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Trump could face more criminal charges over ‘fake electors’ scam, report says

Four swing-states are reportedly still investigating the slates of so-called "fake electors" which Donald Trump allegedly hoped to use to falsely certify that he had won the 2020 election.

The results of those investigations could bring more charges down onto the already embattled former president, according to The Hill, which contacted numerous state attorneys general offices to determine if investigations were ongoing.

The investigations are being carried out while Mr Trump faces four criminal cases, including one in Georgia focused on his alleged efforts to steal the 2020 election.

The "fake elector" scheme was reportedly concocted by Mr Trump's attorney, John Eastman, and boosted by other attorneys loyal to the former president. It hinged on then-Vice President Mike Pence choosing to certify the slates of Trump-loyalist "fake" electors in swing-states. The plotters theorised that it would allow Mr Pence to effectively force the election in Mr Trump's favour, and in doing so disenfranchise all of the voters who selected Mr Biden.

Mr Pence has insisted that the plan was illegal and could not work, and instead chose to certify the true results of the election. On the day of the certification, 6 January 2021, Mr Pence penned a letter refusing to go along with the plot, saying his “oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not.”

Mr Trump's supporters, who had gathered in Washington DC at his request, were then told by the former president to walk to the Capitol, where the certification was taking place. The Trump loyalists then attacked the Capitol and threatened lawmakers. At least one gallows was erected outside the Capitol, around which rioters chanted "hang Mike Pence."

The slate of Trump-loyal alternate electors were arranged in Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Nevada, and Wisconsin, according to ongoing investigations into the scheme.

Donald Trump may face additional charges stemming from state attorneys general office investigations into the 2020 election ‘fake elector’ scheme (via REUTERS)
Donald Trump may face additional charges stemming from state attorneys general office investigations into the 2020 election ‘fake elector’ scheme (via REUTERS)

Three of Georgia's 16 electors have been charged alongside Mr Trump and his allies in Fulton County's racketeering case focused on the plot to steal the election. Several others have reportedly accepted immunity deals from the prosecution.

The three electors — David Shafer, a former GOP state chair, Shawn Still, a sitting state senator, and Cathleen Latham, a local Republican official, have argued that they were acting on the orders of Mr Trump.

Another Georgia co-defendant, Kenneth Chesebro, has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to file false documents. After his guilty plea, his attorneys asked the court to modify his probation rules to allow him to travel to Nevada, Arizona and Washington DC for ongoing "investigations of the 'election fraud' cases."

“Mr. Chesebro needs to be able to travel to these jurisdictions in order to meet with counsel,” a court filing revealed.

That may suggest that he is being pulled into broader investigations into other Trump-loyal elector investigations in other states.

One such investigation has already been confirmed; Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford is investigating six activists who met and signed false paperwork saying they were the state's true electors, according to Politico.

Former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani may find himself implicated in another ongoing investigation in Arizona, where he spearheaded the effort to convince state officials to use the Trump-loyal alternate electors.

In Michigan, 16 people have already been charged for falsely stating they were the state’s "duly elected and qualified electors," according to the state's attorney general's office.

The state attorney general's office of New Mexico also confirmed to The Hill that it was investigating a slate of Trump-loyal alternate electors.