Former Trump campaign adviser admits being part of 2020 ‘substitute voters’ conspiracy

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“Is this something you’ve worked on before or would support, for example, in Michigan?” MSNBC’s Ari Melber asked him on Friday night.

“Yes, I was part of the process to make sure there were substitute voters when, as we hoped, the challenges of seated voters would be heard and successful,” replied Epshteyn, who is lawyer, after insisting that the voters were indeed “substitutes” and not “fraudulent voters”.

Trump’s attorney at the time, Rudy Giuliani, oversaw the effort, CNN reported earlier this week, according to three sources with direct knowledge of the scheme. This involved helping pro-Trump voters gain access to state capitol buildings, drafting language for fake voter certificates to be sent to the federal government, and finding replacements for voters who refused to follow the conspiracy. Epshteyn was among those working with Giuliani at the Willard Hotel post-election ‘command center’ that sought to prevent Congress from certifying Biden’s election victory on Jan. 6, 2021. They were both among several subpoenas to appear Tuesday by the House select committee investigating the 6th attack.

Throughout Friday’s interview, Epshteyn repeated false claims about voter fraud.

He also said everything he did was legal and cited the 1960 presidential election in Hawaii as a precedent for “substitute” voters. In the 1960 presidential election, Richard Nixon initially led John F. Kennedy by 141 votes in the state, a much narrower margin than any of the contested states in the 2020 election, but Nixon ended up losing the state after a legal recount. Although there were multiple panels of voters, that’s because the results in the state changed after the recount showed a different result.

“So Ari, everything that was done was done legally by Trump’s legal team, by the book, and under the direction of Rudy Giuliani,” he added.

Trump and some of his top advisers have publicly promoted the “substitute voters” program in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Arizona, Wisconsin, Nevada and New Mexico.

Michigan’s attorney general last week asked federal prosecutors to open a criminal investigation into more than a dozen Republicans who submitted forged certificates showing they were the state’s presidential voters, despite winning of Biden in the state.

Dana Nessel, a Democrat, said of the case on MSNBC: “Under state law, I clearly think you have tampering with a public record, which is a 14-year offense, and tampering with electoral law, which is a five-year offence.”

Asked Friday by Melber how soon he will testify before the House committee, Epshteyn replied, “Well, Ari, as they say, we’ll see what happens.”

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