A lawyer allied with President Donald J. Trump first laid out a plot to use false slates of electors to subvert the 2020 election in a previously unknown internal campaign memo that prosecutors are portraying as a crucial link in how the Trump team’s efforts evolved into a criminal conspiracy.
The existence of the Dec. 6, 2020, memo came to light in last week’s indictment of Mr. Trump, though its details remained unclear. But a copy obtained by The New York Times shows for the first time that the lawyer, Kenneth Chesebro, acknowledged from the start that he was proposing “a bold, controversial strategy” that the Supreme Court “likely” would reject in the end.
But even if the plan did not ultimately pass legal muster at the highest level, Mr. Chesebro argued that it would achieve two goals. It would focus attention on claims of voter fraud and “buy the Trump campaign more time to win litigation that would deprive Biden of electoral votes and/or add to Trump’s column.”
The memo had been a missing piece in the public record of how Mr. Trump’s allies developed their strategy to overturn Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory. In mid-December, the false Trump electors could go through the motions of voting as if they had the authority to do so. Then, on Jan. 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence could unilaterally count those slates of votes, rather than the official and certified ones for Mr. Biden. [Continue reading…]