sen. Ron Johnson recently made two payments to a law firm led by a Wisconsin attorney embroiled in the Justice Department’s Jan. 6 investigation, partially tapping the company to aid in a potential recount, according to financial disclosures. submitted on Friday.
Johnson, R-Wis., has made the payments to the law firm headed by James Troupis, which has allegedly played a role in a plan to reverse the 2020 election results through the use of “fake voters,” which is now under investigation. by the federal government. Troupis, an attorney for Donald Trump’s campaign, led Trump’s failed recount attempts in Wisconsin.
The revelation comes as the senator’s public statements about whether he played a role in that plan — including what he said about his interactions with Troupis in the hours before the violent attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6 — are critical. are being investigated.
Johnson, locked in one of the closest Senate races in the nation against Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, has paid just over $20,000 in recent months to the Troupis Law Office in Cross Plains, Wis., according to new financial disclosures filed with the Federal Election Commission. Troupis is the director of the company.
On July 26, 2022, Johnson’s campaign paid $13,287 to Troupis Law for ‘legal advice’. On August 18, it paid $7,000 for what is in his financial records? as “Recount: Legal Advice.” Financial records suggest that the only other financial interactions between Troupis and Johnson occurred in 2010, when: Troupis donated $1,000 to Johnson’s campaign fund.
While campaigns sometimes prepare for different voting scenarios on Election Day, Johnson’s payment for legal advice on a potential recount to an outside law firm could be a sign that the senator expects the kind of dead-heat contest the state is known for on the battlefield. Johnson didn’t say whether he would accept the results of the November 8 election. Previous financial disclosures did not point to previous payments to the Troupis firm. The records show that he made regular payments, in total at least $30,000 in payments this yearto another law firm, Wiley Rein, for legal advice.
A message left with a law firm representing Troupis was not immediately returned on Monday, nor was there a phone message to the number that Troupis listed on the recount forms he filed on behalf of Trump in 2020. Other numbers publicly listed for Troupis Law Office do not appear to be connected or working.
Phone, email and text messages left with Johnson’s campaign were not returned immediately.
Earlier this year, Troupis was one of Trump’s attorneys and representatives named in government subpoenas the FBI issued to some fake voters in June, according to a source with direct knowledge of the investigation. The Washington Post also reported, citing documents released as part of a request for public records, that two Arizona state lawmakers had received subpoenas for any communications they may have with various Trump attorneys and representatives, including Troupis, “relating to any effort, plan or attempt to serve as elector.” The Washington Post also reported that around the same time — mid-June — several people in other states were getting subpoenas as part of the fake voter inquiry.
The alleged scheme had slates of Republicans sending forms to Washington confirming that Trump had won the 2020 election, despite his election loss in their states.
Johnson’s past financial disclosures also show that he received $8700 in donations during his 2022 campaign ffrom another Trump attorney, Kenneth Chesebroaccused in a Wisconsin civil lawsuit of playing a pivotal role in to orchestrate the attempt of the false voters. Chesebro, a New York attorney, has also been subpoenaed by a Fulton County, Georgia. grand jury investigates alleged attempts to reverse the 2020 election. A coalition of attorneys forming the Lawyers Defending American Democracy advocacy group has also recently asked New York attorney regulators to investigate Chesebro, calling him the “mastermind” behind the bogus electoral plot and violating New York’s ethical rules in the process.
In February, The New York Times published a memo dated November 18, 2020 of Chesebro addressed to Troupis, outlining the election strategy, also cited in the Wisconsin civil suit naming Troupis and Chesebro as defendants.
Chesebro did not respond to a request for comment. A lawyer for Chesebro, Adam S. Kaufmann, earlier told The Times that Chesebro offered a contingency plan to the Trump campaign if a court found evidence of fraud in battlefield states where Trump contested the results.
on May 11, Chesebro donated $5,800 to Johnson’s campaign, the maximum amount a person can contribute during the primaries, under FEC rules. On May 16, he donated another $2,900, which was credited to the general election.
Both Troupis and Chesebro were named in a May lawsuit in Wisconsin that: claims the two were protagonists in the broader plan to undo Biden’s win, which includes gathering 10 “false voters” to falsely confirm that Trump was Wisconsin’s rightful winner. That lawsuit alleges that Troupis was a link between the Trump campaign and the fake voters.
The House committee investigating the riots first made public communications between Johnson’s office and an aide to then-Vice President Mike Pence.. In June, the panel sent out text messages between a top Johnson aide and an aide to Pence about passing voter lists from Wisconsin and Michigan. Pence’s assistant turned down Johnson’s office, according to the texts.
The first payment to the firm of Troupis for legal advice, documented in the financial disclosures, came a month after Johnson recognized he personally texted Troupis on Jan. 6, 2021, about passing information regarding what Troupis said were “Wisconsin voters” to Pence.
Johnson has denied knowing anything about the fake voter scheme and appeared to distance himself from Troupis earlier this month.
“What would you do if you got a text from the attorney for the President of the United States?” Johnson said at a recent event in Milwaukee. “You react to it.”
According to testimony and documents obtained by the Jan. 6 Select Committee, the fake voter scheme sought to undermine Biden’s 2020 presidential victory by passing Pence lists of voters in battlefield states who claimed Trump was the rightful winner.
However, the plan backfired when Pence acknowledged Biden’s victory.