MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Democratic U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan on Friday asked U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland for a Justice Department investigation into 10 Republican electors who submitted false paperwork last year saying former President Donald Trump had won in the battleground state.
President Joe Biden carried Wisconsin by just under 21,000 votes. The Republicans who met have defended the move, saying they were submitting the votes in case Trump’s loss was overturned by the courts.
Pocan said it was imperative for the Justice Department to act “to deter other officials who may seek to engage in election fraud.” He urged Garland to act quickly “for Wisconsin, for the Department, and for the nation.”
Earlier this week, an assistant Milwaukee County prosecutor responded to a year-old complaint filed by a liberal law firm based in Madison seeking an investigation. The letter to Law Forward attorney Jeffrey Mandell said it was up to state and federal authorities to decide whether to conduct such a probe.
Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul, a Democrat, has not ruled out a state investigation and has also called on federal prosecutors to consider one.
Republicans in seven states — Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — submitted paperwork to the U.S. Senate and National Archives saying they believe Trump actually won, even though he didn’t. New Mexico and Pennsylvania Republicans added a caveat saying it was done in case they were later recognized as duly elected, qualified electors.
Michigan’s and New Mexico’s attorneys general have asked federal prosecutors to investigate the Republican officials’ false filings.