Arizona officials who planned to help overturn election in Trump's favor worried activating group of fake electors 'could appear treasonous': report

·2 min read
US President Donald Trump (R) is greeted by the Chairwoman of the Arizona Republican Party Kelli Ward as he arrives to deliver remarks on immigration and border security at the international airport in Yuma, Arizona on August 18, 2020.
Kelli Ward (L), the chair of the Arizona Republican Party, greets President Donald Trump as he arrives to deliver remarks on immigration and border security at the international airport in Yuma, Arizona on August 18, 2020.BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images
  • Arizona GOP officials planned to install fake electors to overturn the state's 2020 election result.

  • The chair of the Arizona GOP and a state senator both raised concerns about the plan.

  • The officials worried their actions "could appear treasonous," The New York Times reported.

Two Arizona GOP officials who helped plan to overturn the 2020 election worried their actions "could appear treasonous," The New York Times reported.

The officials planned to install an alternate set of electors to vote in favor of Donald Trump after a vote count had determined Joe Biden had won the presidential election. A similar plan was in place in Georgia, where some of the would-be electors could face charges for election interference, conspiracy, and racketeering.

Kelli Ward, the chair of the Arizona Republican Party, and Kelly Townsend, a state senator, both raised concerns about the plan that Trump's legal team circulated, according to emails published by The New York Times.

"Ward and Townsend are concerned it could appear treasonous for the AZ electors to vote on Monday if there is no pending court proceeding that might, eventually, lead to the electors being ratified as the legitimate ones," Kenneth Chesebro, a lawyer working for Mr. Trump's campaign, wrote in a 2020 email published by The New York Times.

The word "treasonous" appeared in bold.

The email was sent to a group that included Trump's personal lawyer, Rudolph Giuliani.

Ward, despite her concerns, ultimately supported the plan and signed a document that falsely claimed to be a "certificate of the votes of the 2020 electors from Arizona" and falsely asserted that Trump won the state's 11 Electoral College votes.

Townsend did not sign the document.

Representatives for Ward and Townsend did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment.

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