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Critics want more investigation of Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson regarding fake elector evidence

Ron Johnson
Toni Sandys-Pool
Getty Images
Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) on August 6, 2020 in Washington D.C.

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, a Republican, is back on the political hot seat after evidence that was submitted at Tuesday's meeting of the House select committee investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol last year.

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Screen grab
Casey Lucier, an investigative lawyer for the House select committee, describes the fake elector evidence, in a committee video shown Tuesday.

An investigative lawyer for the panel, Casey Lucier, presented recorded remarks describing how President Donald Trump's re-election team wanted certificates filed in two states by fake electors in December 2020, delivered to Vice President Mike Pence for counting of electoral votes on January 6, 2021.

Lucier said Michigan was one state. And, Wisconsin the other, and she said Johnson's office was willing to help connect with Pence.

"A staffer for Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson texted a staffer for Vice President Pence just minutes before the joint session. This staffer stated that Senator Johnson wished to hand deliver to the vice president the fake electors votes from Michigan and Wisconsin," she said on the committee video.

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Screenshot from House select committee video
This screen grab from the House select committee video shows the texts between Sen. Ron Johnson's aide Sean Riley and Chris Hodgson, an aide to then-Vice President Mike Pence.

Lucier said Pence's staffer rejected the offer, and later that day, Pence helped confirm that Democrat Joe Biden had won Wisconsin and been elected president.

Senator Johnson's office, in a tweet after Tuesday's hearing, stated: "The senator had no involvement in the creation of an alternate slate of electors and had no foreknowledge that it (the fake elector's certificate) was going to be delivered to our office. This was a staff to staff exchange [with Pence's office.]"

Johnson's office pointing the finger at the senator's staff doesn't sit well with Jay Heck, executive director of Common Cause Wisconsin.

"His own chief of staff texted the [legislative director of the] vice president. A staffer of that high level, and I was a staffer for a member of Congress in Washington, would just not do that unless their boss, in this case Senator Johnson, had knowledge about that," he tells WUWM.

Heck says the matter needs a thorough investigation, and that Johnson should go beforen the January 6 committee. For now at least, Heck says Johnson looks bad.

"You know, in my 27 years as director of Common Cause, it's really the most serious perversion of democracy that I have ever seen by a federal official, by a U.S. Congressman, or a U.S. Senator representing Wisconsin," he says.

The revelation about Johnson comes as he faces what may be a difficult re-election bid this year. One of his Democratic opponents, Alex Lasry, calls the incumbent “a seditious traitor and a danger to our democracy." Candidates Mandela Barnes and Sarah Godlewski say they want Johnson to resign, and candidate Tom Nelson says Johnson was the "go-to guy" for insurrection.

Chuck Quirmbach joined WUWM in August 2018. He focuses his longform stories on health, innovation, science, technology, transportation, utilities and business.
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