The Republican National Committee helped former President Donald Trump assemble alternative electors to contest the certification of the 2020 election, the House Jan. 6 committee revealed on Tuesday.
The revelation was made during a hearing when the committee played a video of a deposition from RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel.
Mrs. McDaniel told the committee the RNC was asked by one of Mr. Trump’s aides in late 2020 to help gather “contingent electors in case any of the legal challenges that were ongoing changed the result of any of the states.”
“More just helping them reach out and assemble them,” said Mrs. McDaniel. “My understanding is that the campaign did take the lead and we just were helping them in that role.”
The RNC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In the aftermath of the 2020 race, Mr. Trump’s campaign challenged the results in several swing states. They alleged that the vote-by-mail laws passed during the coronavirus pandemic had resulted in impropriety.
As part of the challenge, the campaign assembled slates of alternative electors in seven states where the results were in dispute in case a late court challenge reversed the outcome in Mr. Trump’s favor.
The committee members, however, said the role of the alternate electors was significantly more nefarious. They allege that the Trump campaign plotted to have the alternative electors enter state houses and disrupt the approval of electors pledged to President Biden.
“This campaign convinced these fake electors to cast and submit the votes through fake certificates telling them that their votes would only be used in the event President Trump won the legal challenges,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, California Democrat. “Yet when the president lost those legal challenges, when courts rejected them as frivolous and without merit, the fake elector scheme continued.”