Republicans Lie About Election Fraud On Capitol Steps Where Mob Raged On Jan. 6

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) held a press conference Wednesday outside the Capitol to denounce the phantom threat of election fraud.

“There is currently an unprecedented and a clear and present danger to the integrity of our election system, and that is the threat of non-citizens and illegal aliens voting in our elections,” Johnson said.

It’s illegal for noncitizens to vote in federal elections — they rarely do — and Johnson presented no evidence to the contrary. His press conference seemed designed to flatter former President Donald Trump as Johnson fends off a challenge to his speakership from the Trump-backing wing of the House Republican conference.

Johnson spoke from the base of the east steps to the House of Representatives, one of several parts of the Capitol stormed by Trump’s mob on Jan. 6, 2021. Newly released security camera footage from that day shows Trump supporters mounting the steps, then confronting and attacking police officers guarding the House. In one clip, at the top of the House steps, one of the rioters brandished a sign that said “end the FRAUD.”

On Wednesday, at the bottom of the steps, flanked by Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), former Trump administration official Stephen Miller and others, Johnson endorsed new legislation that would require proof of citizenship for people to register to vote.

Federal law already requires people registering to attest that they are citizens, with criminal penalties for lying; the bill stands no chance of passing the Democratic-majority Senate or becoming law.

Asked for evidence that undocumented immigrants vote heavily in federal elections, Johnson said it was just something everyone knows, while admitting nobody can prove it.

“We all know, intuitively, that a lot of illegals are voting in federal elections, but it’s not been something that is easily provable,” Johnson said. We don’t have that number.”

Johnson refused to say if he had accepted the results of the 2020 election, which Trump still falsely claims was tainted by fraud, or if he would accept the results of this year’s rematch between Trump and President Joe Biden.

“What we’re talking about today is the 2024 election,” Johnson said. Nobody can go back and re-litigate what happened in 2020.”

Johnson then re-litigated what happened in 2020, calling it “the COVID election” and accusing states of having “haphazardly put together new laws and opened up the systems, and led to all sorts of confusion and chaos and concern that lingers even to today.”

Johnson’s false election fraud claims prompted a disgusted reaction from several Democrats.

“Repeating the big lie of a stolen election and wild, unfounded falsehoods of widespread illegal votes that already incited political violence is just wrong,” Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) said on social media. “Doing it on the very spot where these lies incited a violent assault on our democracy is disgusting and unacceptable.”