The Democratic-linked lawsuit against Wisconsin’s so-called “fake” electors has settled with the alternate electors paying nothing in damages and maintaining they did nothing personally wrong.
You wouldn’t know that from the news; at least two news outlets – the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Channel 3000 out of Madison – changed their initially misleading headlines.
Channel 3000’s changing headline
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s changing headline
The misleading version:
The corrected version:
In fact, the alternate electors specifically did NOT admit personal culpability or liability, a settlement document obtained by WRN shows.
“No Admission of Liability. The Plaintiffs acknowledge and agree that, by entering into this settlement, the Elector Defendants are not admitting any liability or culpability,” the settlement agrees.
We previously wrote a story explaining 11 reasons that exonerate the fake electors. They are highly unlikely to face any criminal wrongdoing for a host of reasons; one of them being that they would have to be charged in their home counties, and several live in counties with Republican DAs.
The plaintiffs, including two Joe Biden electors (one a former DNC member), dismissed their lawsuit in the December 6 settlement agreement. The plaintiffs were seeking $2.4 million. They are getting no monetary award – zero – from the alternate electors, and they also aren’t getting attorneys’ fees or expenses, either.
Furthermore, the alternate electors reiterated in the settlement document that they agreed to serve as alternate electors not because they were trying to illegally overturn the 2020 presidential election, but rather because “they were told that it was necessary to preserve their electoral votes in the event a court challenge may later change the outcome of the election in Wisconsin.” In other words, the alternate electors were trying to preserve President Donald Trump’s ability to serve as president in the event he prevailed in court, as litigation was still ongoing.
This matches what they have always said. Former Wisconsin GOP chair Andrew Hitt, one of the alternate electors, gave a detailed deposition before the House Committee investigating Jan. 6. In it, he repeatedly states that he and others thought the alternate electors would only be used if Trump prevailed in court.
This is an extremely important point. Far from a plot to subvert the system, the Wisconsin alternate electors were waiting to see what the system did, and whether it would side with Trump.
The media are making a big deal out of a line in the settlement that reads: “That document was then used as part of an attempt to improperly overturn the 2020 presidential election results.”
However, since they were told the fake elector slate was needed to preserve Trump’s ability to serve as president in case Trump won IN COURT, there’s no evidence the Wisconsin alternate electors have any direct knowledge of anything else occurring, which is the entire crux of Jack Smith’s prosecution of Trump. If they did, it’s likely Smith’s own prosecution wouldn’t have claimed they were misled. Thus, it’s hard to see how they will be of much value to the prosecution.
In addition, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which finds it necessary to be on an endless mission to “fact check’ conservatives, got a key fact wrong. Reporter Molly Beck wrote, “As part of the settlement, the Republicans agreed not to serve as electors in the future or participate in the transmission of such documents again, among other terms.”
In Fact, the settlement said, “The Elector Defendants agree not to serve as presidential electors in 2024 or in any United States presidential election in which Donald J. Trump is on the ballot.”
The Elector Defendants, “as nominated and/or replacement presidential electors for the Republican Party in Wisconsin in 2020, met and voted for Donald J. Trump and Michael R. Pence on December 14, 2020, because they were told that it was necessary to preserve their electoral votes in the event a court challenge may later change the outcome of the election in Wisconsin, and in compliance with requests initiated from the Trump campaign and the Republican Party of Wisconsin,” the settlement says.
In exchange for basically nothing, the plaintiffs agreed “to dismiss the claims asserted against the Elector Defendants in the Lawsuit with prejudice and without costs to either party,” the settlement says.
The settlement does contain a statement in which the alternate electors reaffirmed that Biden won the 2020 presidential election. That’s not incongruent necessarily with what they believed before because they were say they believed they were preserving Trump’s right to be president IF he prevailed in court and, of course, he did not prevail in court.
They also agreed not to serve as presidential electors in 2024 or “in any United States presidential election in which Donald J. Trump is on the ballot,” the settlement says. They also agreed to cooperate with investigations or prosecutions by the U.S. Department of Justice into the 2020 election. However, as at least one of them (Andrew Hitt) admitted, he’s already been doing so.
The inclusion of that line may reveal the true motive of the lawsuit: to extract statements that make Trump look bad in the news media and/or to assist the Jack Smith prosecution. However, as noted, it’s far from clear whether the so-called fake electors would have anything to offer that could hurt Trump, since they just reasserted that they thought they were preserving his right to be president only if he won in court.
They did get some negative headlines out of it.
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