Sen. Ron Johnson recently made two payments to a law firm led by a Wisconsin attorney involved in the Justice Department’s Jan. 6 investigation, in part to help with the recount, according to financial disclosure forms. presented on Friday.
Johnson, R-Wis., has paid a law firm led by James Troupis, who is accused of playing a role in a scheme to change the results of the 2020 election by using “fake voters” under the control of the commission. federal government. Troupis, a lawyer for Donald Trump’s campaign, led Trump’s unsuccessful recount effort in Wisconsin.
Johnson’s public statements about whether he had a role in the plot — including what he said about his interactions with Troupis in the hours before the deadly attack on the Capitol on January 6 , 2021 – they are investigating.
Johnson, who is locked in one of the closest Senate races in the country to Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, has paid a little more than $20,000 in the past few months to the Troupis Law Office in Cross Plains, Wis. , according to the latest financial statements filed. federal election commission. Troupis is the president of the company.
On July 26, Johnson’s campaign paid $13,287 to Troupis Law for “legal advice.” On August 18, he paid $7,000 to what was listed on his financial statements as “Recount: Legal Consulting.” Financial records show the only other financial interaction between Troupis and Johnson came in 2010, when Troupis contributed $1,000 to Johnson’s campaign fund.
As campaigns sometimes prepare for different election day conditions, Johnson’s hiring of legal counsel on a possible recount by an outside law firm could be a sign of what awaits the kind of heated race the state is known for. Johnson did not say whether he would accept the results of the November 8 election. The previous financial disclosure form does not show previous payments to Troupis. The records show that he made frequent payments, amounting to at least $30,000 this year, to a law firm, Wiley Rein, for legal consultation.
A law firm representing Troupis did not immediately return a message Monday or a phone call to the number he listed on the 2020 recount form he wrote on Trump’s behalf. Other numbers listed at Public statements from the Troupis Attorney’s Office appear to have been cut off. or they don’t work.
Reached for comment on Monday, a spokesman for Johnson’s campaign said, “We see no reason to engage in any form of defamation.”
Troupis was among the lawyers and Trump agents named this year in the FBI’s subpoena for some of the voter fraud in June, according to a source with direct knowledge of the investigation. The Washington Post also reported, citing documents released as part of a public records request, that two Arizona lawmakers have received subpoenas for all communications with Trump’s lawyers and representatives. various, including Troupis, “regarding any attempt. , plan, or attempt to act as a Election.” The newspaper also reported that around the same time – mid-June – summonses were sent to several people in other states as part of the election fraud investigation.
The alleged plan caused Republicans to send forms to Washington showing that Trump won the 2020 election, even though he lost in their states.
Johnson’s previous financial disclosure forms also show that during the 2022 campaign, he received $8,700 in donations from a Trump lawyer, Kenneth Chesebro, who is accused in a Wisconsin civil suit of collusion. false election campaign. Chesebro, a New York-based attorney, was also subpoenaed by a grand jury in the 2020 election subpoena in Fulton County, Georgia. A coalition of lawyers from the American Democratic Lawyers Association recently urged New York attorneys general to investigate Chesebro, calling him the “mastermind” behind the voter fraud scheme and accusing him of ethics violations. of New York in this process.
In February, The New York Times published a November 18, 2020, memo from Chesebro to Troupis outlining his election strategy, which was also cited in a Wisconsin civil lawsuit that named Troupis and Chesebro as accused.
Chesebro did not respond to a request for comment. Previously, Chesebro’s lawyer, Adam S. Kaufmann, told The Times that Chesebro is offering a one-day plan to the Trump campaign if the court finds evidence of fraud in states where Trump is contesting the results.
On May 11, Chesebro donated $5,800 to Johnson’s campaign, the maximum amount a person can give during the primary under FEC rules. On May 16, he gave an additional $2,900, which was donated to the general election.
Troupis and Chesebro were named in a lawsuit filed in May in Wisconsin that alleges they were key players in a massive conspiracy to reverse Joe Biden’s victory that included recruiting 10 “fake voters” to make lie that Trump is the one who deserves to win the Wisconsin election. The lawsuit alleges that Troupis was a link between the Trump campaign and voter fraud.
The House committee investigating the riots has begun releasing communications between Johnson’s office and an aide to then-Vice President Mike Pence. In June, the committee released text messages between Johnson’s top aide and a Pence aide about the passage of the Wisconsin and Michigan ballots. Pence’s deputy criticized Johnson’s office, according to the transcript.
The first payment to Troupis’ firm for legal consultation documented in the financial disclosure form was made a month after Johnson admitted that he personally wrote to Troupis on January 6, 2021, about submitting the information that they included what Troupis said were “Wisconsin voters” for Pence. .
Johnson has denied knowing anything about the election fraud, and this month he appeared to distance himself from Troupis.
“What would you do if you got a letter from the US president’s attorney?” Johnson said at a recent event in Milwaukee. “Reply to him.”
According to testimony and documents obtained by a House committee on January 6, the fraudulent election process sought to undermine Biden’s 2020 presidential victory by giving Pence slates of voters in battleground states that claim that Trump is qualified.
The plan failed, however, with Pence recognizing Biden’s victory.