When the Electoral College met in 2020 to certify votes in that year’s presidential election, Jim Lamon—now running for an Arizona seat in the U.S. Senate—signed his name to a document declaring himself an elector for President Donald Trump. But Lamon was not an official elector, and those documents were false. Now the political hopeful is on the defensive.
In an interview Sunday with Arizona’s KTVK-TV, Lamon defended the illegitimate record, saying that “Republican electors put forth a valid document” and that their certification as Republican electors was expressly made so that if the election certification were overturned, “there would be no excuse not to recognize those electors.”
But the problem with Lamon’s defense is that the document he and 10 other pro-Trump Arizona Republicans signed on December14, 2020—and then remitted to the U.S. Senate and National Archives as valid—is that there’s no language anywhere in it stating the record was merely a contingency or placeholder.
It was passed off as a legitimate representation of authentic electors despite the fact that election officials in Arizona and six other states had already submitted their official list of electors who voted for Biden. The bogus certifications stated Trump won. He did not.
The January 6 committee has made unsnarling this scheme a key element in its probe of the deadly Capitol attack.
Last March, public watchdog American Oversight obtained the bunk electoral certifications from Arizona, Michigan, Georgia, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Only two states wrote in contingencies.
Arizona did not.
Lamon told KTVK-TV this weekend the record he signed was “very straightforward” and “very simple,” according to AZ Central.
Technically, those would be apt descriptors since the document plainly—but only—describes the signees as “duly elected and qualified electors from Arizona.”
“This is a lot to do about not much,” Lamon said, brushing off suggestions of fraud.
The conduct from the “alternate electors” has also garnered scrutiny by the January 6 House Select Committee, because the committee contends the phony slates were part and parcel of a larger coordinated effort to keep Trump in power well after his defeat by Biden.
“The existence of these purported alternate-elector votes was used as a justification to delay or block the certification of the election during the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021,” Thompson said as he unleashed a bevy of subpoenas last week.
In his Sunday interview, Lamon said he believed the records he signed would have only gone into effect after a certain sequence of events unfolded; namely, after an audit of ballots in Maricopa County was ordered and after the official election results were overturned.
Biden won Maricopa County. The official results, as well as a hand-recount, confirmed Biden’s vote exceeded Trump’s in Arizona by more than 45,000 ballots.
Lamon said questions over the records were a distraction from “real issues” like immigration, a cornerstone of his campaign platform. Lamon has received endorsements from the National Border Patrol Council, as well as the Conservative Political Action Coalition. Ric Grenell, Trump’s onetime acting director of national intelligence, has also endorsed Lamon’s run for the U.S. Senate seat.
Lamon did not immediately respond to request for comment Monday.
In an interview with The New York Times last week, Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Maryland Democrat and member of the select committee, said the “alternate electors” left no doubt that they were “engaged in a constitutional fraud on the public and on democracy.”
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has asked federal prosecutors to review information her office has massed about the fake pro-Trump certificates issued out of Michigan. Others have followed suit, including New Mexico’s Attorney General Hector Balderas. And according to the Associated Press, a complaint lodged in Wisconsin with the Wisconsin Elections Commission and the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office about the fake slates is also receiving renewed attention.
Lamon was not specifically summoned by the select committee, but the chairperson and secretary for the Arizona Republican Party, Nancy Cottle and Loraine Pellegrino respectively, were subpoenaed.
Pellegrino has publicly defended the paperwork before, saying last January in an interview with The Arizona Republic that they signed the paperwork “to be ready in the event that something was overturned.”
Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos