SPARTANBURG, S.C. — While touting his anti-abortion credentials, former Vice President Mike Pence said the country could see a "fresh start" if the Supreme Court follows through on a leaked draft opinion and overturns Roe v. Wade. But Pence, a 2024 potential presidential candidate, added that he's not thinking about the political implications of such a court decision ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. "Having been involved in the cause of the right-to-life for all of my adult life, politics is the least of my concerns, that we have a historic opportunity to restore the sanctity of life to th...
Stories Chosen For You
NBC 26 reporter Nina Sparano challenged Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) on his role in a plot to overthrow the 2020 presidential election results.
Johnson has previously said that his participation in the plot lasted only "seconds."
During an interview with NBC 26 this week, Johnson deflected questions about the Jan. 6 riot by pointing to violent protests that occurred during the summer of 2020.
"The news media focuses all on one day, which I condemned repeatedly," the senator said.
Sparano pressed Johnson on his participation in presenting an alternate slate of electors to then-Vice President Mike Pence in order to overturn the election results.
"I had virtually — you can't — I had no involvement," Johnson stuttered. "I received either three texts and I sent two texts or the other way around. My involvement, you know, my lack of involvement was seconds worth of texting."
"But that's still involvement," Sparano pointed out.
"But, you know, I was — was texted there had — something had to be delivered to the vice president," Johnson said. "I didn't know what it was. And was there somebody that could help arrange delivery? So then I talked to my chief of staff and he took care of it."
Johnson said he eventually discovered that Pence refused to accept the alternate slate of electors.
"That's the end of story," he insisted.
"But if he would have said yes, go ahead and deliver it, you didn't know what it was?" Sparano pressed.
"What — what — what would you do if you get a call from the president of the United States' lawyer wanting to get something to the vice president?" Johnson replied.
"But you didn't know what it was," the reporter pointed out. "Wouldn't you want to inquire what something is to hand to the vice president of the United States?"
"I didn't hand anything to the [vice president]," Johnson said. "I wasn't involved."
"But if he would have said sure," Sparano posited.
"I wasn't involved. You can make it seem — I wasn't involved," the senator repeated. "A couple texts. I few seconds of my time! I couldn't even remember what I had done, which is why it took a little while to piece it all together but, you know, we pieced it all together. I received three texts and I sent two."
Sparano wondered if Johnson's chief of staff went "rogue" in participating in the fake electors plot.
"He'd been to the White House," Johnson explained. "He knew these people. And they asked him to arrange and deliver something to the vice president. He contacted the people he knew. The vice president says we're not accepting anything. End of story."
"So, he knew what he was doing," Sparano observed.
"We weren't doing anything!" Johnson gasped. "Were we supposed to deliver something or not? Did the vice president want it? The vice president didn't. We didn't deliver anything."
Johnson went on to complain that the media was "trying to turn this into a story." He also refused to say whether he would testify if subpoenaed.
"There's nothing to subpoena me about," he asserted.
Watch the video below.
'Incredibly alarming': Republican poll worker in Michigan charged with tampering with voting equipment
A Michigan poll worker has been charged after a witness saw him inserting a USB drive into an electronic poll book after the Aug. 2 statewide primary, the Detroit Free Press reports.
James Holkeboer, an election inspector at the Gaines Township 8th Precinct, has been charged with falsifying records under election law and using a computer to commit a crime.
As Detroit Free Press points out, poll books contain voter registration data that includes personal and confidential information that election workers use to oversee elections at their precincts.
Holkeboer registered with the county as a Republican, according to Michigan Radio. Detroit Free Press reported that "an individual with the same name served as an alternate delegate for the 3rd Congressional District at the Michigan Republican Party's State Endorsement Convention earlier this year."
Kent County Clerk Lisa Posthumus Lyons says the incident did not result in any unwarranted access to voting machines or election results.
"(T)his incident is extremely egregious and incredibly alarming. Not only is it a violation of Michigan law, but it is a violation of public trust and of the oath all election workers are required to take," Posthumus Lyons said.
"Let me be very clear: voter fraud and illegal election activity in Kent County will not be tolerated. Our citizens deserve to have faith in their elections and in those who work them. I will do everything possible to keep Kent County’s elections secure, transparent, fair, and accurate. If someone or something threatens that, we will take aggressive action to protect our elections and hold those responsible accountable."
She said the Kent County Clerk's Office will conduct a post-election audit of the precinct and the poll book in question will be replaced.
A spokesperson for Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said in a statement to the Free Press, "we take seriously all violations of election law and will continue to work with the relevant authorities to assure there are consequences for those who break the law ... Michigan voters can be confident that their votes will be counted accurately and securely.”
Conservative activists are challenging the eligibility of tens of thousands of voters under a law passed last year by the Republican-controlled state legislature.
In-person voting starts Oct. 17 in Georgia, where Democrat Stacey Abrams is challenging Gov. Brian Kemp in a rematch and Republican Herschel Walker is battling Sen. Raphael Warnock in a race that could determine which party controls the U.S. Senate, and voting rights activists say conservatives are trying to purge the voter rolls, reported CNN.
“It’s a scary time for our democracy,” said Aklima Khondoker, New Georgia Project’s chief legal officer. “Anybody in your neighborhood, for whatever their reasons are, can challenge your voter eligibility.”
New Georgia Project says 64,000 voters have been challenged across the state -- which is far greater than the 21,000-vote margin President Joe Biden won over Donald Trump in 2020 -- and at least 1,800 voters have been removed from the rolls.
“There’s a growing segment of the country that seems to believe lies that they have been told about the 2020 election and that has them distrusting election officials,” said Sean Morales-Doyle, director of the voting rights program at the Brennan Center for Justice.
Khondoker's group fears the challengers are most likely to affect minority voters, who played a key role in making Biden the first Democrat to win the state in decades, and elections officials fear the challenges will overwhelm their staffers weeks before the votes are even cast.
“My biggest concern probably is burning out the staff sooner in the cycle,” said Zach Manifold, head of the elections office in Gwinnett County. “Then, it makes it harder and harder to run a quality election as we get closer to Election Day.”