The revelation comes amid an investigation by the House Judiciary Committee on January 6th.
The Justice Department is looking into allegations of forged Electoral College certifications from 2020 that claimed Republicans were the electors voting for Donald Trump and Mike Pence when Democrats had won and voted for President Biden and Vice President Harris.
Initially, the investigation focused on documents that came to light as a result of the House January 6 Committee’s investigation.
“Those recommendations have been received. Our prosecutors are looking into them, and I can’t comment further on ongoing investigations “Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco stated. The specifics of the DOJ investigation are unknown, with Monaco only stating that the DOJ “will follow the facts and the law wherever they lead, to address conduct of any kind and at any level that is part of an assault on our democracy.”
Several reports have pointed to allegedly forged documents obtained by the watchdog group American Oversight, which included paperwork from Republican slates in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Nevada, Georgia, New Mexico, and Arizona.
According to the website of American Oversight, the documents are “fake electoral certificates” for “bogus slates of pro-Trump electors.” Republicans in each of the states had made it clear that they intended to have electors lined up in the event that legal challenges to the election results were successful.
According to the Pennsylvania certificate, the Republican slate gathered and voted “under the understanding that if, as a result of a final non-appealable Court Order or other proceeding prescribed by law, we are eventually recognized as the duly elected and qualified Electors[.]”
The Pennsylvania GOP said in a press release that Republicans were working with the Trump campaign.
“The Republican presidential electors met today in Harrisburg at the request of the Trump campaign to cast a conditional vote for Donald Trump and Mike Pence for President and Vice President, respectively,” Trump campaign Pennsylvania chair Bernie Comfort said in a Dec. 14, 2020, statement. According to Comfort, the vote was a “procedural vote to preserve any legal claims that may be presented going forward” and was “in no way an attempt to usurp or contest the will of the Pennsylvania voters.”
Similarly, in Wisconsin, Republican electors met “in accordance with statutory guidelines to preserve our role in the electoral process with the final outcome still pending in the courts,” according to state GOP chair Andrew Hitt at the time. The Georgia Republican Party stated at the time that they were running a Republican slate because “the election contest is still ongoing.”
Both the Republican parties in New Mexico and Arizona cited the 1960 election, in which Hawaii’s electors were certified for Republican Richard Nixon, but only for a total of votes later indicating that President John F. Kennedy won the state.
“Of course, there is precedent for our Republican electors meeting on December 14, even as the Democrat electors for Arizona meet elsewhere,” the Arizona GOP said in a December 2020 press release, pointing out that Democratic electors met in 1960 at the same time Republican electors met. “In the end, President Kennedy received Hawaii’s electoral votes, despite the fact that he did not win the state until 11 days after his electors cast their ballots.”
In December 2020, the New Mexico Republican Party stated, “Just as the Democrat Electors met in Hawaii in 1960 while awaiting a final resolution of that State’s vote, so too the Republican Electors met this year on December 14 as we await a final resolution of New Mexico’s five electoral votes.”
Republicans in Georgia also claimed to have their own electors because “the election contest is still ongoing.” Republicans in Nevada said they would provide their own slate if Congress had the opportunity to decide the election.
Local media in Michigan reported on Republican electors attempting to hold their own vote at the state Capitol. Attorney Ian Northon, who was reportedly with Republican state lawmakers who attempted to bring the electors inside, stated that the GOP sent papers to Congress “in case the state Legislature decides to replace Democratic electors.”
Aside from the Republican efforts, which they claimed were part of their legal challenges at the time, one separate group in Arizona has been accused of wrongdoing.