Two Republicans in Arizona worried about a plan by the then president donald trump’s lawyers to create a list of fake voters to keep him in office would be “treason”, based on emails Obtained by The New York Times.
Kelli Ward, chairwoman of the Arizona Republican Party, and state senator Kelly Townsend (R) were recruited by Trump allies as part of a radical plan to overthrow the then president defeat 2020. Trump lost the election to Joe Biden, but his allies conspired to create lists of alternate electors in battleground states that they could then falsely claim he had won.
“Ward and Townsend are concerned that it may seem like a betrayal for AZ voters to vote on Monday if there is no court proceeding pending that could eventually lead to voters being upheld as legitimate,” Kenneth Chesebro, an attorney who works for the Trump campaign, he wrote in a Dec. 11, 2020, email to a group of lawyers for the president. The group included Rudy Giuliani, a key figure in Trump’s efforts to cling to power.
The word “traitor” was in bold, the Times reported.
Chesebro sent additional emails to Trump’s legal team saying Arizona officials were concerned the bogus election plot could be seen as treason without a lawsuit challenging the election results and seeking to install alternate electors.
The emails demonstrate how some of the voters recruited by the Trump campaign after his loss knew the effort was legally complicated. time has previously reported in other emails showing the frantic effort in the weeks after the November election.
Ward, who joined the fake election plan in Arizona, was quoted by the Department of Justice in June. Townsend, who disagreed with the plan but echoed Trump’s lies that he was the real winner of the election, was He was also told to appear.
The electoral strategy, which included a pressure campaign on 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 effort to stay in power and the events that surrounded the January 6, 2021. , attack on the Capitol. Pence refused to go along with the plan.
Grand juries convened by the DOJ have issued subpoenas for top White House aides in recent days, including former White House counsel. pat cipollone and Mike Pence’s longtime chief of staff dial short. The prosecutors have reportedly has focused on Trump’s role in the voter effort, asking detailed questions of witnesses about his behavior and the meetings he held as he sought ways to overturn the 2020 election.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.