WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump’s team orchestrated a plot to undo the 2020 election by staging slates of alternative “fake voters” in seven crucial statesaccording to testimony and documents presented Tuesday by the Jan. 6 House committee.
At the fourth public hearing, the commission revealed that the fake voters had filed false certificates of Trump victories with the National Archives in hopes that then-Vice President Mike Pence would replace them for the actual electoral votes that made Joe Biden president.
Republican National Committee chairman Ronna McDaniel said in pre-recorded testimony that Trump called her so that one of his attorneys, John Eastman, could explain how the party organization might play its part in trying to certify Trump slates from states that voted for Biden.
Essentially, he passed the call to Mr. Eastman, who then began to talk about the RNC’s importance in helping the campaign rally these temporary voters in case any of the pending legal challenges resulted from one of the states would change,” McDaniel said of Trump’s direct knowledge of the attempt to undermine the election.
The attempt to stage fake voters was part of a wider campaign by the recently defeated president to stay in power.
But according to the committee, it showed Trump’s willingness to use any means — regardless of their legality — to reverse the will of voters. Trump’s team turned to the “fake voter plan” when it became clear that state officials in Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania and other major battlefields would not reverse the results in their states and replace Biden voters with Trump voters.
Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, said in a taped testimony that the office of White House counsel advised Meadows, Giuliani and others that the plan was legally flawed. And two Trump campaign attorneys, Justin Clark and Matt Morgan, testified that they were uncomfortable with the idea of wiretapping false voters.
The tactical details of the effort, according to evidence presented Tuesday, include a clandestine plot for fake voters to sleep at night in the Michigan capitol, the involvement of members of Congress and a Trump campaign request to fake Wisconsin certification documents. the state to fly. lines to Washington in time for the Jan. 6 census.
Laura Cox, former chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, testified in a video clip that a Trump campaign affiliate told her about the lodging strategy.
“He told me that Michigan’s Republican voters planned to meet in the Capitol and hide at night so that they could fulfill the role of casting their vote under the law in the Michigan chambers,” she said. “And I told him in no uncertain terms that that was insane and inappropriate.”
And a Republican from Wisconsin complained in a text message about the Trump campaign’s Jan. 4, 2021 search for a plane with false certification documents.
“Freaking Trump Idiots Want Someone To Send Original Voter Papers To Senate President” [Pence]” wrote Mark Jefferson, the executive director of the Wisconsin GOP. “They are going to call one of us to tell us what the hell is going on.”
When Rusty Bowers, Speaker of the Arizona House, a Trump supporter who rejected Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani’s pleas to switch voters in his state, learned that fake voters had met, he was shocked.
“I thought: this is a tragic parody,” he testified during the hearing on Thursday. Bowers also claimed that Giuliani acknowledged the absence of evidence for Trump’s allegations of voter fraud.
“We have a lot of theories, we just don’t have the evidence,” Bowers recalls, saying Giuliani at one point before official voters met to certify Arizona’s results.
In the failed attempt to carry out the plan, Trump supporters enlisted the help of Republican officials, including Senator Ron Johnson, R-Wis., according to evidence presented at the hearing.
On Jan. 6, shortly before the official count began, an aide to Johnson texted a member of the vice president’s staff to tell “Johnson to hand over something to” Pence, according to text messages sent by the committee. released. When asked what it was, Sean Riley, Johnson’s aide, replied that they were “alternate” voters for two states “because the archivist didn’t receive them.”
Pence’s assistant shot back: “Don’t report that” [Pence]†
Johnson told reporters on Tuesday that he was aware of the slates of alternative voters for Wisconsin and Michigan that had been delivered to his office to be given to Pence on Jan. 6.
“I was aware that we delivered something,” Johnson said after the hearing. “I mean, guys, this, this happened in, I don’t know, in the span of a few minutes. And the story ended. There’s nothing to this.”
When he pressed his knowledge about the slates, Johnson said he didn’t know who delivered them to his office. “Again, I had nothing to do with that. Someone delivered this to us asking us to deliver it to the vice president, we asked if the vice president wanted it, they didn’t want it. We didn’t deliver it. End of story.”
Earlier Tuesday, a spokesman for Johnson maintained that the senator was not informed in advance of plans to deliver the alternate slate to his office.
“The senator was not involved in the creation of an alternate list of voters and had no prior knowledge that it would be delivered to our office,” said Alexa Henning. wrote on Twitter† “This was a staff-to-staff exchange. His new chief of staff contacted the vice president’s office.”
But Johnson wasn’t the only federal lawmaker to push for false voters to consider.
Bowers said he received a call from Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., a top Trump loyalist in the House.
“He asked if I would sign both on a letter sent from my state and/or if I would support voter decertification,” Bowers recalled. “I said I wouldn’t.”