MADISON, Wis. – A new report shows that Senator Ron Johnson was more involved in trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election results than was previously known. On January 4th, 2021, two days before Ron Johnson planned to delay the presidential election certification, Johnson met with Trump officials and other conspiracy theorists to try to make up cases of voter fraud that did not exist.
“Instead of protecting U.S. democracy and Wisconsinites’ constitutional right to vote, Ron Johnson met behind closed doors with political allies to push his self-serving agenda. Wisconsinites have seen time and time again that when it matters the most, Ron Johnson is only concerned with himself and not what is best for the state and country,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Senate Communications Advisor Philip Shulman.
Read more below.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Ron Johnson participated in a Jan. 4, 2021, session at a Trump hotel on the potential delay of the election certification
Ron Johnson was one of three Republican U.S. senators to attend a Jan. 4, 2021, meeting convened by MyPillow chief executive Mike Lindell as loyalists to then-President Donald Trump sought to gather information and rally support to delay certification of President Joe Biden’s election victory.
The Post reported: “What the senators heard from a handful of presenters were some of the most fantastical claims among those alleging that the election had been stolen — including, according to Cramer, that the 2020 vote had been influenced by foreign powers and that proper investigation required gaining access to voting machines around the country.”
The meeting came two days before the Jan. 6 insurrection, when pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol. Congress reconvened and certified the election results. Johnson was among those who voted in favor of certification, after first indicating that he planned to join with 10 other Republican senators in objecting to the certification.
On Dec. 16, 2020, Johnson, then head of the U.S. Senate’s homeland security committee, held a hearing on the election.
“The senator’s hearing was part of what should be ongoing congressional oversight meant to transparently address that problem,” a Johnson spokesperson said. “Following the hearing, he and his staff continued to gather information and consider allegations, that is why he joined the meeting.
In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Lindell said: “I called the meeting, a few people came in and did a presentation on what they had for election fraud. And that was it.”
My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell speaks before President Donald Trump’s campaign appearance Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, at the La Crosse County Fairgrounds in West Salem.
Lindell, who has pushed false conspiracies about the 2020 election, said he never spoke individually with Johnson but praised him.
“Ron Johnson cares about Wisconsin, cares about the United States and cares about our future,” Lindell said.
Asked whether he considered Johnson to be an ally, Lindell said:
“I believe he is an ally of the American people. Whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, he is for the people and wants to have fair elections going forward.”
The Post also reported the existence of a Dec. 18, 2020, memo circulated by Trump allies that advocated using data from the National Security Agency and Defense Department in an effort to show foreign interference in the election.
Johnson’s office was among those to receive the memo, the Post reported.
“Staff received the memo on January 13 and took no further action,” a Johnson spokesperson said. “The request from the Washington Post was the senator’s first knowledge of this memo, he has not seen it.”