Wisconsin Public Radio

Ron Johnson Parrots Trump’s Rejected Legal Arguments

Sen. Johnson's hears from Trump attorney at committee on 2020 election, alleges illegal votes were counted.

By , Wisconsin Public Radio - Dec 17th, 2020 10:24 am
Ron Johnson. Photo by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America / Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en

Ron Johnson. Photo by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America / Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Days after losing his lawsuit before the Wisconsin Supreme Court, a lawyer for President Donald Trump‘s campaign made his case in front of a U.S. Senate committee at the invitation of Wisconsin’s U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson.

In the process, attorney Jim Troupis gave an incomplete picture of the Supreme Court’s ruling, glossing over multiple opinions that rejected some of the Trump campaign’s boldest claims about the November presidential election.

The Trump campaign’s lawsuit filed in Wisconsin by Troupis challenged a total of 221,323 absentee ballots. They came from four groups of voters in Dane and Milwaukee counties, the only counties where Trump requested a recount.

In a 4-3 ruling written by conservative Justice Brian Hagedornthe court dismissed Trump’s case, ruling that it should have been filed before the election, not after.

Troupis attacked the court’s ruling at a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Wednesday.

“Three million people properly voted in the state of Wisconsin,” Troupis told Johnson’s committee. “More than 200,000 identified during this recount did not. But those votes got counted, and our statute says they should not have been.”

“And of course, the remedy is not particularly pleasing,” Johnson responded. “Which is one of the reasons the decision went it’s way.”

Troupis attacked the court’s majority for not ruling on the merits of the case, quoting from a dissent by Chief Justice Patience Roggensack to bolster his argument.

Unmentioned by Troupis or Johnson on Wednesday was that nowhere did Roggensack suggest that she would have rejected anywhere close to 200,000 votes.

Trump’s lawsuit challenged 170,140 absentee ballots cast in-person before Election Day, 28,395 votes cast by voters who said they were “indefinitely confined,” 17,271 ballots cast at Madison’s “Democracy in the Park” events and 5,517 ballots where clerks were directed to fill in missing information for a witness’ address.

Roggensack’s dissent, which was joined by conservative Justices Annette Ziegler and Rebecca Bradley, focused in on the ballots involving “Democracy in the Park” and witness addresses. She said the boards of canvassers in Milwaukee and Dane counties based their decisions to accept those ballots on “erroneous advice.”

She said no such thing with regard to the other categories of ballots challenged by Trump, ruling that justices “do not have sufficient information” about those who claimed they were indefinitely confined. She also didn’t agree with the Trump campaign’s argument that in-person absentee ballots should be tossed because they didn’t include a “separate” application.

In raw numbers, her ruling cast doubt on 22,788 ballots challenged by Trump, but it didn’t support the campaign’s claims on the other 198,546.

Hagedorn wrote his own concurring opinion, suggesting that if the court had heard Trump’s challenge on the merits, he would have rejected it because the votes in question were legally cast.

None of opinions issued as part of the ruling suggested any of the justices were open to challenging “more than 200,000” votes — the number Troupis mentioned in the Senate committee Wednesday.

Democratic President-elect Joe Biden won Wisconsin by 20,682 votes, but even if the court had overturned all of the ballots referenced by Roggensack in her dissent, it likely wouldn’t have overturned his victory. That’s because the stricken votes would have been pulled at random from Dane and Milwaukee counties, resulting in some Republican votes being thrown out along with those from Democrats.

Johnson billed his Wednesday hearing as a transparent examination of the election, noting that many people don’t accept the outcome.

“The fact that our last two presidential elections have not been accepted as legitimate by large percentages of the American public is a serious problem that threatens our republic,” Johnson said. “I do not say that lightly.”

At the same time, Johnson repeatedly stated that there had been fraud in the election, an assertion rejected by multiple state and federal courts. Those comments prompted a shouting match with U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich.

“Mr. Chairman, this is not about airing your grievances,” Peters told Johnson. “I don’t know what rabbit hole you’re running down.”

Listen to the WPR report here.

US Sen. Ron Johnson’s Election Hearing Revives Trump Arguments Rejected In Court was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.

More about the 2020 General Election

Read more about 2020 General Election here

More about the Trump's Election Lawsuits

Read more about Trump's Election Lawsuits here

4 thoughts on “Ron Johnson Parrots Trump’s Rejected Legal Arguments”

  1. tornado75 says:

    it is sad that wisconsin has one senator who verges on insanity with his rants about a stolen election. i am a senior and really don’t want to rush my time however, i would be willing to do so to see ron johnson voted out of office because of his crazy conspiracy theories. what has he done for wisconsin lately.

  2. JMcD says:

    When RoJo is up for re-election, count me in to do whatever is helpful in getting rid of this incompetent clown. Knock on doors, make phone calls, I am in. I am embarrassed that he is both a senator and more importantly from Wisconsin.

  3. Mingus says:

    He rants about the fantasy of election fraud while the Russians are hacking some of most secure computer systems. As head of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security, shouldn’t he be holding hearings on this. I think the late Wisconsin Senator Joe McCarthy would find him to be a “person of interest” in his hunt for Russian sympathizers.

  4. blurondo says:

    “This is something that thinkers across many centuries have struggled with. Some of the basic principles that Romans articulated as governing principles for their republic are principles that later republics adopted. In the United States, in particular, the principles emphasized are those of separation of powers, checks on magistrates, and rule of law that governs political behaviors. It’s rule of law that depends on an overwhelming super majority consensus. There’s continual touching back to these basic principles that reaffirm what the republic is supposed to do. We have regularly done this in the United States. Our election process represents this reaffirmation of the basic principles of our representative democracy.” Clay Jenkinson, editor-at-large, Govering.com.

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us