MADISON, Wisconsin (AP) — An aide to U.S. Senator Ron Johnson told the staff of former Vice President Mike Pence that the Wisconsin Republican wanted to hand over fake voters from his state and neighboring Michigan to Pence, text messages revealed at Tuesday’s meeting of the House select committee is investigating the uprising of January 6, 2021 showed.
Johnson spokeswoman Alexa Henning downplayed the lyrics after they were publicly revealed for the first time during the commission’s hearing in Washington, but did not deny that Johnson had intended to personally hand over the list of false voters to Pence.
“The senator was not involved in the creation of an alternate voter list and had no prior knowledge that it would be delivered to our office,” Henning tweeted. “This was a staff-to-staff exchange. His new chief of staff contacted the vice president’s office. The vice president’s office said not to give it to him and we didn’t. No further action has been taken. End of story.”
Johnson planned to object to accepting voters in states where he said the results were in question. He agreed to the Arizona voters’ objection, which happened before the attack, but later voted to accept those voters. He had no objection to accepting Wisconsin’s votes, but two of the state’s Republican congressmen did.
The evidence presented showed a back and forth between Johnson aide Sean Riley and Pence employee Chris Hodgson at 12:37 p.m. on Jan. 6, 2021.
“Johnson needs to hand something over to VPOTUS, please advise,” texted Riley Hodgson.
“What is it?” Hodgson replied.
“Alternative list of voters for MI and WI because the archivist did not receive them,” Riley wrote back.
Hodgson replied, “Don’t give him that.”
Wisconsin’s Republicans gathered in the state Capitol on December 14, 2020, the same day 10 Democratic voters awarded their votes to Biden, who won the battlefield state by just under 21,000 votes. They forwarded their votes for Trump to the National Archives, arguing that they were trying to preserve Trump’s legal options in case a court quashed Biden’s victory.
Wisconsin’s Bipartisan Election Commission refused to punish the false voters, who determined that no electoral laws had been broken. The fake voters are now sued in Wisconsin by a liberal law firm seeking $2.4 million in damages.
Other evidence shown at Tuesday’s hearing indicated that Trump’s campaign team wanted Wisconsin’s fake voters to send the paperwork to Washington.
“Freaking Trump idiots want someone to send original election papers to the Senate President,” texted Mark Jefferson, executive director of the Wisconsin Republican Party, on Jan. 4. “They’re going to call one of us to tell us what the hell is going on.”
Johnson later met with Wisconsin lawmakers in 2021 and talked about dismantling the state’s bipartisan election commission and letting the GOP-controlled legislature take over the presidential and federal elections.
Johnson’s Democratic opponents responded to the revelation at Tuesday’s hearing, calling on him to resign.
“Ron Johnson was actively trying to undermine this democracy,” Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes said in a statement calling for Johnson to resign. “He literally tried to hand Mike Pence counterfeit ballots. Once again Ron Johnson has proven that he is a danger to our country and our fundamental rights.”
Other Democratic candidates, including state treasurer Sarak Godlewski and Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson, made similar comments calling for his resignation. Alex Lasry, a Milwaukee Bucks executive, called Johnson a “seditious traitor and a danger to our democracy” but did not call for him to resign, saying Johnson will only leave if he is defeated in November.
Nelson, who had previously called for subpoena Johnson to testify before the Jan. 6 committee, said the revelations “go beyond anything I could have imagined for how far Ron Johnson would go to nullify our Wisconsin election result.” .”
He called on the Justice Department to investigate Johnson.