Influential conservative youth group partnering directly with Trump campaign

Plus, new charges brought against organizers of the Wisconsin fake elector scheme.

The right-wing nonprofit Turning Point USA announced this past week that it will partner with the Trump campaign in an official capacity. 

TPUSA’s founder Charlie Kirk confirmed the formal alliance on one of his podcasts, “Thought Crimes.” Kirk has claimed that TPUSA is the most “organized, active, and powerful conservative grassroots activist network on high school and college campuses.”

But while the group has consistently been one of Trump’s most vocal backers, TPUSA’s nonprofit status has prevented it from using the substantial amount of dark money at its fingertips. As such, it seems Kirk created Turning Point Action, a 501(c)(4) organization, so that TPUSA’s resources can be legally marshaled toward specific political parties and candidates.

Both Kirk and TPUSA spokesman Andrew Kolvet alluded to the alliance. Turning Point Action will be “working directly in coordination with the Trump campaign. That's a new FEC rule and regulation,” according to Kolvet.  

"We're allowed to work in harmony on doors and canvassing. That's what the law says," Kirk added. 

Those connected to the TPUSA network have a rough relationship with election ethics. This past April, Arizona state Rep. Austin Smith (R-Surprise) was forced to suspend his reelection campaign after it was discovered that Smith had forged signatures for his nominating petitions. Smith was Turning Point Action’s national field administrative director but stepped down following the scandal. 

Tyler Bowyer, a Turning Point USA executive, was one of the 18 people recently charged in Arizona for attempting to execute a fake elector scheme during the 2020 presidential election. 

Wisconsin Attorney General Kaul charges three Trump allies who aided in fake electors plot

By Richard Eberwein

On Tuesday, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul announced felony charges against three men who allegedly participated in the fake electors scheme to overturn the state’s rightful presidential election results in 2020.

The men charged were attorneys Jim Troupis and Kenneth Chesebro, along with Mike Roman, who served as Trump’s director of Election Day operations. The three men are due in court on Sept. 19 and face one count each of felony forgery charges, which is punishable of up to six years in prison and fines up to $10,000.

The three men were involved in a failed plan to certify and alternate slate of electors to ensure Donald Trump won the state of Wisconsin, despite President Joe Biden legitimately winning the state by more than 20,000 votes. Chesebro and fellow Trump attorney John Eastman developed the plan based on an unorthodox legal theory that the vice president of the United States has the ability to disrupt the electoral certification process and use “alternate electors” to declare Trump the winner. The plot was attempted in several other states like Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Nevada.

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) was directly involved in the plan. Text messages released by the Jan. 6 Committee revealed that Johnson attempted to give Vice President Mike Pence an “alternate slate of electors for MI and WI.” In response to the latest charges, Johnson accused Democrats of “weaponizing Wisconsin’s judiciary” and “turning America into a banana republic.”

During a press conference on Tuesday, Kaul refused to specify whether more charges will be brought up in the future.

“I’m not going to comment on specific individuals, but what I can say is that this is an ongoing investigation, and our decisions are going to be based on those facts and what the best interests of justice show,” Kaul said.

Last August, Chesebro was indicted in Georgia along with Trump and 17 others for election racketeering. In October, Chesebro plead guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to commit filing false documents and agreed to serve a five-year probation, pay $5,000 and testify against Trump and the other defendants in future court proceedings.

In addition to Georgia, felony charges relating to the fake electors plot have been brought in Arizona, Michigan and Nevada.

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Jamie Larson