‘We did it the right way': Trump elector on why Pa. was different

Elector plan involving multiple states is part of former President Donald Trump's latest federal indictment

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The indictment of former President Donald Trump describes an alleged scheme to organize “fraudulent” electors backing him in multiple states -- and highlights how things worked differently in Pennsylvania compared with other states.

The Trump electors in Pennsylvania signed certificates that included language about the conditions under which they would be used, according to the indictment.

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A Republican who signed on to be one of the electors told NBC10 there was a general consensus among the Pennsylvania Trump electors that the conditional language needed to be there.

“In my judgement we did it the right way,” Charlie Gerow, a political strategist and CEO of Quantum Communications, said.

Gerow said he would not have been willing to sign on without that conditional language.

“Because there was a certification of the Biden electors and unless there was a court that was willing to say that they weren’t properly elected -- and that was still an open question -- then it wouldn’t have been proper to have an alternative slate of (electors) put forward.”

The indictment says in Pennsylvania, Trump electors expressed “concern about signing certificates representing themselves as legitimate electors” and that an unnamed co-conspirator “falsely assured them that their certificates would be used only if” Trump succeeded in litigation. Another unnamed co-conspirator allegedly proposed some conditional language to be used in the Pennsylvania certificates.

According to the indictment, a campaign official “cautioned not to offer the conditional language to other states because ‘[t]he other States are signing what he prepared - if it gets out we changed the language for PA it could snowball.’”

Gerow said he wasn’t aware of a desire not to let other states know about the Pennsylvania language.

Gerow also said he doesn’t think the case against the former president is strong, and that “it runs right up against the First Amendment of the Constitution.”

Because then President-elect Joe Biden won Pennsylvania in 2020, electors supporting him gathered in Harrisburg on Dec. 14, 2020 to cast their votes.

That same day, the Republican Party of Pennsylvania put out a news release announcing the Trump electors had also met “at the request of the Trump campaign” to cast what it called a “conditional vote.” At the end of the release, it included the specific language, saying that the individuals certify their vote for President and Vice President “on the understanding that if, as a result of a final non-appealable Court Order or other proceeding prescribed by law, [they] are ultimately recognized as being the duly elected and qualified Electors for President and Vice President of the United States of America from the State of Pennsylvania …”

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