January 6, 6 subpoenas tied to pro-Trump fake voter effort

WASHINGTON — The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol subpoenaed two of Donald J. Trump’s campaign aides and R...


WASHINGTON — The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol subpoenaed two of Donald J. Trump’s campaign aides and Republican Party officials from battleground states on Tuesday as it digs deeper a plan to use fake voter lists to help the former president stay in office after losing the 2020 election.

The use of fake slates was one of the most audacious ploys employed by Mr. Trump’s allies to try to keep the presidency in his hands, and committee members and investigators have increasingly made these clear. days they believe the effort — along with proposals to seize voting machines — posed a major threat to democracy.

Among those subpoenaed on Tuesday were Michael A.Roman and Gary Michael Brown, who served as director and deputy director of Election Day operations for Mr. Trump’s campaign. The jury also called Douglas V. Mastrianoa Pennsylvania state senator; Laura Coxthe former chair of the Republican Party of Michigan; Mark W. Finchem, an Arizona state legislator; and Kelli districtPresident of the Republican Party of Arizona.

In letters accompanying the subpoenas, the committee said it had obtained communications showing “the involvement of Mr. Roman and Mr. Brown in a coordinated strategy to contact Republican members of state legislatures in certain states. that former President Trump had lost and urge them to ‘reclaim’ their authority by sending in an alternative list of voters who would support former President Trump.

“It appears that you helped lead the Trump campaign staffers involved in this effort,” Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat and committee chair, wrote to Roman.

The committee said Mr. Finchem, who was on the Capitol grounds on January 6, was in communication with leaders of the “Stop the Steal” movement regarding a rally at the Capitol, and that Mr. Finchem said he was in Washington to “deliver an evidence book and letter to Vice President Pence showing key evidence of fraud in the Arizona presidential election and asking him to consider postponing voter allocation.”

In its letter to Ms. Cox, the panel said it had evidence that she saw Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal attorney, pressure state lawmakers to ignore election results in favor of Joseph R. Biden Jr. in Michigan and saying that certifying the results would be a “criminal act.”

After the November election ended, Ms Ward sent a message to an Arizona election official warning to “stop the count”, according to the committee. She also “apparently spoke with former President Trump and members of his team about voter certification issues in Arizona” and “released a video advancing unsubstantiated theories about election interference by Dominion Voting Systems, as well as a link to a donation page to benefit the Arizona Republican Party,” the committee said.

Ms Ward also claimed to be a “substitute” voter for Mr Trump, even though Mr Biden won Arizona.

Ms Ward has already taken legal action in an attempt to prevent the committee from accessing the logs of his phone calls.

The committee said Mr. Mastriano spoke directly with Mr. Trump about his “post-election activities.” Mr. Mastriano, a former army officer, was also on the Capitol grounds on Jan. 6, though he later explained in A declaration that “he followed instructions from the Capitol Police and obeyed all police lines” that day.

The subpoenas ask witnesses to produce documents and sit for depositions in March.

“The select committee is seeking information about efforts to send fake voters lists to Washington and alter the outcome of the 2020 election,” Mr. Thompson said, adding, “The select committee heard from more than 550 witnesses, and we expect them six people to cooperate as we work to tell the American people the full story of the January 6 violence and its causes.

Five of the six officials and aides who were subpoenaed did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Tuesday. In a statement, Ms Cox said the public announcement of the subpoena “reeked of partisanship and PR stunts”.

“My guy lost. President Biden won. But that does not make raising questions about wrongdoing a crime,” she wrote. “The January 6 committee knows that I know nothing about what happened on January 6.”

The plan to employ so-called surrogate voters was one of Mr Trump’s most significant efforts to nullify the election. It began before some states had even finished counting ballots and culminated in pressure on Mr. Pence to reject Mr. Biden’s legitimate votes when he chaired the joint session of Congress to certify the results of the elections.

On several occasions, the bet has involved attorneys, state lawmakers and senior White House aides.

The New York Times reported this month on legal memos that show some of the earliest known origins of what became the rationale for using surrogate voters.

The memos — from an attorney named Kenneth Chesebro to James R. Troupis, a Trump campaign attorney in Wisconsin — show how, just over two weeks after Election Day, Mr. Trump’s campaign was seeking to buy time to cancel the results. . At the heart of the strategy was the idea that their true deadline was not December 14, when official voters would be chosen to reflect the result in each state, but January 6, when Congress would meet to certify the results.

Both memos were used by Mr. Trump’s top lawyer, Mr. Giuliani, and others like John Eastman as they developed a strategy to exploit ambiguities in the electoral count law, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The subpoenas are the latest step the committee has taken to investigate plans to use voters who falsely attested that Mr. Trump had won their states.

Last month, the committee issued 14 subpoenas to people who claimed to be Mr. Trump’s voters in the states he lost. Those subpoenas targeted people who had met and submitted pro-Trump Electoral College certificates in seven states Mr. Biden won: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Those who registered on the fake voters lists were mostly state-level Republican Party officials, GOP political candidates or party activists involved in Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign.

These subpoenas came after the Department of Justice says he was investigating fake voters.

In the end, Mr. Pence rejected plans to reject legitimate electoral votes in favor of these fake lists for Mr. Trump.

Marc Short, Mr. Pence’s chief of staff, recently testified privately before the committee. In a TV interview this month, he said Mr Pence was aware of so-called surrogate voters but did not believe it was appropriate to accept lists not chosen by voters.

“There have been discussions of alternate slates in some of the letters we’ve received,” Mr. Short told NBC. “But, you know, when we had a conversation with the congresswoman, she made it clear that, frankly, every year they get notes from random Americans saying, ‘Here’s my voters list. Unless they’re certified by the state, they frankly don’t make sense.

Alain Feuer contributed report.

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Newsrust - US Top News: January 6, 6 subpoenas tied to pro-Trump fake voter effort
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