Sen. Ron Johnson Urged to Resign After Jan. 6 Hearing

On Jan. 6, aide told Pence team senator wanted to submit different list of electors
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2022 4:55 PM CDT
Johnson Allegedly Wanted to Give Pence Fake Elector List
Sen. Ron Johnson speaks during a hearing on Sept. 21, 2021.   (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via AP, File)

(Newser) – Opponents called for Sen. Ron Johnson to resign Tuesday after it emerged at the Jan. 6 hearings that the Republican had allegedly planned to hand then-Vice President Mike Pence a list of fake pro-Trump electors minutes before Pence started certifying results on Jan. 6, 2021. Text message obtained by the committee investigating the Capitol riot showed that Johnson aide Sean Riley told Chris Hodgson, Pence's legislative director, that Johnson needed to hand Pence an "alternate slate of electors" for Wisconsin and Michigan, Politico reports. "Do not give that to him," Hodgson replied.

The Wisconsin senator, who had initially planned to object to accepting the state's 10 electors for Biden, did not object when the session resumed hours after the riot. Wisconsin Democrats slammed the senator after hearing Tuesday's evidence, the AP reports. "Ron Johnson actively tried to undermine this democracy," Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes said in a statement.. "He literally tried to hand Mike Pence fake ballots. Once again, Ron Johnson has proven he’s a danger to our country and our fundamental rights." Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry called Johnson a "seditious traitor."

Johnson spokesperson press secretary Alexa Henning, however, denied that he had been involved in a plot to overturn the election, the Washington Post reports. "The senator had no involvement in the creation of an alternate slate of electors and had no foreknowledge that it was going to be delivered to our office," Henning tweeted. "This was a staff to staff exchange." Other evidence presented Tuesday showed that Trump's team wanted to have paperwork on the fake electors flown to Washington, the AP reports. "Freaking Trump idiots want someone to fly original elector papers to the senate President," Mark Jefferson, executive director of the Wisconsin Republican Party, said in a Jan. 4 message. "They’re going to call one of us to tell us just what the hell is going on." (Read more Jan. 6 hearings stories.)

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