Donald Trump acolyte and former personal attorney Rudy Giuliani coordinated the filing of forged election certificates by slates of fake Republican electors in five states for the 2020 presidential race, The Washington Post and CNN reported Thursday.
Officials in some of the states have referred information about the operation to federal prosecutors.
The Republican electors declared themselves “duly elected and qualified,” and sent signed certificates to Washington claiming to affirm Trump as the winner in five states he had actually lost — Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Wisconsin, the Post noted. All the states had legitimate Democratic electors for Joe Biden, reflecting residents’ votes.
Some Republican electors were so uncomfortable with the Giuliani scheme that they refused to take part in it, the Post discovered.
Fake documents were also filed from Pennsylvania and New Mexico, but the GOP counterfeits were referred to as “electors in waiting” in case court challenges to Biden’s win were successful. But the certificates from the other five states falsely claimed that the pro-Trump electors were the rightful electors.
Former Trump campaign officials and GOP leaders told the Post that Giuliani oversaw the operation and that campaign officials were also involved. Sources told the newspaper and CNN that Giuliani was helped by a correspondent from right-wing One America News Network.
Giuliani boasted publicly at the time that the fake slates were needed because of his and other Trump supporters’ baseless claims of election fraud.
Trump allies began discussing floating slates of alternate electors shortly after Trump lost the presidential election, the Post reported. One text to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows talked of the plan, even though it was described as “highly controversial,” according to communications obtained by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the US Capitol led by Trump supporters.
“I love it,” Meadows responded, noting later: “We have a team on it.”
The fake slates were later intended to provide then-Vice President Mike Pence with a stable of ready electors to replace those legitimately representing the will of the American people.
“This is not a political theater. It’s not protected speech,” Nessel said. “It’s an attack on the very fabric of our system of government.”