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James Troupis


James Troupis, a prominent Republican lawyer and judge in Wisconsin, was deeply involved in efforts to overturn the 2020 election results when he worked as a Trump campaign operative in the state. He remains a defendant in a civil suit filed against both him and Trump attorney Ken Chesebro in 2022 for their roles in spearheading the fake electors scheme that subsequently expanded to seven battleground states.

In December 2023, Wisconsin’s 10 Republican fake electors charged in the same suit agreed to settle by admitting that their actions were “part of an attempt to improperly overturn the 2020 presidential election results.” But Troupis and Chesebro still face the civil charges, and in June 2024, Wisconsin’s Attorney General Josh Kaul filed felony charges against both men, along with Trump campaign aide Mike Roman. 

On November 8—the day after the election was called for Biden—Chesebro emailed Troupis saying that he “would be happy to volunteer for the Trump legal team, if that would be helpful” and that if “various systemic abuses can be proven,” he didn’t “see why electoral votes certified by [Governor] Evers … should be counted over an alternative slate [of electors] sent in by the legislature.” Chesebro then proposed, “At minimum, with such a cloud of confusion, no votes from WI (and perhaps also MI and PA) should be counted, perhaps enough to throw the election to the House.” Within a day, Troupis invited Chesebro to help with Trump’s post-election strategies for overturning the results. (A comprehensive timeline published by Just Security shows how the fake electors scheme took shape as these players interacted with one another over the next two months.)

As part of that work, Troupis initially oversaw the partial recount of ballots in Dane and Milwaukee counties and filed a lawsuit urging the Wisconsin Supreme Court to overturn Biden’s victory in the state. On December 14—the same day both the fake and actual electors met at the state Capitol—the court rejected that lawsuit and upheld the legitimacy of the president-elect’s victory.


Troupis has been involved in Wisconsin politics for decades—initially as the go-to expert for Republicans on redistricting, helping to redraw the legislative map in 2011 that kept the GOP in power for a decade. In 2015, former Republican Governor Scott Walker appointed him to a judgeship on the Dane County Circuit Court, and in 2016, he applied to Walker for a vacancy on the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s Judicial Conduct Advisory Committee and got his wish.

In March 2023, four conservative members of the Wisconsin Supreme Court (including three who remain on the court) reappointed Troupis to serve on its judicial ethics panel, a move that has triggered outcries from progressive groups calling for him to step down due to his own ethics violations in attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

The Big Lie

  • In lawsuits filed by Troupis after Biden won Wisconsin, Trump’s campaign argued that tens of thousands of absentee ballots that had been legally cast should not have counted. The Wisconsin Supreme Court rejected the lawsuit in a 4–3 ruling, upholding Biden’s win.
  • In addition to the lawsuits, Troupis was involved with the fake elector scheme in Wisconsin, where the conspiracy used in six other battleground states first began, according to the four-count Department of Justice indictment against Trump. Troupis is cited as one of six unnamed co-conspirators in that case but has not been charged.
  • After Wisconsin’s fake electors met on Dec. 14, 2020, Troupis contacted U.S. Senator Ron Johnson’s staff and asked that Johnson deliver the documents from the fake electors in Wisconsin and Michigan to Vice President Mike Pence, but a Pence staff member refused to accept them.
  • The prosecutor in Fulton County, Georgia charges that Troupis was involved in Acts 39 and 46 of the conspiracy and that the false elector scheme was specifically hatched to prevent the legitimate transfer of power on Jan. 6, 2021, when Republicans were to contest the certification of electoral votes during the joint session of Congress. The plan was that Vice President Pence would not open any votes from Wisconsin and five other states, declare the electoral votes in dispute, and allow the false electors to swing the election in Trump’s favor.
  • Once that joint session resumed after the attack on the Capitol, two congressional Republicans from Wisconsin—Representatives Tom Tiffany and Scott Fitzgerald—objected to counting the electoral votes from two other states, but not Wisconsin.