Emails obtained by The New York Times showed that former President Donald Trump’s team acknowledged that their election subversion plot relied on “fake” electors.
Dozens of emails reviewed by the outlets show Trump’s campaign and outside advisers working on lists of people to serve as “fake” electors from states Trump lost.
One lawyer involved in the effort repeatedly used the term “fake” to refer to so-called alternate electors.
“We would just be sending in ‘fake’ electoral votes to Pence so that ‘someone’ in Congress can make an objection when they start counting votes, and start arguing that the ‘fake’ votes should be counted,” wrote Arizona lawyer Jack Wilenchik.
In another email, he wrote that “‘alternative’ votes is probably a better term than ‘fake’ votes.”
Trump team coordinated:
The emails show that people involved in the scheme reported some of their activities to Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and then-chief of staff Mark Meadows.
“We just need to have someone coordinating the electors for states,” Meadows wrote in one email.
Many of the emails were sent to Boris Ephsteyn, a close aide to Trump.
Ephsteyn was the main point of contact for attorney John Eastman, who helped craft Trump’s doomed Jan. 6 strategy.
Ephsteyn passed along Eastman’s plot to Giuliani and handled arrangements on how to pay Eastman for his work.
Lawyers trashed plot:
The emails were not shared with lawyers at the White House counsel’s office, who advised that the plan was “not legally sound,” or with other lawyers on the campaign.
Still, some of the participants also expressed doubts about the plan.
Wilenchik described the strategy as “wild/creative.” Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, one of the fake electors, also sought assurances.
“Mastriano needs a call from the mayor. This needs to be done. Talk to him about legalities of what they are doing,” one email said: “Electors want to be reassured that the process is * legal * essential for greater strategy.”