s two most Democratic regions and used that process to try to throw out hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots. The state Supreme Court rejected his efforts on Dec. 14, 2020, the day the nation’s presidential electors were scheduled to meet.

An hour after that decision, 10 Republicans gathered at the state Capitol to sign documents claiming they were the state’s true electors. Trump allies held similar meetings in six other states, then sent official-looking documents to Congress, the National Archives and others purporting to be their state’s actual electors.

Trump supporters used these documents to falsely claim that the outcome of the 2020 election was uncertain and attempt to prevent Congress from certifying the results. Their efforts culminated in the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Troupis, Chesebro and Roman helped develop the election strategy, according to public records. Troupis served a brief term as a judge and was long a go-to lawyer for Wisconsin Republicans; he was Trump’s lead lawyer for the recount and legal challenge in Wisconsin.

Chesebro helped develop the overall plan and documented the Wisconsin meeting on his cell phone, using photos and recordings.

Chesebro was indicted in Georgia and, as part of a deal, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to file false documents. Roman was charged in Georgia and Arizona.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

Yvonne Wingett Sanchez in Phoenix contributed to this report.

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