Former Trump lawyer in Wisconsin suspended from state judicial ethics panel

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Tuesday suspended former President Donald Trump’s Wisconsin lawyer from the state’s judicial ethics panel a week after he was charged with a crime for his role in the 2020 voter fraud scheme.

Liberal supporters are calling on Jim Troupis to step down from the Advisory Commission on Judicial Conduct, saying he is inappropriate for his role in advising Republicans who tried to cast Wisconsin’s electoral votes for Trump after he lost the state’s 2020 election r. with Democrat Joe Biden.

Troupis, former judge Kenneth Chesebro, another Trump lawyer and former Trump adviser Mike Roman were indicted last week by state Attorney General Josh Kaul for their roles in the voter fraud conspiracy.

Troupis did not return a voicemail or text message seeking comment on Tuesday.

In its order, the Wisconsin Supreme Court notified Troupis and the judicial advisory commission that he had been “temporarily suspended” from serving on the panel, effective immediately. The court did not provide a reason for the suspension.

Justice Rebecca Bradley, one of the court’s three conservative minority members, did not participate. Bradley was one of the court’s four conservative justices who reappointed Troupis in March 2023 to a second term on the panel. Liberals currently have a 4-3 majority on the court.

Troupis has been a member of the Judiciary Committee since 2020 and was reappointed 15 months ago to a second three-year term. The commission is tasked with providing formal opinions and informal advice to judges and court officials regarding the state’s code of judicial conduct. Advising on whether possible actions will comply with the code.

According to its website, the commission rarely issues formal written opinions and hasn’t issued one since 2019. Informal opinions are issued several times a year, the commission’s chairman, Winnebago County Circuit Judge Bryan Keberlein, said in December.

He is calling for Troupis’ replacement on the judiciary committee as an echo of the votes of Democrats who want one of the fraudulent electors, Bob Spindell, removed from the nonpartisan state board of elections. The Republican Senate majority leader who nominated Spindell refused to rescind the nomination.

Wisconsin’s 10 fraudulent electors, Troupis and Chesebro, have settled a civil lawsuit filed against them last year.

Troupis said after the settlement that “alternative elector ballots” were a “reasonable course of action” given that the 2020 election results could be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. He said the settlement was reached “to avoid endless litigation” and did not admit to any wrongdoing.

Documents released in those agreements showed that Wisconsin’s strategy replicated moves used in six other swing states.

At Troupis’ instigation, Chesebro prepared notes in the last months of 2020 detailing how to prepare false election certificates and how they should be signed. Troupis was also involved in communicating with the White House about the plan.

Following the December 14, 2020 meeting of fake Wisconsin voters, Troupis contacted U.S. Senator Ron Johnson’s staff and asked Johnson to provide documents from fake Wisconsin and Michigan voters to Vice President Mike Pence. The Pence staffer refused to accept them.

Biden won Wisconsin in 2020 by just under 21,000 votes. The Trump campaign tried to overturn the results, arguing in a lawsuit filed by Troupis that tens of thousands of legally cast absentee ballots should not have counted. The Wisconsin Supreme Court rejected Trump’s lawsuit by a 4-3 vote, upholding Biden’s victory.

Scott Bauer, Associated Press