Deputy Attorney General Says DOJ Looking Into Fake Trump Electors

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: US Senate staff carry boxes containing state Electoral College votes at the U.S. Capitol January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress will hold a joint session today to ratify President-el... WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: US Senate staff carry boxes containing state Electoral College votes at the U.S. Capitol January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress will hold a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. A group of Republican senators said they would reject the Electoral College votes of several states unless Congress appointed a commission to audit the election results. (Photo by Cheriss May/Getty Images)ppp MORE LESS

The deputy attorney general on Tuesday acknowledged that the department is looking into fake Electoral College certificates submitted by Trump supporters in the wake of the 2020 election. 

Law enforcement officials in multiple states have referred the fake certificates to federal authorities. 

“We’ve received those referrals,” Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco told CNN Tuesday. “Our prosecutors are looking at those and I can’t say anything more on ongoing investigations.” 

The fake certificates — from Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Wisconsin, New Mexico and Pennsylvania — were the result of groups of would-be Trump electors gathering in the wake of the last election and declaring that they, in fact, represented the true winner in their state. (The documents from New Mexico and Pennsylvania acknowledged that their electoral votes would only take effect in the result of the election being overturned.)

Attorneys general in Michigan and New Mexico said this month that they’d referred the fake documents to federal prosecutors. The congressional Jan. 6 Committee is also looking into the fakes.

The watchdog group American Oversight first published the documents in March last year, the result of a records request to the National Archives and Records Administration, but the fake slates gained new attention when MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow noted they appeared to follow a template, suggesting coordination between states. The Washington Post and CNN subsequently reported on that coordination, specifically that it was led by Rudy Giuliani and others in Trump’s orbit. 

It’s not clear if anyone will face legal consequences for the documents, which include signatures from prominent Republican political figures and party officials.

“What went on was certainly intentionally misleading,” Republican election lawyer Ben Ginsberg told NPR. “But I think it is one of those areas probably not contemplated by those who drafted the laws, so the specific statutes are not immediately obvious — as bad as this was.”

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