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Former Wisconsin GOP Chair says false electors were ‘tricked’

'We weren't made aware of any ulterior motive or scheme. And we wouldn't have gone along with it had we been,' Andrew Hitt tells WISN-TV

Republican Party of Wisconsin Chairman Andrew Hitt
Republican Party of Wisconsin Chairman Andrew Hitt. Photo courtesy of Republican Party of Wisconsin.

Weeks after a civil lawsuit was settled against Wisconsin’s 2020 “false electors,” one is maintaining that the group was “tricked.”

Andrew Hitt — the former state GOP chair who, along with nine others, signed documents stating former President Donald Trump had won Wisconsin when he had not — says the group was acting under the advice of lawyers to preserve all possible legal avenues for Trump’s court challenges and recounts.

“We were tricked. We weren’t made aware of any ulterior motive or scheme. And we wouldn’t have gone along with it had we been,” Hitt said in an interview that aired on WISN-TV.

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“We viewed what we were doing (as) simply a contingency plan; the documents we signed would have no meaning unless a court gave them meaning,” he added.

Hitt says now that the group’s actions were used as part of a broader scheme to overturn election results in key swing states and hand the presidential election to Trump, and that the scheme helped lay the groundwork for the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol in 2021.

“It’s clear now that those documents were used on Jan. 6 to, at the very least, help create the chaos of that day,” he said.

Hitt has previously testified before the U.S. House special committee investigating the events of Jan. 6.

Earlier this month, a civil lawsuit against Hitt and the other false electors was settled, with no monetary damages but an official admission from the group that President Joe Biden lawfully won the 2020 election.

The settlement included no admission of wrongdoing for their actions when they met on Dec. 14, 2020 — the constitutionally mandated day for state electors to cast ballots for the winner in a presidential race — and signed official-looking documents for Trump.

Legal action is still pending against two attorneys involved in the Wisconsin scheme, including Kenneth Chesebro, who has been described as an “architect” of a broader plot to line up slates of “alternate electors” in key states as a legal strategy to contest Trump’s loss.

In a memo Chesebro authored and shared with James Troupis, the Trump campaign’s lead attorney in Wisconsin, he referred to launching the novel legal strategy in Wisconsin.

Hitt says the electors consulted with Republican Party attorney Joseph Olson, and not with Trump campaign lawyers, in determining that they needed to meet as electors.

“Our lawyer is saying, ‘If we don’t do this, Andrew, if you don’t have the electors meet, and Trump wins, it will be you who caused him to lose Wisconsin completely. You will be responsible for him forfeiting Wisconsin,’” Hitt said. “Think about the pressure and the amount of repercussions that would have arose.”