September 28, 2022

Two Arizona Republicans worried that a plan by then-President Donald Trump’s lawyers to create a list of fake voters to keep him in office would be “treasonous.” according to the emails acquired by the New York Times.

Kelli Ward, chairwoman of the Arizona Republican Party, and state Sen. Kelly Townsend (R) were recruited by Trump allies as part a sweeping plan to overthrow then-president 2020 defeat. Trump lost the election to Joe Biden, but his allies conspired to create slates of alternate voters in battleground states who could then falsely claim he won.

“Ward and Townsend are concerned that it could look treasonous for AZ voters to vote on Monday if there is no pending court action that could ultimately lead to the voters being validated as legitimate,” said Kenneth Chesebro, attorney who works for the Trump campaign, wrote in a Dec. 11, 2020, email to a team of the president’s lawyers. The group included Rudy Giuliani, a key figure in Trump’s efforts to cling to office.

The word “treasonous” was in bold letters, the Times reported.

Chesebro sent additional emails to Trump’s legal team saying Arizona officials are concerned the voter fraud conspiracy could be seen as unindictable treason that challenges election results and seeks to install surrogate voters.

The emails show how some of the voters recruited by Trump’s campaign after his loss knew the effort was legally fraught. The Times has previously mentioned in other emails showing the intense effort in the weeks after the November election.

Ward, who joined the fraudulent voting scheme in Arizona, was summoned by the Department of Justice in June. Townsend, who disagreed with the plan but repeated Trump’s lie that he was the real winner of the election, was also said to appear.

The election strategy, which included a campaign to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to delay the certification of the Electoral College vote, has become central to the Justice Department’s criminal investigation into Trump’s bid to stay in office and the events surrounding January 6, 2021. , attack on the Capitol. Pence refused to go along with the plan.

Grand juries convened by the DOJ have issued subpoenas to top White House aides in recent days, including former White House counsel Pat Cipollone and Mike Pence’s longtime chief of staff Mark Short. Prosecutors have According to reports was in Trump’s role in the voter effort, asking witnesses detailed questions about his behavior and any meetings he had as he sought ways to sway the 2020 election.

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