Throughout, Mr. Trump not only seemed fearless; he presented the investigations as a point of pride – a sign that he and his supporters are fighting a just battle against a biased and corrupt law enforcement regime. Mr. Trump has already capitalized, texting his supporters, linking to his donations page: “The radical left is corrupt. Let’s give power back to the people! Do you want to fight with me? Make a donation.”
This attitude does not stop at Mr. Trump: in Colorado, Tina Peters, who served as county clerk and thus the top local election official, has been charged with crimes and misdemeanors related to tampering with election materials , and in several other states. , officials have been investigated for similar possible offenses as investigators try to get to the bottom of efforts to allow partisan GOP operatives to tamper with voting systems in 2020.
None of these investigations seem to give the Republican leadership or its committed base pause. On the contrary, the brazen violation of the law is now a political asset for GOP candidates and agents. Several people involved in Jan. 6 are running for office and winning the GOP primaries – with Mr. Trump’s blessing – displaying their participation in the violent putsch.
Last January, at least 57 people who came to the rally, gathered on the steps of the Capitol or violently invaded the building were campaigning for office nationwide, according to Politico. And at least three of them have been charged with crimes related to the riot. Does this hinder their campaigns? Not the least. For example, Ryan Kelley, a Republican who unsuccessfully ran for governor of Michigan, told Politico, “As I travel around the state, I’m an insurgent to some people. But, he continued, “you know, for other people it’s like, ‘That’s why I’m voting for you. Because you’re following the march and you were out there fighting for us.
In the past week, election deniers have prevailed in several GOP primaries. In Arizona, a former news anchor, Kari Lake, won the Republican gubernatorial nomination, told reporters that there had been fraud even in that race and told her supporters that they “got stood up and voted as if their lives depended on it”.
And in Michigan, a Republican activist suspected of involvement in a scheme to undermine the 2020 election results, Matthew DePerno, is on track to land the Republican nomination for state attorney general. (In early 2021, election officials reportedly handed voting machines to him and other Republican activists trying to back up claims of election fraud.) Mr. DePerno’s candidacy, like Ms. Lake, was endorsed by Mr. Trump.