Kenneth Chesebro’s Triple-Twist, Double-Salchow* Trump Derangement Syndrome

by | Jun 6, 2024 | The Truscott Chronicles

Selfie of Chesebro and Alex Jones taking part in Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021. Image: Twitter

Kenneth Chesebro’s Triple-Twist, Double-Salchow* Trump Derangement Syndrome

by | Jun 6, 2024 | The Truscott Chronicles

Selfie of Chesebro and Alex Jones taking part in Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021. Image: Twitter

Chesebro is just another unfortunate among those infected by the political COVID that is Donald Trump. Call it Trump Derangement Syndrome, or call it Rabid MAGA Republicanism. It’s real and it must be defeated come November.

Republished with permission from Lucian K. Truscott IV

The question is not what he did: he tried to overthrow the 2020 presidential election by conceiving the fake elector scheme and participating in the conspiracy. It isn’t whether he did it: he admitted as much in the state of Georgia when he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to file false documents, a felony. The question is, why?

So-called Trump Derangement Syndrome is a malady attributed to liberals who, over the years, have believed Donald Trump to be guilty of pretty much everything he has ever been accused of. If you believe Trump colluded with Russians to get elected in 2016, you are said to be suffering from TDS, as it became known. If you believe Trump incited the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, you are definitely a sufferer. If you believe Trump is “deranged” and “unhinged,” you probably have a case of TDS.

For eight years, Trump Derangement Syndrome has been a favorite epithet Trumpist Republicans have used to describe Democrats, MSNBC hosts, The New York Times, the Washington Post, and any other news source or political organization that has been critical of Donald Trump and his MAGA movement.

But what of the Trumpists themselves? How do you account for a Kenneth Chesebro, a graduate of Harvard Law School who clerked for Judge Gerhard Gesell, a liberal jurist in Washington D.C. who became famous for presiding over the trial of multiple defendants charged in the case that became known as Watergate, including the seven men who broke into Democratic Party Headquarters, and seven of the men working for Richard Nixon who helped to mastermind and participated in the Watergate conspiracy, including former Attorney General John Mitchell, and former White House aides John Erlichman and H.R. Haldeman. For years, Chesebro was close to Professor Lawrence Tribe of Harvard, even working with him on the Bush v. Gore Supreme Court case that determined the outcome of the 2000 election.

And then, in 2020, Chesebro wrote the three memos to Jim Troupis, a lawyer for the Trump campaign, that outlined the conspiracy to overturn the presidential election by using slates of fake electors in the seven battleground states Trump had lost to throw the election into enough confusion that Vice President Mike Pence could rule on Jan. 6, as the electoral votes were counted and certified, that the election could be “returned” to the states for “investigation” by the state legislatures. The overall scheme even included a back-up scheme to have Pence recuse himself from presiding over the joint session of Congress certifying the election so that a reliable Trumpist like “Smilin’” Chuck Grassley of Iowa could be appointed to take his place and execute the plan.

Chesebro even moved into the Trump International Hotel, reserving a room from Jan. 3 to 8, and notified Rudy Giuliani of his plans to be in Washington so he could be available to help with the scheme if necessary. On Jan.6, the big day that the Chesebro conspiracy was supposed to take place, Chesebro was outside the Capitol following conspiracy-monger Alex Jones and his minions as they made their way through the madness.

Chesebro’s guilty plea in Georgia involved a promise to continue to cooperate with the prosecution of his fellow defendants in the RICO case, who include Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani and Mark Meadows. Additionally, the Georgia guilty plea included an agreement to cooperate with any prosecutions in other state jurisdictions, such as Michigan, Arizona, and Wisconsin, where prosecutors were contemplating charges in the fake elector schemes in those states. Since pleading guilty, Chesebro has been on a kind of multi-state Magical Mystery Tour of interviews with prosecutors and testimony before grand juries targeting the very same fake electors Chesebro’s scheming memos helped to bring into being. Chesebro is known to have cooperated with prosecutors in Arizona, who indicted Chesebro’s co-conspirators in the Georgia case, Giuliani and Meadows, among others.

So, here is where things stand in the toppling dominoes of the Chesebro fake elector scheme:

In Arizona, there have been 18 indictments of fake electors and Trumpazoid co-conspirators.

In Michigan, there have been 16 indictments of fake electors and others, with, according to MSNBC, “a very real possibility” of more indictments, perhaps including Chesebro himself, after it was found out that he lied to Michigan investigators about a Twitter account, “Badgerpundit,” he used to send messages to his compatriots about his plans for fake electors.

In Nevada, six fake electors have been charged in the scheme.

In Georgia, the 19 indictments in the RICO case, including Trump (minus those who already made deals to plead guilty) have been put on hold by the Georgia Court of Appeals while they consider motions made by defendants to recuse Fani Willis from the prosecution because of the affair she had with her chief prosecutorial assistant in the case.

