Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) revealed that Republican senators attended a meeting on Jan. 4, 2021, that pitched a plot to seize electronic voting machines. The meeting presentation also included false claims that there was foreign interference in the 2020 election.
The Washington Post revealed in an extensive report that President Donald Trump's allies attempted to use NSA data to prove a stolen election. But buried in the piece was Sen. Cramer outing Trump and his allies for yet another attempt to pressure elected GOP members into handing him the election.
"Cramer and Sen. Cynthia M. Lummis (R-WY) joined some two dozen others crammed into a ground-floor hotel conference room to discuss election fraud allegations, according to Cramer and an aide to Lummis," the Post reported. "Participants recalled that [Sen. Ron] Johnson (R-WI) also attended, via videoconference. The details of the meeting, which took place two days before the attack on the U.S. Capitol, have not been previously reported. The meeting was similar to a briefing held in a congressional office building the next day for members of the House."
The presenters offered "some of the most fantastical claims" about the 2020 election, Cramer told the Post. It included the claim "that the 2020 vote had been influenced by foreign powers and that proper investigation required gaining access to voting machines around the country."
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"They wanted to get the machines," Cramer recalled. He told the Post that the presentation included claims of election meddling by China and Venezuela. He explained that there were a "lot of theories but not a lot of evidence."
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell told the crowd that they needed Republicans to delay the election certification so they could probe the results in key states.
"We were hoping that the senators would give it 10 more days to give it back to the states," Lindell admitted to the Post. "We were in an anomaly in history. We still are."
The meeting was just another piece of a long-running campaign by Trump and his allies to convince officials to step in to hand him the election. The relentless, weeks-long efforts came from "high-level U.S. officials," the report said.
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Self-proclaimed technical consultants and intelligence experts flooded officials with phone calls and meetings in a kind of coordinated pressure campaign. They largely focused on the House, because Trump has more loyal supporters, but they still needed at least one Senator to object. They got what they needed when Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) told Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) that he would defy orders not to challenge the election.
Cramer said that there were several who reached out with what they claimed was "evidence," attempting to persuade him.
"I didn’t know any of them," he said. "I had never met them before in my life."
Each of those "experts" attending pushed to get the voting machines for their own investigation.
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“The whole point was getting a message to the president and the vice president on what they should be doing to stop the certification,” Cramer said, noting that the arguments weren't compelling.
“Honestly, I was not impressed by these people,” Cramer confessed. He said he attended the meeting because his friend Mike Lindell asked. He also brought along his wife.
Johnson also confirmed that he attended the meeting remotely, saying he had a hearing about the election and wanted to "continue to gather information."
Both Cramer and Johnson ultimately voted to certify the election on Jan. 6.
Read the full report at the Washington Post.
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