A group of fake Michigan electors who said they worked for the Trump campaign planned to hide out in the state Capitol overnight in order to cast electoral votes for the former president, according to testimony from a hearing of the January 6 House Select Committee.
The committee said that since the scheme involved fake electors, those taking part in some states had no way of following state election laws, such as being in the state capitol to cast their votes.
One group of fake electors considered hiding in the capitol overnight to ensure that they had access to the building, which is required in Michigan.
Laura Cox, the former Michigan Republican Party Chair, told the committee during a pre-recorded deposition that she was told that the “Michigan Republican electors were planning to meet in the Capitol and hide overnight so that they could fulfil the role of casting their vote, per law, in the Michigan chambers”.
Ms Cox said she responded that the plan was “insane and inappropriate”.
The committee said that Mr Trump’s own White House office of legal counsel found the scheme of using fake electors to be illegal.
During a pre-recorded deposition, a committee staffer asked a former aide to Trump chief of staff Mike Meadows if she heard the White House Counsel “say that this plan to have alternate electors meet and cast votes for Donald Trump in states that he had lost was not legally sound”.
“Yes,” Cassidy Hutchinson confirmed to the committee, adding that Mr Meadows, Mr Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, and “a few of Mr Giuliani’s associates” were present at that meeting.
The committee obtained an email from two days after the election in which Trump campaign lawyer Cleta Mitchell asked fellow Trump attorney John Eastman: “John – What do you think of producing a legal memo outlining the constitutional role of state legislators in designating electors?”
During a pre-recorded deposition, Ms Mitchell was asked by a House Select Committee staffer when she remembered the strategy coming up for the first time.
“Right after the election. It might have been before the election,” she said.
Mr Eastman wrote a memo outlining the tactic, which was sent to the Trump White House, the legal team of Mr Trump’s then-personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and state lawmakers.
Mr Eastman also went before the Georgia legislature to push the strategy.
“You could also do what the Florida legislature was prepared to do,” he said on 3 December 2020. “Which is to adopt a slate of electors yourselves.”
He said that because of what he claimed to be evidence of “outright election fraud”, it was not only within their “authority” but that it was their “duty to do that”.