And now in Wisconsin, Attorney General Josh Kaul has filed felony charges against Chesebro, former Trump lawyer Troupis, and Mike Roman, yet another Trump aide who is also a defendant in Georgia and Arizona. The Wisconsin indictments include details of plans laid by Chesebro and Troupis and Roman to get the fake elector documents to Washington in time to get them to Pence before the votes in Congress to certify the election. The plans, as outlined by Chesebro, included the scheme to have two slates of electors for each of the seven battleground states so that Pence, or Grassley, or another puppet Republican senator, could either accept the fake elector documents or declare enough of a question between the two slates that the certification of the electoral ballots could not go forward, thus delaying the certification of Biden as winner of the election.

I have spent a good part of this day going over the Georgia and Arizona and Wisconsin indictments and stories about Chesebro’s cooperation with prosecutors in other states like Michigan, and I have to say it is stunning how busy Chesebro was between election day in 2020 and Jan. 6, 2021. In fact, the word “scheme” is not adequate to describe what he conceived of and helped execute.

There were seven in person meetings Chesebro had to arrange of fake electors that had to take place in seven states on December 14 to cast their fake electoral “votes” so they would comport with rules under the Electoral Count Act and various state laws. Before that, the fake electoral ballots themselves had to be drawn up so they would at least appear official when and if they ever made it to the desk of Pence as he presided over the Joint Session of Congress on Jan. 6. Chesebro’s role in the whole thing was so important that he is named in the federal Jan. 6 indictment against Trump as an unindicted co-conspirator, along with Giuliani and Roman and others.

Again, I raise the question: how do you account for this behavior by a Lawrence Tribe-trained Harvard Law School grad? Chesebro may be a doofus, but he is not an uneducated doofus. His guilty plea in the Georgia case against him at least indicates that he had what is called “guilty knowledge” as he tweeted and acted and made phone calls that we don’t know about because phone calls don’t leave an evidentiary trail the way tweets and emails do.

Chesebro, the son of a music teacher and speech therapist from Wisconsin Rapids, a town of about 18,000, climbed a tall mountain when he left his hometown and went to Northwestern University and continued on to Harvard Law School, where his class included Elena Kagan and CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin. He was a registered Democrat for years, supporting John Kerry’s senate campaign in 2000, and Barack Obama in 2004. And then in 2016, he starts supporting Republicans, including Donald Trump.

Chesebro appears to have simply taken leave of his senses after Donald Trump lost in November of 2020. He had to know when he wrote his dozens of emails and tweets, posing as “Badgerpundit,” that he was not only suggesting crimes, but participating in them. At this point, he is in danger of losing his license to practice law, the goal he worked toward through high school and college and Harvard Law School. There isn’t reporting I could find about his current financial status, but it can’t be good.

Chesebro has taken a long, long fall, and the thing is, nobody pushed him. He did it himself. He committed the crimes he has pleaded guilty to in Georgia, and he has spent more than a year traveling around the country trying to keep himself from being indicted in other jurisdictions, and he has done all of it because of his allegiance to one man, Donald Trump.

The word that is in vogue right now to describe the changes one goes through in life is “journey.” How do you describe Chesebro’s “journey” other than with the words, Trump Derangement Syndrome? Trump himself, and Republicans who have learned from him, continually ascribe to Democrats and liberals motives and actions which they, themselves, are guilty of. Trump’s favorite label for his opponent is the “Biden crime family,” while Trump and the family and company he leads have been found guilty of so many crimes. Trump constantly throws around charges that Biden has “weaponized” the Department of Justice, when it was Trump who spent four years, beginning with his firing of James Comey, attempting to use the offices of federal law enforcement and justice for his own purposes.

It’s tempting to say that the derangement starts at the top, but I don’t think Trump is deranged. He is just who he is, a life-long criminal boss at the top of a long-running criminal enterprise. It is those who have followed him who are deranged, including the 74 million who voted for him in 2020 even after they had spent four long years watching him trash the White House and the country.

Chesebro is just another unfortunate among that number, infected by the political COVID that is Donald Trump. Call it Trump Derangement Syndrome, or call it Rabid MAGA Republicanism, or call it any other name you choose: the fact we must confront over the next five months is that it’s real and it must be defeated.

[*Salchow: a figure-skating jump with a takeoff from the back inside edge of one skate followed by one or more full turns in the air and a landing on the back outside edge of the opposite skate. Named after its inventor, Ulrich Salchow, in 1909.]

Lucian K. Truscott IV

Lucian K. Truscott IV

Lucian K. Truscott IV, a graduate of West Point, has had a 50-year career as a journalist, novelist and screenwriter. He has covered stories such as Watergate, the Stonewall riots and wars in Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan. He is also the author of five bestselling novels and several unsuccessful motion pictures. He has three children, lives in rural Pennsylvania and spends his time Worrying About the State of Our Nation and madly scribbling in a so-far fruitless attempt to Make Things Better.

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