What Happened to Kenneth Chesebro from Liberal to Felony Plea Trump Georgia?

  • What Happened to Kenneth Chesebro from Liberal to Felony Plea Trump Georgia?

    Posted by outdoorsguy on December 10, 2023 at 12:18 pm

    Kenneth Chesebro’s Long, Strange Trip

    What drew a mild lawyer with a liberal past into Trump’s election plot

    Kenneth Chesebro – low-profile, bright, seemingly decent – is not your average Trump guy. So how did he become the architect of the election subversion scandal?

    One individual stands out among the 18 Donald Trump acolytes who were indicted in Georgia and later plead guilty over their participation in Trump’s racketeering enterprise to overturn the 2020 election.

    He is distinct not for his chutzpah and braggadocio – those qualities are trademarked by Trump. Instead he stands out for the opposite characteristics: his demure, scholarly demeanor that has left those who have known him utterly baffled by his eruption from a left-leaning attorney working in relative obscurity into a key figure in the glaring lights of a historic criminal prosecution.

    “Of all people to be involved in this craziness, Ken seems to be the least likely,” said the lawyer and legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin who studied with Chesebro at Harvard law school in the 1980s.

    Toobin, who has written about his old classmate for Graydon Carter’s digital journal, Air Mail, added that he did not seem to have the bearing to play such a lion-sized role in the Trump election subversion scandal.

    “He was such a quiet and undemonstrative person – very low-profile.”

    Yet Chesebro features heavily in Jack Smith’s federal indictment of Trump.

    He is name-checked by the special counsel 13 times under the codename “Co-Conspirator 5”, and though he has not been charged in the federal case, Chesebro is directly accused of devising and implementing the fake elector plot which lay at the center of Trump’s efforts to subvert the 2020 election.

    Chesebro has been charged with seven felony counts Fulton county, Georgia.– one under the state’s racketeering law that targets organized crime groups, and six for acts of conspiracy relating to the fake electors and the pressure campaign to cajole vice-president Mike Pence into blocking Joe Biden’s victory on 6 January 2021. He later plead guilty to one felony.

    Democracy groups credit Chesebro with being the architect of the audacious plan to send fake electors to Congress from states Trump had lost. “In our estimation, based on publicly available information, Kenneth Chesebro was the central mind behind the fake elector idea,” said Michael Teter, managing director of the 65 Project, a non-profit which seeks to hold lawyers involved in the alleged conspiracy accountable.

    “He was the legal power behind the concept and brought it to the forefront of the Trump campaign.”

    Known by his schoolmates as “the Cheese”, in a nod to the number-one cheesemaking state of Wisconsin where he grew up, Chesebro graduated from Harvard law in 1986. There he associated with a group of students clustered around the venerated liberal constitutional law professor Laurence Tribe.

    Several of the group went on to have distinguished careers of their own – including Toobin, the US supreme court justice Elena Kagan and Ron Klain, Biden’s first White House chief of staff.

    Tribe told the Guardian that Chesebro worked for him as a research assistant and was “obviously bright and seemingly decent”. Tribe’s experience of him as a capable legal scholar deepens the mystery surrounding his current predicament.

    “He’s smart enough to know full well that the scheme he helped to cook up – a conspiracy for fake electors to gather and sign phony pro-Trump ballots – was manifestly criminal.”

    After college Chesebro set up his own law firm in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he displayed largely liberal leanings.

    He helped Tribe fight on behalf of the 2000 Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore in the supreme court blockbuster Bush v Gore, donated his money exclusively to Democratic candidates, and expressed glowing approval of the rising star of the party, Barack Obama.

    The cases he took on also had a clear liberal bent. He represented plaintiffs suing big corporations, including Vietnam veterans taking on chemical companies, and acted as deputy special counsel in the Iran-Contra investigation into the Reagan administration’s secret sale of arms to Iran.

    Had the clock stopped there, Chesebro’s career might have been summed up as successful yet unexceptional.

    But around 2014 his life took a startling turn.

    He invested in bitcoin and appears to have struck gold, telling Tribe that he made several million dollars. New-found wealth coincided with a dramatic volte-face in his political affiliations.

    By 2016 he was working on a case challenging birthright citizenship with John Eastman, the rightwing constitutional lawyer who was also indicted in Georgia this week.<i. In 2018, Chesebro represented the hard-right Republican senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee in a voting rights case.</i.

    His political donations also did a U-turn, swinging to Trump favourites such as JD Vance in Ohio and Ron Johnson in Wisconsin.

    Why Chesebro’s bitcoin bonanza should have transformed him from a liberal into a radical conservative is one of the great unanswered puzzles of this story.

    The consequences of the shift were clear, though, as it brought him into the orbit of Trump campaign lawyers who were on the lookout for legal back-up as they sought to counter defeat in the 2020 election.

    Six days after the election, Chesebro was contacted by James Troupis, a former judge in Wisconsin with whom he’d worked on the Cruz-Lee case. Troupis was Trump’s main campaign lawyer in the state.

    In his deposition to the January 6 investigation into the insurrection at the US Capitol, Chesebro described Troupis as “a friend” who wanted help challenging the Wisconsin recount. Trump had lost Wisconsin by some 20,000 votes, but his campaign was contesting the result by making unfounded claims of fraud.

    When investigators asked Chesebro for details of his work with Troupis, he pleaded his fifth amendment right to remain silent. As a result we don’t know why he did it what he did next.

    On 18 November he emailed his first memo to Troupis under the portentous title: “The Real Deadline for Settling a State’s Electoral Votes”. The document is likely to enter the annals of US history as one of the earliest attempts to sketch out the fake elector plot.

    In the words of the federal judge David Carter, the idea was in essence “a coup in search of a legal theory”.



    ObscureandFuzzy replied 2 months, 1 week ago 3 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • Muscle4Muscle2009

    December 11, 2023 at 2:03 am

    Self-Interest and $$$ – What else could better represent America in 2023?

  • ObscureandFuzzy

    December 11, 2023 at 6:51 pm

    @outdoorsguy and Muscle4Muscle2009. So nice to see you posting here in the new forum!

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