Former Pence adviser warns of concerted GOP effort to steal the 2024 election

A former advisor to Vice President Mike Pence on the day of the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection says the efforts former President Donald Trump and Republicans nationwide are implementing now to try to steal the 2024 election are far more aggressive and ambitious than their failed attempt in 2020.

That's the warning from J. Michael Luttig in an opinion piece for CNN. Luttig was appointed by President George H. W. Bush and served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit for 15 years. Based on his close proximity to Pence as an advisor, he says the attempted Trump coup in 2020 only should be considered a "dry run" for 2024.

"January 6 was never about a stolen election or even about actual voting fraud," he writes. "It was always and only about an election that Trump lost fair and square, under legislatively promulgated election rules in a handful of swing states that he and other Republicans contend were unlawfully changed by state election officials and state courts."

He calls the GOP claims of a stolen election nothing more than a "shiny object" that Republicans are using to distract the American public from their far more sinister plans for 2024.

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According to Luttig, "As it stands today, Trump, or his anointed successor, and the Republicans are poised, in their word, to 'steal' from Democrats the presidential election in 2024 that they falsely claim the Democrats stole from them in 2020. But there is a difference between the falsely claimed 'stolen' election of 2020 and what would be the stolen election of 2024. Unlike the Democrats' theft claimed by Republicans, the Republicans' theft would be in open defiance of the popular vote and thus the will of the American people: poetic, though tragic, irony for America's democracy."

He also notes that Republicans are working furiously to elect Trump supporters to the Senate and House so they can amass the votes necessary to overturn the upcoming election in Congress. "Forewarned is to be forearmed," Luttig writes.