Mike Roman passed the names to a House GOP aide in a bid to get them to then-Vice President Mike Pence, people familiar with the episode told POLITICO.
A little-known Donald Trump campaign operative delivered lists of false electors to Capitol Hill in a bid to get them to Vice President Mike Pence on Jan. 6, 2021, according to two people familiar with the episode.
Mike Roman, then Trump’s 2020 director of Election Day operations, delivered those false elector certificates — signed by pro-Trump activists in Michigan and Wisconsin — to Rep. Mike Kelly’s (R-Pa.) chief of staff at the time, both people told POLITICO. Kelly was a Trump ally in the effort to overturn the 2020 election, and his then-top aide received the documents from Roman before deputizing a colleague to disseminate copies on Capitol Hill, according to both people.
Roman’s role in the effort to deliver those slates of electors directly to Pence has not previously been reported. The onetime Trump White House researcher and former aide to the conservative Koch network, who was subpoenaed in February by the Jan. 6 select committee, did not respond to multiple requests for comment for this story.
The origin of the false elector lists, which never got to Pence before he presided over certification of Joe Biden’s victory on Jan. 6, has become an enduring subplot in the select panel’s investigation of the Capitol attack designed to disrupt that day. After the committee revealed the role of a top aide to Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) in the episode during a hearing last month, Johnson said the false elector lists came from Kelly — who has repeatedly denied any involvement by his office in their distribution.
“They have changed their story, from denying their involvement outright to now not denying their former chief of staff’s involvement,” said Alexa Henning, a Johnson spokesperson. “Congressman Kelly should be issuing Senator Johnson an apology for participating in the perpetration of false stories regarding Senator Johnson’s minimal involvement in this matter.”
Kelly has recently touted the results of an “internal investigation” that identified Matt Stroia, his chief of staff at the time, as the intermediary for the lists. That inquiry found that the lists were never passed from Stroia, now a Pfizer lobbyist, to Johnson’s office. Kelly’s office, in response to a request for comment, said Stroia had a previous relationship with members of the Trump team and got contacted by someone linked to that team on Jan. 6.
“Matthew got the information,” Kelly’s current chief of staff, Tim Butler, said in an interview. “There was another staffer here in the office who was asked to physically walk it over. And it’s just those two individuals that were involved.”
Neither of those two individuals worked in Kelly’s office any longer, Butler said. Kelly’s office declined to identify the other staffer involved.
Neither Roman nor Stroia returned requests for comment for this story.
Both people who confirmed Roman’s involvement in the transmission of the elector lists spoke on condition of anonymity amid the select panel’s ongoing investigation into the runup to the attack and Trump’s role in it.
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