A Dane County jury could rule in the middle of the 2024 presidential election campaign whether a dozen people who participated in an effort to falsely cast Wisconsin’s 2020 electoral votes for Donald Trump should pay $2.4 million in damages for being part of the scheme.
Dane County Circuit Court Judge Frank Remington set a Sept. 3, 2024, start date for a trial lasting up to four weeks as he set other deadlines in the suit. That includes a June 7 deadline for targets of the civil suit to file a motion to dismiss. Remington suggested he would issue a ruling by the end of July, which could negate the need for a trial.
The suit has already been pending for more than a year after the targets sought unsuccessfully to move it to federal court and some of them asked Remington to change the venue to the counties in which they live.
The 12 people are accused of creating a nuisance by meeting in the state Capitol in December 2020 to falsely sign papers claiming to cast Wisconsin’s electoral votes for Trump when Joe Biden had won the state. Those involved have said they took that step to preserve Trump’s legal options as he challenged the results.
The suit seeks $2.4 million in damages from the 10 false electors and two attorneys involved in the effort. Those targeted are: lawyers Jim Troupis and Kenneth Chesebro plus Andrew Hitt, Bob Spindell, Bill Feehan, Kelly Ruh, Carol Brunner, Edward Grabins, Kathy Kiernan, Darry Carlson, Pam Travis and Mary Buestrin.
Attorney Matthew Fernholz, who represents Troupis, indicated his client wants a jury to decide the case. Other defendants, though, would have the option for a bench trial in which Remington would decide the issues raised in the suit.