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Wisconsin fake elector settlement offers new details on Trump lawyers strategy

This image from video made by Kenneth Chesebro and provided by Georgetown University Law Center's Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection, Law Forward and Stafford Rosenbaum, shows the fake electors meeting at the Wisconsin Capitol in Madison, Wis., Dec. 14, 2020. GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY LAW CENTER'S INSTITUTE FOR CONSTITUTIONAL ADVOCACY AND PROTECTION, LAW FORWARD AND STAFFORD ROSENBAUM VIA AP

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Source work and a detailed review of a weekend dump of 1,400 pages and text messages put AP ahead on a story that offered the first detailed account of how two lawyers for former President Donald Trump orchestrated a plan to file paperwork falsely saying the Republican won Wisconsin in 2020.

Madison correspondent Scott Bauer worked for months to get details and updates on a lawsuit involving fake electors in Wisconsin. It paid off when he got a tip on a Friday that AP would receive documents, text messages and photos the following day that Trump lawyers were forced to give up as part of a settlement.

The embargo was set for the following Monday. With Bauer on vacation, Chicago-based reporter Sophia Tareen dove into the documents over the weekend, unearthing the best material for a story on how the plot was developed to create chaos and confusion with courts and public opinion.

Bauer jumped in to look over the draft and make suggestions. AP’s story beat other national outlets and was the second-most viewed for March 4 on APNews with an engagement score of 80%.

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