In trying to install himself in the White House for another term against the will of the American people, former President Donald Trump and his allies employed a varying array of tactics.
They riled up their base through a constant onslaught of disinformation in bumbling press conferences and sham hearings. They applied pressure to local election officials including Georgia's Republican Secretary of State. As the January 6 joint congressional session nationally certifying Biden's victory loomed closer, a new effort emerged, and it would all come down to a decision by then-Vice President Mike Pence.
When a presidential candidate wins the popular vote in a state, that candidate's party appoints electors to cast the state's electoral votes, which are then typed up in a certificate of ascertainment, signed by the state's governor, and sent to the National Archives.
But amid Republican fantasies of a "stolen" election, Republicans in Wisconsin, Arizona, Michigan, and other states declared themselves electors. Trump and his allies falsely insisted that this illegitimate declaration from Republicans meant that there were dueling slates of electors. Trump lawyer John Eastman of the Claremont Institute argued in a memo on Trump's behalf that if there were dueling slates of electors, Pence had the right to toss those states' electoral votes—lowering the threshold for an electoral majority, taking crucial electoral votes from Biden, and securing a second term for Trump.
Thankfully, Pence agreed with the vast majority of legal scholars that the Vice President doesn't have the power to singlehandedly decide a national election, but Americans should still be concerned.
The folks at American Oversight found that Republicans in multiple states didn't just declare themselves electors, but actually forged electoral documents, including some with the state seal, and sent them to the National Archives, presenting them as legitimate electoral votes.
The similarity of each of these forged documents across a variety of states suggests a level of coordination. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow pointed out earlier this month that Jeffery Clark, a Trump loyalist in the Department of Justice, sent a memo including a claim that multiple states had submitted electoral votes for Trump—a claim that turned out to be true.
This prompted Maddow to ask:
"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 in the same font, in the same spacing, with the exact same language. So, somebody helped them do it."
Now, leaked audio obtained by CNN of the Michigan Republican Party's co-chair—Meshawn Maddock—may lead the country closer to an answer.
Maddock says in the video:
"We fought to seat the electors. Um, the Trump campaign asked us to do that -- under a lot of scrutiny for that today."
Maddock made the comments at a public gathering for the conservative Stand Up Michigan. The CNN article goes on to describe two additional sources claiming that Trump's team was responsible for directly choreographing the illegitimate elector plot.
A former Trump campaign staffer told the outlet:
"It was [Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani] and these misfit characters who started calling the shots. The campaign was throwing enough sh*t at the wall to see what would stick."
These revelations, for some, present a turning point in the Trump campaign's culpability for the effort to steal the election—and maybe even the deadly failed insurrection that emerged from it.
They definitely want to see Giuliani answer for what was happening.
More revelations regarding the effort will likely emerge.