Bruce Murphy
Back In the News

Fake Elector Scheme Dogs Ron Johnson

Wisconsin's senator now blames 'radical left' and won't say whether he's being investigated.

By - Jun 28th, 2022 12:36 pm
Ron Johnson. Photo by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America / Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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

Even for Ron Johnson, who has courted countless controversies and conspiracy theories in the last year or so, the past week was a particularly bad one for him.

Last week, in a hearing of the January 6 committee, we learned that Johnson’s chief of staff was involved in trying to give a slate of fake electors from Wisconsin and Michigan to Vice President Mike PenceJohnson’s top aide, Sean Riley, texted a staffer for Pence saying this: “Johnson needs to hand something to VPOTUS please advise.”

When asked what it was, Riley said an “alternate slate of electors for MI and WI” that didn’t get “to the archivist.” Pence’s staffer declined to accept them.

The alternate elector slates were part of a scheme advanced by Donald Trump, his attorney John Eastman and others, to steal the presidency based on the false claim that the election was fraudulent.

This seemed to directly involve Johnson in an attempted coup that could lead to criminal charges for some. (Eastman is now under investigation.) Worse, Johnson became a national laughingstock as a reporter trailed behind the senator, asking questions about this, and Johnson pretended to be on the phone. The reporter said he could see the senator’s cell phone screen and he clearly wasn’t on the phone, which had national commentators laughing about the entire incident.

Could the situation possibly get any worse for Johnson? It could.

In an interview with CNN’s Manu Raju, last week Tuesday, Johnson claimed he had nothing to do with his staff’s decision, asking us to expect that his top aide decides to get involved in a coup to overturn a presidential election without checking with the boss. “It was a staff-to-staff deal,” Johnson said. “I had no hand in any of it.” In fact it was actually a rogue staff intern, Johnson seemed to be suggesting. “It’s a non-story,” he repeatedly insisted.

By Thursday Johnson had a new story, claiming the slate of fake electors had come from the office of Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Kelly, as the Journal Sentinel reported. And why would a Pennsylvania congressman be passing on fake electors from Wisconsin and Michigan? Johnson didn’t really explain that one and Kelly soon obliterated Johnson’s claim with this salvo: “Senator Johnson’s statements about Representative Kelly are patently false… Mr. Kelly has not spoken to Sen. Johnson for the better part of a decade, and he has no knowledge of the claims Mr. Johnson is making related to the 2020 election.”

For that matter Johnson himself destroyed the image of him being an innocent bystander, telling Madison radio station WIBA-AM on Thursday that he had coordinated with his chief of staff and attorney Jim Troupis (a former Dane County judge) by text message to get to Pence a document that Troupis described as regarding “Wisconsin electors.”

“We need to get a document on the Wisconsin electors to you for the VP immediately,” Troupis told Johnson at 11:36 a.m. Jan. 6, 2021, according to texts provided to conservative media outlet Just the News. “Is there a staff person I can talk to immediately. Thanks Jim T.”

Johnson then put Troupis in touch with Riley, as the Wisconsin State Journal reported, and Riley then contacted Pence’s office.

Juicy stuff. Could it get even juicier? It could.

Instead of letting the controversy die down, Johnson did just the opposite, appearing on Friday at the Wisconsin Statewide Election Integrity Summit, a Republican effort to continue pushing the Big Lie that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, and declared that Troupis is a victim of the “radical left” who needs to be supported, as the State Journal reported. “The latest victim is Jim Troupis — there are so many victims of the radical left that need to be supported,” Johnson declared.

Johnson also stood up for Cleta Mitchell, the attorney and Bradley Foundation board member who was involved in Trump’s infamous call to Georgia election officials, where he asked them to find 11,000 more votes for him so Joe Biden‘s victory in Georgia could be overturned. Mitchell is also coordinating events like the Wisconsin Election Integrity Summit across the nation, to build an army of conservative election zealots to challenge the next presidential election, as Urban Milwaukee has detailed. “Cleta Mitchell is a hero,” Johnson declared.

When asked how and why Johnson considers Troupis a victim, Johnson spokesperson Alexa Henning told the newspaper this: “The corporate media and the radical left are engaging in politics of personal destruction and it’s sick.”

But Henning “did not directly answer two questions about whether Johnson has been interviewed by the FBI or subpoenaed by any law enforcement entity,” the paper noted.

Wisconsin Democratic congressman Ron Kind blasted Johnson on Friday, saying the senator was either “lying” or “incompetent,” and called for an investigation into what Johnson knew. And you can bet there will be attack ads painting Johnson as a conspirator by dark money liberal groups.

Urban Milwaukee has reached out to Johnson’s office to ask whether he is under investigation or being subpoenaed, and will update this story if there is any response.

2 thoughts on “Back In the News: Fake Elector Scheme Dogs Ron Johnson”

  1. MrTea says:

    Johnson should be locked up along with Trump and all the other losers who betrayed our nation and ignored their oaths. Time action is taken for those who where at the top of Trumps Big Lie and COUP attempt! In particular after todays Jan 6th committees explosive witness Hutchinson and what she exposed about Trump and Meadows and others and they knew full well Trump lied about the election and worked to create the violence of Jan 6th and Ron Johnson participated. The Big lie needs to turn into the BIG ARREST and lock up these seditious losers like Ron Johnson, Mark Meadows, Jim Jordan and the list goes on and on. Trumps Big Lie has done so much harm to our nation we may never recover. Johnson knowingly played a part in Trumps COUP attempt with his fake electors scheme and he should pay a heavy price and he has admitted his participation. The man is a fool and he certainly should lose his re-election bid and I hope that Wisconsin wakes up to see Johnson is a moron and corrupt and we must and can do for better. Johnson and the others should be indicted for the crimes surrounding Jan 6th and Trumps Big Lie and its time Ag Garland starts the Big Arrest!

  2. kaygeeret says:

    Yeah gods.

    The guy is a fool – I wish I could claim money on the calls from around the country laughing about his phone call and asking me if he really was that clueless.

    The sad thing is, as much of a fool as he is, that doesn’t mean he will be voted out. True Believers and truly deluded after all.

    Still, I really believe the folks of this state will recognize a person who genuinely needs to retire. And we can make that happen!

    Forward to decency.

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