GOP U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson is already gearing up for a recount in his reelection bid, including a payment to the firm of a Wisconsin attorney who led Donald Trump’s unsuccessful effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
Johnson’s campaign paid $7,000 to Troupis Law Office in mid-August that was earmarked recount legal consulting, according to the Oshkosh Republican’s filing with the FEC over the weekend.
The law office is headed by attorney Jim Troupis, who led Trump’s recount of the results in heavily Dem Dane and Milwaukee counties in 2020 as well as a lawsuit that sought to throw out 221,000 ballots cast there.
Troupis also was involved in the effort to present an alternate slate of electors for Wisconsin backing Trump even though Joe Biden was certified the winner of the state’s presidential contest.
Johnson has acknowledged texting with Troupis on Jan. 6, 2021 as the lawmaker’s staff sought to deliver the false slate of electors to then-Vice President Mike Pence. The Oshkosh Republican has downplayed his role in the effort.
Maddy McDaniel, a spokesperson for Dem Mandela Barnes’ campaign, knocked Johnson’s connection to Troupis’ firm.
“Ron Johnson is hell-bent on holding onto power through any means possible so that he can continue delivering tax breaks to his wealthiest donors, follow through on his plan to put Social Security on the chopping block, and rip away women’s reproductive rights,” she said. “Whether Johnson likes it or not, Wisconsinites will send him packing in November.”
NBC News first reported the payment to Troupis’ firm.
Separately, WisPolitics.com identified thousands in donations Johnson received between July 21-Sept. 30 that were designated for a recount.
A transfer of $71,780 from Johnson’s joint fundraising account, Ron Johnson Victory, was among those earmarked for a recount. More than 1,200 contributions listed on Johnson’s filing included a similar designation.
A search of Barnes’ report found no similar earmarks for a recount.
“As anyone who works on campaigns in this state knows, close elections in Wisconsin are the rule, not the exception,” said Johnson spokesperson Ben Voelkel. “It would be reckless to be unprepared for any possible circumstance – and this campaign has been preparing for months for just that.”
See Johnson’s filing: