WISCONSIN – Today, Brad Woodhouse, co-chair of the Defend Democracy Project, Donald Sherman with Citizens for Responsibility & Ethics in Washington, former Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney, Mel Barnes, Law Forward, and Rabbi Bonnie Margulis with Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice joined a virtual press briefing hosted by the Defend Democracy Project to preview what Wisconsinites can expect to learn during the public hearings to be held by the Select Committee beginning on Thursday, June 9 at 7 pm CT. Speakers discussed new polling on the public’s view of the events of January 6 and the plot to overturn the election, the potential criminal charges that could be faced by Trump and his allies, and grassroots energy around the hearings.
Former President Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans planned, promoted, and paid for the attacks on January 6th in an attempt to overturn the will of the voters – and they are not done yet. These hearings are of special interest to Wisconsinites, where the Trump campaign pressured state officials and arranged for illegitimate electors to try to overturn the 2020 election. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos reportedly spent hours in a closed-door meeting with Trump lawyer John Eastman, facing pressure to “nullify the 2020 election.” Wisconsin Republicans have spent over a year pursuing fraudulent “audits” of the election results and attempting to decertify Joe Biden’s victory in the state. The 2022 elections in Wisconsin feature serious campaigns from Trump allies for Governor and Attorney General who have repeated many of Trump’s lies about the 2020 election and have taken policy positions which undermine the legitimacy of the Wisconsin Elections Commission.
“Americans deserve to hear the truth about the months leading up to January 6, the events of that day, and the ongoing threat our country still faces,” said Defend Democracy Project co-chair Brad Woodhouse. “The attempt to overturn the will of the voters continues, and the Committee will lay out the conspiracy to the American people in order to make sure the plot is stopped and the events of January 6th never happen again.”
“The violent insurrection led by white supremacists and Trump supporters was the closest we have been to the overthrow of the U.S. Government since the Civil War.” Said Donald Sherman, Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). “Donald Trump and his cronies committed many crimes in the events leading up to January 6th that helped to make this insurrection possible.”
“The actions of the fraudulent electors in Wisconsin and similar actions in other swing states were an integral part of efforts to persuade Vice President Pence, as President of the Senate, to reject the electoral votes of the real electors in those states on January 6 and count the fraudulent electoral votes instead,” said Mel Barnes of Law Forward. That organization has filed a first of its kind lawsuit to hold false electors from Wisconsin accountable. “If this scheme had succeeded, it would have overturned the legitimate results of the 2020 election and the will of voters in Wisconsin and nationwide. That’s a huge deal. It’s a huge risk to our democracy. And that’s why we’ve filed this lawsuit: we have to make sure this never happens again. These folks broke the law, and they need to be held accountable.”
Rabbi Bonnie Margulis of Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice also participated in today’s event, saying in part, “As people of faith, we believe in redemption and forgiveness. But there can be neither redemption nor forgiveness until and unless the perpetrators of this violence take responsibility for their actions and receive the just punishment they deserve. This goes for the people on the ground who carried out these actions, and those who incited, cheered, and egged on the mob, no matter who those people are. It is a basic tenet of our society that no person is above the law, not even the President.”