Loyalists of former President Donald Trump attempted to certify the Electoral College in favor of the defeated candidate with forged documents, according to new reporting by MSNBC host Rachel Maddow.
Trump loyalists forged documents in at least five states where Joe Biden had defeated Trump and submitted them for certification, according to Maddow.
The forgeries do not look like the uniquely printed paperwork that states submit, Maddow noted, but they used very specific language purporting that those who signed it were the “duly elected and qualified Electors for President and Vice President of the United States of America” — even though they were not.
“It’s not like they created these documents to like, hold close to their chest and fantasize that this had been the real outcome,” Maddow said. “It’s not like they created these documents just to keep [for] themselves as keepsakes. They sent them into the government, as if they were real documents.”
Maddow also said that the effort to flip the election in Trump’s favor appeared to be coordinated. The faked documents “all match, exactly,” Maddow observed. “Same formatting, same font, same spacing, almost the exact same wording. All of them.”
Later in the program, the MSNBC host connected these documents to a draft letter, written by a Department of Justice (DOJ) official loyal to Trump named Jeffrey Clark, which “explicitly describes these forged slates of electors from multiple states” as part of a plan to keep the former president in office. It was unusual, Maddow said, that Clark was aware that these states had made these types of moves before he suggested the idea to Trump and his allies.
“How did [Clark] know that, two weeks earlier, Republicans in at least five states had in fact created these forged electoral documents?” Maddow asked. “Did the Trump Justice Department know about it because they helped Republicans in those states do it? We don’t know, but somebody helped them do it, because they all filed the exact same document.”
Other documents unearthed in the past year have detailed similar strategies designed by Trump allies to overturn the election. In one such document, Trump’s former lawyer John Eastman devised a six-point plan that relied upon “multiple slates of electors” being used to create confusion in the Electoral College certification process. Former Vice President Mike Pence could then use that confusion to force a vote in the House of Representatives, where Trump would then win the presidency, Eastman said.
Weeks after the election was called for Biden, Trump aide Stephen Miller also said in December that the campaign’s next step to challenging the election’s outcome was to submit false certificates of ascertainment stating that Trump won in states where he hadn’t.
“An alternate slate of electors in contested states is going to vote and we’re going to send those results up to Congress,” Miller said at the time. “This will ensure that all of our legal remedies remain open. That means if we win these cases in the courts, that we can direct that the alternate slate of electors be certified.”