On national television Friday night, a former White House adviser acknowledged that he helped coordinate a scheme to submit forged electoral certificates from multiple states, falsely claiming that former President Donald Trump had won the 2020 election.
“Yes, I was part of the process to make sure there were alternate electors for when, as we hoped, the challenges to the seated electors would be heard and be successful,” Boris Epshteyn, who was summoned this week by the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol insurgency said.
“Everything that was done was done legally, by the Trump legal team, according to the rules, and under the leadership of (Trump lawyer) Rudy Giuliani,” Epshteyn went on to say.
According to three persons with direct knowledge of the conspiracy, Giuliani “oversaw efforts in December 2020 to put forward illegitimate electors from seven states that Trump lost, according to three sources with direct knowledge of the scheme,” CNN reported on Thursday.
The nuts and bolts of the operation were organized on a state-by-state level by Giuliani and his friends, according to CNN sources. According to one source, Trump campaign leaders and GOP state operatives held many planning calls, with Giuliani participating in at least one of them.
The Trump team also allegedly lined up supporters to complete elector positions, secured meeting spaces in statehouses for the fake electors to gather on December 14, 2020, and distributed drafts of false certificates that were eventually delivered to the National Archives, according to the source.
Trump and some of his top advisers publicly encouraged the “alternate electors” scheme in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Arizona, Wisconsin, Nevada, and New Mexico.
But behind the scenes, Giuliani and Trump campaign officials actively choreographed the process, the sources said.
At a recent gathering given by a local Republican organization, one phony elector from Michigan boasted that the entire operation was orchestrated by the Trump campaign.
“We fought to seat the electors. The Trump campaign asked us to do that,” Meshawn Maddock, co-chair of the Michigan Republican Party, said at a public event last week that was organized by the conservative group Stand Up Michigan, according to a recording obtained by CNN.
On January 6, when Congress counted the electoral votes, Trump’s strategy to convince then-Vice President Mike Pence to throw out Biden’s electors and replace them with GOP electors was crucial. The January 6, select committee and state attorneys general have restarted their investigations, raising questions about Trump’s campaign’s involvement and whether any laws were committed.
“The sources said members of former President Donald Trump’s campaign team were far more involved than previously known in the plan, a core tenet of the broader plot to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory when Congress counted the electoral votes on January 6,” CNN reported.
At least two state attorneys general has asked the Department of Justice to look into the fraudulent electoral certificates.
Dana Nessel, the Democratic Attorney General of Michigan, has stated that she believes individuals who signed the certificates broke various state and federal laws.