What is the 'fake electors' scheme?
- Then-president Donald Trump tried to overturn the 2020 presidential elections
- There was a plan to use fake electors
- Trump's Vice President, Mike Pence, refused to go along with it
The 'fake electors' scheme is part of how then-president of the US, Donald Trump, planned to get the 2020 election results to go in his favour. Trump's repeated insistence of the election being stolen from him and his inflammatory statements were the likely cause of the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, and the current hearings are taking place after investigating these links.
The plan was orchestrated by those in the Trump administration, led by then-attorney Rudy Guiliani, to subvert the Electoral College process. This was part of a coup attempt of sorts.
The Electoral College has 538 individual electors, which includes people from all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia, who represent the dominant vote in their respective areas.
Once a candidate wins a state the designated group of electors start the Electoral College process. These groups meet in statehouses and cast sign certificates, to officially cast their votes for the next president of the country.
Normally, this is a ceremonial process whose outcome is a foregone conclusion, because in a very rare instance will an elector vote for any other candidate apart from the one who's won in their state.
Trump's allies tried to replace President Joe Biden's authentic electors with fake Republican ones, in seven major states, who could have technically handed the election to Trump.
This group pretended to do all that real electors did but as a PR stunt. Thus, they met in statehouses and signed certificates which used language similar to the real ones, but obviously, the fake documents had no legal basis.
Trump was counting on his Vice President Mike Pence, to throw out Biden's electors and supplant them with pro-Trump electors, while the latter was presiding over the joint session of Congress for counting the electoral vote. However, Pence refused to go along with this, calling it unconstitutional.
Pence's disagreements with Trump irked the former president's followers as well, and there were chants to hang the VP on the day of the insurrection.