Trump team orchestrated ‘fake electors’ to try to overturn election, Jan. 6 committee details

WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump’s team orchestrated a plot to nullify the 2020 election by organizing lists of alternative “fake voters” in seven swing states, according to testimony and documents presented by the committee on Tuesday. the House on January 6.

During its fourth public hearing, the committee revealed that the bogus voters had submitted false certifications of Trump’s victories to the National Archives in hopes that then-Vice President Mike Pence would substitute them for electoral votes. real ones that made Joe Biden president.

Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel said in pre-recorded testimony that Trump called her so that one of his lawyers, John Eastman, could explain how the party organization could play its part in trying to certify the Trump lists of states that voted for Biden.

“Essentially he passed the call to Mr Eastman who then spoke about the importance of the RNC helping the campaign bring together those contingent voters in the event that one of the ongoing legal challenges changes the outcome of the election. ‘one of the states,’ McDaniel said, revealing Trump’s direct knowledge of the effort to undermine the election.

The effort to organize counterfeit voters was part of a larger campaign by the just-defeated president to cling to power.

But, according to the committee, it demonstrated Trump’s willingness to use any means — however legal — to reverse the will of voters. Trump’s team turned to the ‘fake voters’ plan when it became clear that state officials in Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania and other key battlegrounds would not cancel not the results in their states and would not replace Biden voters with Trump voters.

Cassidy Hutchinson, an assistant to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, said in recorded testimony that the White House attorney’s office informed Meadows, Giuliani and others that the plan was not legally valid. And two Trump campaign lawyers, Justin Clark and Matt Morgan, testified that they were uncomfortable with the idea of ​​reaching out to fake voters.

The tactical details of the effort, according to evidence presented on Tuesday, included a clandestine plot to get fake voters to sleep at night in Michigan’s Capitol, the involvement of members of Congress and a Trump campaign demand for fake documents. Wisconsin certification be flown across the state. lines to Washington in time for the January 6 count.

Laura Cox, former chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party, testified in a video clip that someone affiliated with the Trump campaign told her about the sleepover scheme.

‘He told me Republican voters in Michigan are planning to meet in the Capitol and hide overnight so they can fulfill the role of voting according to law in Michigan’s chambers,’ she said. . “And I told him unequivocally that it was senseless and inappropriate.”

And a Wisconsin Republican complained in a January 4, 2021 Trump campaign text message, looking for a plane to carry fake certification documents.

“Trump idiots want someone to send the original voter papers to the President of the Senate [Pence]”, wrote Mark Jefferson, executive director of the Wisconsin GOP. “They will call one of us to tell us what is going on.

When Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, a Trump supporter who pushed back on pleas from Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani to change voters in his state, learned that fake voters had met, he was shocked.

“I thought it was a tragic travesty,” he said during Thursday’s hearing. Bowers also alleged that Giuliani acknowledged the lack of evidence for Trump’s voter fraud allegations.

“We have a lot of theories, we just don’t have the evidence,” Bowers Giuliani recalled, saying at some point before official voters gathered to certify Arizona’s results.

In the failed attempt to execute the plan, Trump supporters sought help from Republican officials, including Sen. 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 say that “Johnson needs to hand something over to” Pence, according to text messages released by the committee. When asked what it was, Sean Riley, Johnson’s aide, replied that they were “substitute” voters for two states “because the archivist didn’t get them.”

Pence’s aide fired back: “Don’t give this to [Pence].”

On Tuesday, Johnson’s spokeswoman Alexa Henning downplayed the senator’s role in the Twitter posts.

“The senator was not involved in creating an alternative voters list and had no idea it would be delivered to our office,” she wrote. “It 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 don’t. We didn’t. No further action was taken. End of story.”

But Johnson wasn’t the only federal lawmaker pushing for fake voters to be considered.

Bowers said he received a call from Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Arizona, one of Trump’s top House loyalists, on the morning of Jan. 6.

“He asked me if I would both sign a letter that had been sent from my state and/or support voter decertification,” Bowers recalled. “I said I wouldn’t.”

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