Photo: Tom Brenner/Reuters
Selected House Committee investigating the January 6th Capitol attack has confirmed the case at his fourth hearing on Tuesday that the Trump 2020 campaign sought to impede Joe Biden’s election victory through a potentially illegal scheme to send false voter lists to Congress.
The panel presented a text message sent on Jan. 4, 2021 that appeared to indicate that the Trump campaign was attempting to use fraudulent election certificates that they knew were not state-certified to hinder Congressional certification of Biden’s victory. .
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“Freaking Trump idiots want someone to fly original voter papers to the Senate president,” Mark Jefferson, the Wisconsin Republican party executive director, said in the text, seemingly referring to the Trump campaign and then Vice President Mike Pence.
The fake electoral scheme — so called because Republican voters in seven battlefield states signed certificates falsely declaring themselves “duly elected and qualified” to confirm Donald Trump won the 2020 election — was part of Trump’s strategy to undo his defeat.
The select committee believes, according to sources close to the investigation, that the plan was devised in an effort to create “dwelling” voters’ lists that Pence could use to pretend the election result was questionable and decline. Biden to be announced as president.
All this is important because the plan could be a crime. The justice is investigating or the Republicans who signed up as voters for Trump could be accused of falsifying voting records, mail fraud, or conspiring to defraud the United States.
It is also a crime to knowingly submit false statements to a federal agency or federal agent for an improper purpose. The fraudulent certificates have been submitted to a handful of government agencies, including the National Archives, the panel said earlier.
The select committee appeared to argue that the Trump campaign was breaking the law: The panel suggested that the Trump campaign must have known the certificates were forgery and suggested that the Trump campaign was at the very least intended to present them to government agencies .
After all, the panel suggested that the Trump campaign must have known they were false, as no state legislator had voted to approve a Trump electoral roll, while the text message showed that the Trump campaign was intended to to Congress in time for certification.
The evidence linking Trump to the fake voter scheme was less clear.
Congressman Adam Schiff, the select committee member who presided over the fourth hearing?introduced a text message from RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel obtained by House investigators suggesting that Trump was directly involved in the bogus voter scheme.
Referring to Trump, the caption read: “He passed the call to Mr. Eastman, who then began talking about the importance of the RNC in helping the campaign rally these temporary voters in case one of the pending legal challenges would result would change. †
The text indicated that Trump started the appeal to McDaniel and tried to use the power of his office to put pressure on the RNC, which two former assistant US attorneys say could create an inferential case against Trump if combined with other evidence is being considered.
But while Trump’s behavior would justify becoming the subject of a criminal investigation, it wasn’t clear how prosecutors would proceed with charges against Trump based on what the panel revealed about the fake voters alone, the former aide said. American lawyers.
The other key revelation that came from the select committee’s fourth hearing was the fact that at least one Republican senator, Ron Johnson, the senior senator from Wisconsin, attempted to send fake certificates to Pence on the morning of January 6, 2021.
According to a text exchange obtained by the select committee, Johnson’s chief of staff Sean Riley sent a message to Pence’s director of legislative affairs, Chris Hodgson, seeking advice on how to give Pence the fraudulent certificates.
“Johnson needs to hand something over to VPOTUS, please advise,” Riley said. When Hodgson asked what for, Riley provided details, citing false Trump slates from Michigan and Wisconsin: “Alternative voter list for MI and WI because archivist didn’t receive them.”
The text exchange revealed that Johnson intended to pass false documents to a federal agency or agent. It wasn’t clear whether Johnson knew they could be used as a cover for Pence to reject Biden’s win, but it did suggest he knew what the package was.
Proving that last element would be crucial in prosecuting allegations in the bogus electoral scheme, the former assistant US attorneys said. It probably wouldn’t be enough just to show that Johnson wanted to file fraudulent certificates with Congress.
A spokesman for Johnson said Tuesday that the senator — then the Senate Homeland Security Committee chairman and a staunch defender of Trump on Capitol Hill — “was not involved in the creation of an alternate list of voters and had no insider information.”
The statement addressed allegations never leveled against Johnson. The key question remained whether Johnson knew the certificates were fake — since neither Wisconsin nor any other states have certified Trump voters — and whether he was trying to give them to Pence for an inappropriate ending.