Jan. 6 Committee Report Alleges Former Staff Member of Rep. Mike Kelly Involved in False Elector Scheme
WASHINGTON, D.C. - January 6, 2023 marks the second anniversary of the U.S. Capitol attack. Supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election results. Their efforts were unsuccessful but following the attack, the House created a committee to investigate what led up to the attack. In their final report, the Committee points the finger at Trump for the attack in an attempt to stay in power. Also in this 800-plus report, it names northwest Pennsylvania Representative Mike Kelly’s (R- PA) former chief of staff as allegedly being part of the scheme.
The House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021 U.S. Capitol attack pulled out all the stops in their investigation. They gathered more than a thousand witness interviews, a million pages of documents and issued several subpoenas. Through their nearly 18-month long investigation, the Committee laid out what they said was a multipart plan by former President Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
“He mounted a pressure campaign directed at individual state legislators to try to get them to go back into session and either declare him the winner, decertify Joe Biden as the winner or send two slates of electors to Congress; One for Biden, and one for him and pressure Vice President Pence to choose him as the winner,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) during one of the Committee’s hearings.
The Committee said part of that plan was a fake elector scheme.
“At the request of the Trump campaign, the electors from these battleground states signed documents falsely asserting that they were the ‘duly elected electors from their state,’” said a Committee investigator.
According to the Committee’s final report, two days before the attack, the Trump campaign asked republican party officials in Wisconsin to fly their fake elector documents to D.C. The Committee alleges the former Chief of Staff for Representative Mike Kelly (R- PA) for taking part in this. Transcripts would later allege Matt Stroia as Kelly's former chief of staff.
The report states, “On the morning of January 6, Representative Kelly’s then chief of staff texted an aide to the vice president, Chris Hodgson, about hand delivering the fake elector votes to the vice president’s team before the joint session, a message that Hodgson ignored: ‘Just following up any chance you or someone from your team can meet to take the Michigan and Wisconsin packets.’”
The report continues saying according to the office of Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), Representative Kelly’s chief of staff then had a phone call with Senator Johnson’s chief of staff at 11:58 a.m. “about how Kelly's office could get us the electors [sic] because they had it.”
“A staffer for Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson texted a staffer for Vice President Pence just minutes before the beginning of the joint session,” said a Committee investigator. “This staffer stated that Senator Johnson wished to hand deliver to the Vice Presidents two fake electors votes from Michigan and Wisconsin. The Vice President’s aide unambiguously instructed them not to deliver the fake votes to the Vice President.”
A statement from Rep. Kelly’s press secretary initially denied those claims from Johnson's office, calling them “patently false”. Kelly’s office would later launch their own internal investigation. Kelly’s press secretary told us in an email “To date, our current chief of staff has not found staff members to have prior knowledge of Mr. Stroia’s reported actions.” They also add” Further, Mr. Kelly is unaware of Mr. Storia’s reported actions. We have closed the internal review.”
According to transcripts released by the Committee, they interviewed Pennsylvania republican political operative Mike Roman. In the transcripts, they asked him about 25 messages between himself and Matt Stroia.
In the transcripts, the Committee suggests Stroia may have been involved in a November state senate hearing in Gettysburg, which pushed unfounded claims of fraud in the state’s election. The Committee said Stroia and Roman shared text messages days before that meeting between the two, which they allege Stroia said in part “I hope it turns out like we envisioned”.
Roman would plead the fifth quite often in the Committee’s questioning including when the Committee asked point blank: “Did Mr. Stroia or Representative Kelly assist in any efforts to have state legislators choose Trump electors in Pennsylvania after the November 2020 election?”
Roman replied: “The fifth.”
The Committee followed up with “Did you ever talk to Representative Kelly about having Pennsylvania state legislature choose Trump electors?”
Roman would again reply, “The fifth.”
Mr. Stroia declined to comment when we reached out to him. We also reached out to Rep. Kelly but his office said it’s unlikely they’ll have time for an interview because of the back-and-forth Speaker of the House vote. They also add “At this time, we have no additional comment on the Jan. 6th committee’s report.”