“The electors are already here — they’ve been checked in,” a state police officer told the group in Michigan, according to a video of the encounter, as he barred the Republicans from the Capitol in a state Biden won by more than 154,000 votes.
In Nevada, a state Biden had won by about 33,600 votes, a photo distributed by the state Republican Party showed Trump supporters squeezing around an undersize picnic table dressed up with a bit of bunting, preparing to sign formal certificates declaring that they were “the duly elected and qualified” electors of their state.
At the time, the gatherings seemed a slapdash, desperate attempt to mimic President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede.
But internal campaign emails and memos reveal that the convening of the fake electors appeared to be a much more concerted strategy, intended to give Vice President Mike Pence a reason to declare the outcome of the election was somehow in doubt on Jan. 6, 2021, when he was to preside over the congressional counting of the electoral college votes.
The documents show Trump’s team pushed ahead and urged the electors to meet — then pressured Pence to cite the alternate Trump slates — even as various Trump lawyers acknowledged privately they did not have legal validity and the gatherings had not been in compliance with state laws.
In a public hearing Thursday, the House committee investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 explored the end of the story — the pressure campaign placed on Pence to accept the Trump electors as somehow legitimate.
Committee members have said that Tuesday’s hearing will focus on what came before that, how the elector scheme was organized and the ways Trump pressured officials in swing states to go along with his false claims that Biden had lost.
“We’ll show evidence of the president’s involvement in this scheme,” committee member Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “We’ll also, again, show evidence about what his own lawyers came to think about this scheme. And we’ll show courageous state officials who stood up and said they wouldn’t go along with this plan to either call legislatures back into session or decertify the results for Joe Biden.”
The testimony and evidence presented by the committee will build on an argument it made in a federal court in…