The Department of Justice is also investigating allegations that pro-Trump electors in Wisconsin and several other states conspired to cast electoral ballots for Trump in states that Biden won.
Wisconsin residents have filed a lawsuit against a coalition of Republican “electors” who tried to cast ballots for Donald Trump even after the former president lost the state to Joe Biden.
According to The Hill, the lawsuit alleges that at least a dozen named defendants actively tried to circumvent American democracy by casting electoral ballots for Trump after Biden won the Badger State.
“This is not how we do elections in the United States,” said Mary McCord, executive director of the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown University. The Institute, adds The Hill, is one of several organizations behind the lawsuit. “When your candidate loses, you don’t just get to go and vote and submit your ballots as though your candidate won.”
In their 55-page complaint, the Institute and its allies claims that the plan to cast electoral votes for Trump—while ultimately unsuccessful—was in violation of state and federal law.
The plaintiffs are now asking the court to find that some Republicans effectively usurped the role of Wisconsin’s 10 electors for Biden.
By trying to cast ballots for Trump, the lawsuit says, the conservative defendants intentionally neglected the right of voters to elect the candidate of their choice.
“Although Defendants were unsuccessful in having their fake ballots counted, they caused significant harm simply by trying, and there is every reason to believe that they will try again if given the opportunity,” the lawsuit says. “Defendants actions also violated a host of state and federal laws. Thus far, however, none of the fraudulent electors has been held accountable. This lawsuit seeks to change that.”
Speaking to The Guardian, McCord said that the Wisconsin scheme—alongside similar plots in other battleground states—contributed to the false narrative that Democrats rigged the 2020 presidential election against Trump.
“Their fraudulently submitted electoral votes fed into the false narrative that was relied on by those who violently attacked the US Capitol on January 6, halting the counting of the legitimate Electoral College votes,” Mary McCord said. “As important as it is that we hold accountable those responsible for that attack, it’s just as vital that we demand accountability for those whose fraudulent activity undermined the electoral process and weakened our democracy.”
The Hill notes that the pro-Trump electors’ plan ultimately failed when then-Vice President Mike Pence refused to reject Wisconsin’s valid electoral votes.
The Department of Justice and House of Representatives committee investigating the January 6th riots outside the United States Capitol have also announced a probe into the plot.