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Wisconsin's 2020 alternate electors settle lawsuit claiming they were not 'duly elected'

“We oppose any attempt to undermine the public’s faith in the ultimate results of the 2020 presidential election,” the 10 Republicans wrote in a statement.

Published: December 6, 2023 3:15pm

The 10 Wisconsin GOP alternate electors for the 2020 presidential election announced a settlement of a civil lawsuit on Wednesday, affirming they were not “duly elected” electors as they had claimed and that President Biden won the 2020 election in the state.

As part of the settlement, the alternate electors revoked the documents they filed on Dec. 14, 2020, in which they claimed that they were Wisconsin’s “duly elected” presidential electors, The Hill reported. The alternate electors also said that the documents were later used “as part of an attempt to improperly overturn the 2020 presidential election results.”

“We oppose any attempt to undermine the public’s faith in the ultimate results of the 2020 presidential election,” the 10 Republicans wrote in a statement that was attached to the settlement agreement.

The alternate electors were Republican electors chosen by their state party to cast electoral votes for the Republican candidate in the general election if that candidate won the state. These electors allegedly signed documents saying that they were in fact Electoral College voters.

Two Democratic electors and a voter filed the lawsuit against the alternate electors, seeking $2.4 million from them and two attorneys, arguing that the defendants were part of a pro-Trump conspiracy to overturn his 2020 presidential loss and requesting the Republicans be disqualified from serving as electors again.

Dane County Circuit Judge Frank Remington scheduled the case for a jury trial in September 2024, just two months before the presidential election in which Trump may be the Republican nominee.

In the settlement, the alternate electors didn't admit culpability or liability, nor will they pay any damages or attorneys fees.

The GOP electors agreed to not serve as 2024 electors or as electors in any election that former President Donald Trump is on the ballot. Additionally, they said they would cooperate with any current or future Department of Justice investigations related to alleged efforts to interfere with the transfer of power after the 2020 election or with the certification of that election.

Previously, the electors had said they filed the documents in December 2020 in case Trump was later declared by a court to be the winner of the 2020 presidential election in Wisconsin.

A lawyer for the plaintiffs, Jeff Mandell, said in a statement that the settlement holds the alternate electors accountable and helps prevent similar efforts from occurring in the future.

“Wisconsin voters have been awaiting accountability for 3 years, and it is beyond time to hold those who perpetrated this scheme responsible for their actions,” Mandell said.

Former Wisconsin state Republican Chairman Andrew Hitt, one of the alternate electors, said in a statement on Wednesday, "The Wisconsin electors were tricked and misled into participating in what became the alternate elector scheme and would have never taken any actions had we known that there were ulterior reasons beyond preserving an ongoing legal strategy," according to the Associated Press.

Hitt also said that he has cooperated with the DOJ since May 2022 and won't support Trump in 2024.

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul (D) hasn't said whether there is currently a criminal investigation into the alternate electors, but believes “that those who committed crimes with the goal of overturning the results of the election should be held accountable.”

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