“Trump Lawyer Acknowledged Political Agenda in Election Suit, Emails Show”


On Dec. 24, 2020, Kenneth Chesebro and other lawyers fighting to reverse President Donald J. Trump’s election defeat were debating whether to file litigation contesting Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory in Wisconsin, a key swing state.

Mr. Chesebro argued there was little doubt that the litigation would fail in court — he put the odds of winning at “1 percent” — as Mr. Trump continued to push his baseless claims of widespread fraud, according to emails reviewed by The New York Times.

But the “relevant analysis,” Mr. Chesebro argued, “is political.”

The emails have new significance because Mr. Chesebro is scheduled to be one of the first two of Mr. Trump’s 18 co-defendants to go on trial this month on charges brought by the district attorney’s office in Fulton County, Ga. The indictment accused Mr. Chesebro of conspiring to create slates of so-called fake electors pledged to Mr. Trump in several states that Mr. Biden had won….

Mr. Chesebro wrote that it was “hard to have enormous optimism about what will happen on Jan. 6, but a lot can happen in the 13 days left until then, and I think having as many states under review both judicially and in state legislatures as possible is ideal.”

He said the legal filings could produce a “political payoff” to bolster the argument that “there should at least be extended debate in Congress about election irregularities in each state.” He added that “the public should come away from this believing that the election in Wisconsin was likely rigged, and stolen by Biden and Harris, who were not legitimately elected.”

Responding to the email chain was John Eastman, the conservative lawyer who has also been charged in the Georgia election case. Mr. Eastman said he believed the legal arguments were “rock solid” but the odds of success were “not based on the legal merits, but an assessment of the justices’ spines. And I understand that there is a heated fight underway.”

Mr. Chesebro responded: “I particularly agree that getting this on file gives more ammo to the justices fighting for the court to intervene. I think the odds of action before Jan. 6 will become more favorable if the justices start to fear that there will be ‘wild’ chaos on Jan. 6 unless they rule by then, either way.”

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