Democrats take aim at Mike Johnson using the familiar, broad brush of J6 outrage

Nov 1, 2023 | Political News

Democracy Docket has taken aim at new House Speaker Mike Johnson for being a “ringleader” of those questioning the results of the 2020 election.

The opinion piece, written by Democracy Docket founder Marc Elias, from whom the Democratic National Committee severed ties in April, states that Johnson is “no ordinary Republican election denier.”

“Other than former President Donald Trump, he is arguably the most culpable federal elected official in what transpired on Jan. 6, 2021.”

Elias wrote that Johnson is an “avid vote suppressor and an accomplished election denier,” likening him to a cross between Jim Jordan and John Eastman.

Like Eastman, who has been indicted alongside others in Georgia, Johnson was a lawyer before joining Congress, and “espoused dangerous and anti-democratic legal theories aimed at allowing Trump to remain in power in the aftermath of the 2020 election,” Elias wrote.

Elias noted a tweet from Johnson on November 7, 2020, in which he wrote, “I have just called President Trump to say this: ‘Stay strong and keep fighting, sir! The nation is depending upon your resolve. We must exhaust every available legal remedy to restore Americans' trust in the fairness of our election system.'”

“Faced with the inevitability of a Trump loss, Johnson pivoted to a new strategy. Like Eastman, Johnson latched onto a legal theory that would allow Trump to ignore the election results,” Elias wrote.

Elias noted that Johnson sent an email to House Republicans on December 9, 2020 asking them to sign into a brief supporting Texas, which had filed a lawsuit with the US Supreme Court contesting the results of the election in Wisconsin, Georgia, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

Elias said that this would have “disenfranchised more than 20 million voters and changed the outcome of the election.”

126 Republican members signed onto the brief, but the Supreme Court dismissed the request. 

“But the damage had been done,” Elias claimed. “Johnson had laid the legal groundwork for Republicans to reject the election results and gave a patina of legitimacy to the illegitimate aims of those set to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6.”

Elias claimed that Johnson began to promote “evermore unhinged and unconstitutional theories to justify the overturning of the certified results” in the leadup to the certification of the election results on January 6.

Johnson, after the house reconvened on January 6 following the riot, led 139 House members in voting against the certification of the election results.

“No federal officeholder, other than Trump himself, bears more responsibility than Mike Johnson for the destruction and degradation of democracy we saw that day,” Elias wrote.

Johnson was elected House Speaker on October 25, more than three weeks after Kevin McCarthy was ousted from the role. He was the fourth nominee for the Republicans, and received a unanimous vote from party members on the floor in the first round of voting.

Steve Scalise was nominated first but dropped out before reaching a floor vote. Jim Jordan was nominated, but was not elected after three rounds of voting, losing more members each time. Tom Emmer was nominated after five rounds of closed-door voting for the party nominee, but dropped out just hours after, with Johnson then receiving the vote. 

This comes as the Biden administration has continued to go after those who were allegedly involved in the January 6 riot, including some who were not present on Capitol grounds that day, with more than 1,000 people being charged in relation to the day.

Among those charged in relation to the day is Trump himself, who faces a federal case brought forth by special counsel Jack Smith regarding his alleged role in the riots.