Johnson says the alternate electors he tried to give to Pence on January 6 came from Rep. Mike Kelly’s office.
Johnson has repeatedly denied direct involvement with the alternate selector scheme.
“We found out now this came from Pennsylvania Congressman Mike Kelly’s office,” Johnson said on a radio show.
Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin said on Thursday that Republican Rep. Mike Kelly’s office gave him an “alternate” slate of electors from Michigan and Wisconsin that his chief of staff tried to deliver to Vice President Mike Pence’s office on January 6, 2021.
In the January 6 committee’s fourth hearing on Tuesday, committee members laid out President Donald Trump and his allies’ plan to deliver an alternate slate of electors to Pence ahead of the counting and certification of the presidential election during a joint session of Congress.
At one point, the committee displayed a series of texts between Johnson’s chief of staff and a legislative aide to Pence in which Johnson’s staffer asked the aide where to send the slate of electors to Pence, saying “Johnson needs to hand something to VPOTUS.”
Pence’s aide denied him, responding “do not give that to him.”
Johnson has repeatedly denied being directly involved with the alternate electors scheme — his deputy chief of staff said it was simply a “staff to staff exchange.”
Speaking on The Vicki McKenna show on Thursday, Johnson railed against the House committee and its decision to show the text messages between his chief of staff and one of Pence’s legislative aides.
While defending himself during the radio hit, Johnson implicated Kelly’s office as the origin of the push in his own office to give the slate to Pence.
“We found out now this came from Pennsylvania Congressman Mike Kelly’s office,” Johnson said on the radio show.
Johnson also pointed to a recent report from Just The News reporter John Solomon, which said that a Trump campaign official requested Kelly’s help getting the alternate slate of electors to the vice president.
The report alleges that Kelly then reached out to Wisconsin lawyer James Troupis, who knows Johnson, in an effort to get the Wisconsin senator’s assistance in the alternate electors plot.
When asked for comment, Johnson’s office pointed to a tweet of his from Thursday afternoon directing readers to read the Just The News report.
“The 1/6 committee’s partisan witch-hunt is revealed,” Johnson said in a tweet. “They smeared me with partial and incomplete information. This sets the record straight. As I have been saying, it is a NON-story driven by corporate media that is complicit in spreading the Dems’ lies.”
Kelly’s press secretary, Matt Knoedler, flatly denied Johnson’s claims in a statement to Insider on Thursday evening.
“Senator Johnson’s statements about Representative Kelly are patently false,” Knoedler said. “Mr. Kelly has not spoken to Sen. Johnson for the better part of a decade, and he has no knowledge of the claims Mr. Johnson is making related to the 2020 election.”