Ex-Pence aide Short: 'No reason to believe' Johnson directly involved in alternative electors plan

Short said Senate parliamentarian says the submitting of alternative electors happens every presidential election.

Updated: June 27, 2022 - 8:47am

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The former chief of staff for Vice President Mike Pence said Sunday he doesn't believe GOP Sen. Ron Johnson was involved in trying to pass along a set of alternative electorates just before he was to certify the 2020 presidential election, as the Democrat-led House committee investigating a riot of Capitol Hill that day has alleged. 

"I have no reason to believe that the senator was directly involved," the former top aide Marc Short said on CBS's "Face the Nation."

Short also reiterated what appears to have been the sequence of event on that day – Jan. 6, 2021 – in which  Pence's director of legislative affairs told a staffer for the Wisconsin senator in a text message not to deliver a set of alternative electors, which if accepted could have changed the outcome of the race that incumbent GOP President Trump lost to Democrat challenger Joe Biden.

Short also said the Senate parliamentarian, who leads the process of certifying the results of presidential elections, told him and others that attempts to submit alternative electorates "happens, every cycle, that members send in separate fake sets of electors, every time, every four years.

"They come into the archives of the parliamentarian, and they dismiss them. If they're not certified, it's kind of meaningless. ... what happens is that individuals across the country can send in their own set. They do it all the time. It means nothing, though, unless the state has certified it."

He also told CBS: "So we intentionally were like, 'No, there's no interest in seeing a separate set that has not been certified by the state of Wisconsin.' "

The Jan. 6 committee made the allegation against Johnson last week in the release of select text messages between his chief of staff and at least one top Pence aides suggesting there was a plot hatched to hand an envelope of alternate Trump electors to the vice president for the state of Wisconsin.

A review by Just the News of the full slate of text messages and interviews with people involved showed Johnson never handed any such alternate electors’ slate to Pence. In fact, Johnson’s staff got an urgent request, quickly researched it and stood down, specifically telling the senator he should not do it.

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