National Archives received forged letters from Arizona and Michigan claiming Trump won election, report says

Group leader attended post-election full-day meeting with Rudy Giuliani

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Monday 10 January 2022 15:13

Related video: Biden condemns ‘big lie’, blames Trump for January 6 violence

Leer en Español

The National Archives received fake certificates of ascertainment that then-President Donald Trump and then-Vice President Mike Pence had won Michigan and Arizona in the 2020 election, according to a report.

The secretaries of state in those states have passed along the forgeries to the House Select Committee investigating 6 January, Politico reported. Communications between state officials and the National Archives have also been shared with the panel.

Democratic secretaries of state Jocelyn Benson of Michigan and Katie Hobbs of Arizona met with the committee in November.

“They mostly discussed election administration in Arizona, the 2020 elections, threats/harassment directed toward the office, and the Cyber Ninja’s partisan ballot review,” Murphy Hebert, a spokesperson for Ms Hobbs, told Politico.

Tracy Wimmer, a spokesperson for Ms Benson, told the outlet that she and her staff answered the committee’s questions about the 2020 election and events in the run-up to the Capitol riot on 6 January 2021.

The National Archives sent the forgeries via emails to the office of Ms Hobbs on 11 December 2020 “for your awareness”. They added that the documents wouldn’t be accepted.

Taking legal action against at least one pro-Trump group, Arizona sent a cease and desist letter to a Trump-supporting “sovereign citizen” group in which they told them to stop using the state seal, sending the issue on to the state’s attorney general.

“By affixing the state seal to documents containing false and misleading information about the results of Arizona’s November 3, 2020 General Election, you undermine the confidence in our democratic institutions,” Ms Hobbs wrote to one of the groups.

Group leader Lori Osiecki told the Arizona Republic in December 2020 that she chose to send in the fake documents after going to rallies after the election and attending a full-day meeting in Phoenix where then-Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani was present. After the meeting, she was upset that Governor Doug Ducey wasn’t helping Mr Trump overturn the election.

“One thing I will say about conservatives, is if something is wrong, and we have lost – a true loss – then we accept,” she said at the time. “We’re not going to drag people through the mud and fight it. But this clearly has got issues. I saw it with my own eyes and my own research. After that hearing, I was shocked we didn’t have any other marching orders.”

The group in Michigan that sent in a similar document didn’t use the state seal and state officials didn’t go further on the matter after the document was rejected by the National Archives.

On the anniversary of the Capitol riot on 6 January, Ms Hobbs said that “this past year has shown us that the threats to our democracy persist”.

“Election officials continue to face regular harassment and threats to their lives,” she added. “Fringe groups push fraudulent audits of our election results. And a wave of new laws – here in Arizona and across the country – threaten the freedom to vote, a bedrock principle of our republic”.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in