A Republican lawmaker who helped forge election paperwork in an attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election has refused to answer questions about how he was recruited to participate in the plan.
In a video captured by KPNX in Phoenix, Arizona, this week, Arizona Republican State Rep. Jake Hoffman was asked why he agreed to sign a forged document in which he and others falsely purported to be the true electors for the state. In the document, the fake electors cast their votes for Trump, even though President Joe Biden won the state by a slim margin.
Hoffman claimed he participated because he believed that there had been fraud in the 2020 election — disinformation that has been repeatedly proved false.
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“In unprecedented times, unprecedented action occurs,” Hoffman told a reporter. “There is no case law, there is no precedent that exists as to whether or not an election that is currently being litigated in the courts has due standing, which is why we felt it appropriate to provide Congress and the vice president with dueling opinions.”
Although Trump and his allies have filed dozens of lawsuits to block election results from being certified in a number of states that Trump lost — including Arizona — judges haven’t sided with the former president in a single case. Arizona certified its election results in early December, well before Hoffman and other Republicans produced the forged document.
When asked whether he and the other fake electors had been recruited to take part in the scheme, Hoffman said that he was not “in charge” of the electors who took part. “You would need to ask the party chair that,” he said.
NEW In Arizona, journalism can be a team sport. GOP State Rep. Jake Hoffman refused to answer 12News photojournalist's question (which I provided) re why he signed phony declaration in 2020 that Arizona electors voted for Trump. Watch as AZRepublic's @ruelaswritings folos up… pic.twitter.com/Qp3YOLyBl9
— Brahm Resnik (@brahmresnik) January 13, 2022
“How did you know to show up that day?” the reporter pressed on.
“As I said, you can go ahead and ask the party chair,” Hoffman said.
“Do you not know how you arrived at a place?” the reporter asked. Instead of answering the question, Hoffman promptly walked away.
Hoffman’s evasion of local reporters in Phoenix follows reporting from MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow earlier this week, when the host detailed how fake Republican electors in at least five states produced forged documents alleging that they were the true electors. The fake electors submitted these documents to the National Archives in hopes of securing additional Electoral College votes for Trump, Maddow noted, even though the fake electors were all from states that Biden had won.
“It’s not like they created these documents to like, hold close to their chest and fantasize that this had been the real outcome. It’s not like they created these documents just to keep [for] themselves as keepsakes,” Maddow said on her show. “They sent them into the government, as if they were real documents.”
The actions appeared to be coordinated, as the documents “all match, exactly,” and have the “same formatting, same font, same spacing, almost the exact same wording,” Maddow went on.
Several documents released over the past year have revealed schemes by Trump and his allies — some within the Department of Justice — to use “forged slates of electors” in order to create confusion in the Electoral College, Maddow noted. Had these measures gone as planned, the House of Representatives would have decided on the election, likely resulting in Trump being appointed as president for another four years.
Maddow then speculated whether there was coordination to overturn the election results among Trump’s White House and Republicans elsewhere.
Did the Trump DOJ help “Republicans in those states do it?” Maddow asked on her program, referring to the forgeries. “We don’t know, but somebody helped them do it, because they all filed the exact same document.”