Architect of fake elector scheme to overturn Georgia’s 2020 presidential election admits guilt

By: - October 24, 2023 4:15 am

On Oct. 10, ex-Trump attorney Kenneth Chesebro, left, conferred with his defense lawyer, Scott Grubman, during a Fulton County court hearing in the sweeping 2020 presidential election interference case. Two weeks later, Chesebro returned to court Oct. 20 to plead guilty to his role in trying to illegally overturn the 2020 election results. (Photo by Alyssa Pointer / via AP)

This article was originally published by the Georgia Recorder. It is republished here with permission.

Ex-Trump attorney Kenneth Chesebro pleaded guilty Friday in Fulton County Superior Court to a felony charge of conspiracy to commit filing false documents for his role in attempting to overturn Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential election win.

Chesebro was promptly sentenced by Judge Scott McAfee to five years probation after admitting in court that he illegally devised a multi-state false Republican elector scheme in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying Biden’s victory over incumbent Donald Trump.

Chesebro was initially facing multiple felony charges in a sweeping election racketeering case that alleges Trump and 18 of his allies illegally colluded to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia, Nevada, Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Mexico and Washington, D.C.

Chesebro is the first defendant in the Fulton election investigation to plead guilty to a felony charge. Chesebro was sentenced to probation after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to file false documents that carried a maximum five-year prison sentence.

He joined co-defendant Sidney Powell in entering their guilty pleas this week ahead of their scheduled trials.

A couple hours before Chesebro’s sentencing hearing, several hundred prospective jurors summoned for his trial arrived at the courthouse to fill out jury questionnaires.

According to the plea agreement, Chesebro was ordered to write an apology letter, must perform 100 hours of community service and pay $5,000 in restitution. He also agreed to testify and to turn over all evidence to the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office.

Chesebro’s probation and other conditions of his sentencing mirror the deals reached by Powell and Atlanta bail bondsman, Scott Hall, who admitted their involvement in a 2021 Coffee County voting system breach.

Under the Georgia First Offender Act, each of their guilty convictions will be removed from their records if they cooperate with prosecutors and successfully complete probation.

Chesebro confirmed on Friday that the false elector documents were intended to be presented as authentic as Chesebro coordinated with Trump, the Trump campaign, and others on a plan that would culminate with the chaotic breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Prior to Friday’s plea deal, Chesebro suffered a series of legal setbacks as he fought to move his case to federal court and for his charges to be dismissed.

His lawyers contested prosecutors’ attempts to exclude from evidence emails and other correspondence from Chesebro advising the Trump campaign, national and state GOP officials and alternate electors about the scheme.

Chesebro’s insistence that Trump lawyers were solely focused on providing legal advice was undercut when the New York Times reported on Wednesday that Chesebro acknowledged a political agenda in overturning the 2020 election.


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Stanley Dunlap, Georgia Recorder
Stanley Dunlap, Georgia Recorder

Stanley Dunlap has covered government and politics for news outlets in Georgia and Tennessee for the past decade. At The (Macon) Telegraph he told readers about Macon-Bibb County’s challenges implementing its recent consolidation, with a focus on ways the state Legislature determines the fate of local communities. He used open records requests to break a story of a $400 million pension sweetheart deal a county manager steered to a friendly consultant. The Georgia Associated Press Managing Editors named Stanley a finalist for best deadline reporting for his story on the death of Gregg Allman and best beat reporting for explanatory articles on the 2018 Macon-Bibb County budget deliberations. The Tennessee Press Association honored him for his reporting on the disappearance of Holly Bobo, which became a sensational murder case that generated national headlines.