Wisconsin Public Radio

Wisconsin’s Congressional Delegation Largely Silent On Trump’s January 6 Indictment

But Sen. Ron Johnson, who appears in charging document, says it is another example of "dual system of justice under Biden."

By , Wisconsin Public Radio - Aug 2nd, 2023 05:14 pm
Official portrait of President Donald J. Trump, Friday, October 6, 2017. Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead. Photo is in the Public Domain.

Official portrait of President Donald J. Trump, Friday, October 6, 2017. Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead. Photo is in the Public Domain.

Members of Wisconsin’s congressional delegation have been largely silent about the indictment of former President Donald Trump for trying to overturn the results of the 2020 election and the multiple Wisconsin connections made in the allegations.

Trump was indicted by a federal grand jury Tuesday. The charges allege Trump and unnamed co-conspirators launched a conspiracy to keep him in office and prevent President Joe Biden from taking office, those actions leading to a violent riot at the U.S. Capitol as members of Congress worked to certify Biden’s victory.

There are four counts against Trump in the indictment: Conspiracy to Defraud the United States; Conspiracy to Obstruct an Official Proceeding; Obstruction of and Attempt to Obstruct an Official Proceeding; and Conspiracy Against Rights.

Wisconsin Public Radio reached out to all of Wisconsin’s Democratic and Republican members of Congress for comment on the indictments and multiple connections to Wisconsin and a fraudulent elector scheme. Most did not respond.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan told WPR the indictment is “laying out many of the crimes that former President Trump did in order to try and stay in office.”

“This, for many people, is something they were hoping that the legal system would follow the right path on,” Pocan said. “And it clearly has. I think at this point now we’re going to see the full extent of the con that went on, including in our own state.”

In a tweet Tuesday afternoon, Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany called it “another sham indictment of Donald Trump” and referred to a “sweetheart plea deal” related to an investigation into President Biden’s son Hunter Biden.

“Anyone else seeing this two-tiered system of Justice on full display?” Tiffany wrote.

In December 2020, after Biden defeated Trump in the presidential election, Tiffany joined more than 100 House Republicans in signing onto a Texas lawsuit seeking to overturn the election results.

The Trump indictment focuses on 84 people in seven states, including Wisconsin, who signed papers claiming to be certified presidential electors for Trump. Biden defeated Trump in Wisconsin by around 21,000 votes.

“The memoranda evolved over time from a legal strategy to preserve the Defendant’s rights to a corrupt plan to subvert the federal government function by stopping Biden Electors’ votes from being counted and certified,” the indictment states.

Wisconsin’s fake electors included current Wisconsin Elections Commission member Bob Spindell, former chair of the Republican Party of Wisconsin Andrew Hitt and current congressional GOP party chairs Bill Feehan and Kelly Ruh.

In a statement sent to WPR, Republican Party of Wisconsin Executive Director Mark Jefferson said those electors have consistently said their actions were aimed at preserving “an ongoing legal strategy” and were only intended “to be used in the event a court of law gave the alternate slate meaning.”

“We were not informed of any use of the alternate electors contrary to preserving the legal strategy and would not have approved any other use,” Jefferson said.

The indictment also refers to Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson and his attempts to hand slates of fraudulent electors to former Vice President Mike Pence. It claims an agent of Trump’s “facilitated the receipt by the Senator’s staff of the fraudulent certificates signed by the Defendant’s fraudulent electors.” The staff member, previously identified as Johnson’s former chief of staff Sean Riley, was rejected by a member of Pence’s staff when he texted that Johnson needed to hand an “alternate slate of electors” to Pence.

Johnson has claimed his involvement in the scheme lasted “a couple seconds” and that he knew nothing about the plan.

In a statement sent to WPR, Johnson called the indictment, “Another example of the dual system of justice under Biden.”

“Relentlessly target one individual to interfere in a presidential election, while DOJ colludes with the attorneys of Biden’s son to ensure his crimes go unpunished,” Johnson said.

Johnson has referred to the capitol riots, which injured multiple capitol police officers, as a “peaceful protest.”

The same day the fake electors in Wisconsin met at the State Capitol, the Wisconsin Supreme Court rejected a lawsuit filed by Wisconsin attorney Jim Troupis, who represented Trump, seeking to throw out hundreds of thousands of votes cast in Democratic strongholds Dane and Milwaukee counties. The suit claimed guidance followed by local election clerks for years violated absentee voting requirements in state law.

Months after the Capitol riots and Biden’s swearing in, Trump continued attempts to pressure Wisconsin lawmakers to decertify the 2020 election results. On June 26, a day after Trump threatened to field a primary candidate against Assembly Speaker Robin Vos if he didn’t “step up” to do more about the 2020 election, Vos announced the hiring of former conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman to run an investigation into the prior year’s election.

The following year, Gableman released a report that suggested the GOP controlled state Legislature “take a very hard look” at decertifying the election, a move that has been widely dismissed as legally impossible.

Vos fired Gableman in August 2022, just days after the former justice endorsed Vos’ opponent in a Republican primary who came close to defeating the longtime speaker. Vos called Gableman “an embarrassment to the state.”

Wisconsin’s Congressional delegation mostly silent on Jan. 6 Trump indictment was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.

6 thoughts on “Wisconsin’s Congressional Delegation Largely Silent On Trump’s January 6 Indictment”

  1. gwarzyn says:

    I guess I missed seeing Senator Johnson on the Capitol steps welcoming the “peaceful assembly.”

  2. mkwagner says:

    Yes Tiffany and Ron Jon we are seeing the two-tiered justice system under 45 coming to an end. The laws apply to everyone even RRRs ( radical reactionary republicans.) Let it be known that if you conspire to overthrown the duly elected or give aid and comfort to our enemies, you will be charged. When a politician takes the oath to uphold and protect the Constitution, they will be held to that oath.

  3. gerrybroderick says:

    I doubt that Ron Johnson and others will be sleeping well over the coming months knowing that Jack Smith is continuing to squeeze legally vulnerable witnesses for the information necessary to keep them from going to prison. After all, when it becomes an “every man for himself”scramble, political power and personal loyalties become secondary concerns.

  4. lobk says:

    Speaker Vos,

    Let’s get Justice Gableman on this! Spare no amount of money to get to the bottom of this travesty.

  5. joerossm says:

    The Trump Indictment #3 even mentions RoJo (without explicitly naming him) as the bagman transmitting the fraudulent “elector” ballots to Pence. And let’s not forget Scott Fitzgerald and Toxic Tom Tiffany, who voted **against certifying the 2020 presidential election**! So much for supporting and defending the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and bearing true faith and allegiance to the same.

  6. twmccormack13@gmail.com says:

    The current version of far too many GOP’ers leaves me dumbfounded. Blind, weak-minded hypocrites who still believe the best “leadership” for their party and the country can only come from a 3X indicted reality show host.
    I can’t wait to watch the rats jump ship as these cases find their way into courtrooms, and many of these morally corrupt lemmings may be required to testify truthfully, or face perjury charges. That’s going to be where the rubber meets the road.
    Start popping the popcorn now!!!

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