Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul has filed charges against Kenneth Chesebro, James Troupis and Michael Roman, three former campaign officials for former President Donald Trump, in relation to the fake elector scheme aiming to overturn his 2020 election loss in the state to Joe Biden.

Each person was charged with a felony count of forgery. All three are due in Dane County Circuit Court on Sept. 19, according to court records. They each face one felony count punishable by up to six years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.

What You Need To Know

  • Wisconsin's attorney general has filed felony forgery charges against two attorneys and an aide who helped submit paperwork falsely saying that former President Donald Trump had won the battleground state in 2020

  • The charges were filed Tuesday against Trump attorneys Kenneth Chesebro and Jim Troupis and former Trump aide Mike Roman who allegedly delivered Wisconsin’s fake elector paperwork to a Pennsylvania congressman’s staffer in order to get them to then-Vice President Mike Pence on Jan. 6, 2021

  • All three are due in court in September

  • Attorneys for the three defendants could not immediately be reached for comment

Troupis and Chesebro did not return voicemail messages left Tuesday. Roman's attorney, Kurt Altman, said he just learned of the charges Tuesday morning and was in the process of reviewing them.

Kaul, a Democrat, didn't rule out filing more charges, including against the 10 fake electors, saying that the investigation is ongoing.

“Our approach has been focused on following the facts where they lead,” he said at a news conference.

Though Kaul has faced criticism about the speed of his investigation into the alleged fake elector scheme, he said Wisconsin is on its own timeline, regardless of what other states have done and when.

“The decisions we make about timing are based on a variety of factors,” Kaul explained. “That includes where we are in terms of developing the facts, arguing the law—but our judgement was now is an appropriate time to file these charges, but again the investigation is ongoing.”

Wisconsin Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson called the charges “outrageous.”

“Now Democrats are weaponizing Wisconsin’s judiciary,” Johnson posted on X. “Apparently conservative lawyers advising clients is illegal under Democrat tyranny. Democrats are turning America into a banana republic.”

Wisconsin's Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, who has repeatedly called for those involved in the fake elector scheme to face prosecution, issued a statement through his office on Monday simply stating: "Good."

Chesebro, an attorney, and Roman, a longtime Republican political operative, were charged alongside Trump and several others in a Georgia racketeering case alleging a "criminal enterprise” to overturn Trump's loss to Biden in the Peach State; Chesebro has pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, while Roman pleaded not guilty to all charges. Roman was also charged in a separate Arizona election interference case

Troupis served as the Trump campaign's lead counsel in Wisconsin as efforts were made to overturn the then-president's election loss there in late 2020 and early 2021.

In Georgia, prosecutors said Chesebro distributed documents to Trump allies and state-level Republican Party officials for fake electors to use to cast electoral votes for Trump "despite the fact that Donald John Trump lost the November 3, 2020, presidential election" in the states the campaign targeted, according to the indictment.

Lawyer Kenneth Chesebro, appears before Judge Scott MacAfee during a motions hearing on Oct. 10, 2023, in Atlanta. (Alyssa Pointer/Pool Photo via AP)

In Wisconsin, Chesebro and conservative attorney John Eastman, who is also charged in Georgia and Arizona, lead the fake elector scheme, according to the House Select January 6th Committee's final report published in December 2022. (Eastman has not been charged with any crime in Wisconsin on Tuesday.)

"The fake electors followed Chesebro’s step-by-step instructions for completing and mailing the fake certificates to multiple officials in the U.S. Government," the committee's investigators wrote. "The Wisconsin Republican Party’s fake certificates apparently weren’t properly delivered, however, so the Trump Campaign arranged to fly them to Washington just before the joint sessionon January 6th, and try to deliver them to the Vice President via Senator Ron Johnson and Representative Mike Kelly’s offices. Both Johnson and Kelly’s offices attempted to do so, but Vice President Pence’s aide refusedthe delivery."

POLITICO reported in 2022 that the man who delivered the fake elector documents to Kelly's office was Roman.

This booking photo provided by the Fulton County Sheriff's Office shows Michael Roman on Friday, Aug. 25, 2023, in Atlanta, after he surrendered and was booked. (Fulton County Sheriff's Office via AP)

Roman, a veteran of the billionaire Koch brothers' political network, worked in the Trump White House and spearheaded the Trump campaign's 2020 Election Day poll-watching operations. After Election Day, Roman "ran an improvised 'Electors Whip Operation'," the House Jan. 6 committee reported.

Chesebro and Troupis settled a lawsuit in February in Wisconsin that resulted them agreeing to never organizing a false elector slate in the state again. At the time, Troupis said in a statement that the settlement "was made to avoid endless litigation, and nothing in today’s settlement constitutes an admission of fault, nor should it" and insisted "it was a reasonable course of action and expected that the Trump-Pence electors would cast alternate elector ballots" due to unfounded claims of fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election.

In that lawsuit by the liberal legal group Law Forward, 10 of the fake Wisconsin electors agreed in a separate settlement to not serve as presidential electors in 2024 or in any presidential election where Trump is on the ballot, agreed to full cooperate with the Department of Justice in any investigation connected to the 2020 election, and agreed to issue a public statement that said, in part, that they participated in "an attempt to improperly overturn the 2020 presidential election results."

Documents released as part of those settlements showed that the strategy in Wisconsin replicated moves in six other swing states.

The complaint goes into detail largely citing those documents, interviews and testimony given to Congress about how the fake elector scheme was hatched.

Trump campaign attorney Jim Troupis speaks during a Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee hearing to discuss election security and the 2020 election process on Dec. 16, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via AP, File)

The complaint details how Chesebro emailed a memo on Nov. 18, 2020, to Troupis and others arguing that electors representing Trump should meet on Dec. 14, 2020, to preserve the Trump-Pence electoral slate in case a court or Legislature would determine them to be the winners.

Chesebro argued in a subsequent memo that the Trump electors could be counted by Congress if court challenges to his loss were still pending. Troupis sent both memos to the Trump White House, according to the complaint.

On Dec. 9, 2020, Chesebro emailed Troupis a memo with instructions for the Dec. 14, 2020, elector meetings. Two days later, Chesebro emailed Trump aide Roman details of the plan, the complaint said.

During or around the time of the Dec. 14, 2020, meeting, Chesebro sent a message to Troupis and Roman that said, “WI meeting of the ‘real’ electors is a go!!!,” the complaint said. Troupis responded with a “thumbs up” emoji, the complaint said.

The complaint also details how the fake elector slate was delivered to Chesebro from Wisconsin to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 5, 2021, by Alesha Guenther, a law student working part-time at the Republican Party of Wisconsin. Roman told Guenther to deliver the paperwork only to Chesebro.

“5 mins until I make the drop,” Guenther texted at one point, according to the complaint. “I feel like a drug dealer.”

Once Chesebro was given the documents, he emailed Roman to let him know he had them.

Roman then arranged for a congressional staff member to meet Chesebro and take the document. Chesebro sent Roman a message confirming that it had been done, the complaint said.

Electors are people appointed to represent voters in presidential elections. The winner of the popular vote in each state determines which party’s electors are sent to the Electoral College, which meets in December after the election to certify the outcome.

Michigan and Nevada have also criminally charged fake electors.

Trump lost Wisconsin to Biden, a Democrat, by fewer than 21,000 votes. Trump carried Wisconsin by a similar margin in 2016.

Wisconsin is one of a handful of swing states again this year.

Government and outside investigations have uniformly found there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could have swung the 2020 election. But Trump has continued to spread falsehoods about the election, particularly in Wisconsin.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

This is a developing story. Check back later for updates.