Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Dear Common Dreams Readers:
Corporations and billionaires have their own media. Shouldn't we? When you “follow the money” that funds our independent journalism, it all leads back to this: people like you. Our supporters are what allows us to produce journalism in the public interest that is beholden only to people, our planet, and the common good. Please support our Mid-Year Campaign so that we always have a newsroom for the people that is funded by the people. Thank you for your support. --Jon Queally, managing editor

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

ron_GettyImages

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) speaks during a Senate Budget Committee hearing on February 10, 2021. (Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

'He Must Resign': Staff Texts Over Fake Elector Slates Implicate Ron Johnson

"Trump and his MAGA allies planned, promoted, and paid for a seditious conspiracy to overturn an election they lost," said one Democratic Senate candidate. "And Ron Johnson attempted to deliver it to D.C. on a silver platter."

Brett Wilkins

Wisconsin Democrats on Tuesday led calls for U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson's resignation after the House January 6 committee revealed texts indicating that the Republican's office wanted to hand-deliver certificates of fake electors to then-Vice President Mike Pence in service of former President Donald Trump's attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

"Ron Johnson actively tried to undermine this democracy. He literally tried to hand Mike Pence fake ballots."

The bipartisan congressional panel probing the deadly 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol showed an exchange of text messages initiated by Johnson's chief of staff Sean Riley to Pence legislative director Chris Hodgson that the Republican senator wanted to advance an "alternate slate of electors" for Wisconsin and Michigan, both of which Biden won.

"Do not give that to him," Hodgson texted back.

In response to the presentation during Tuesday's hearing state Rep. Francesca Hong (D-76) tweeted that "Sen. Ron Johnson should resign, effective immediately."

While Johnson is not among the 147 congressional Republicans who voted to overturn President Joe Biden's Electoral College victory, he did host a December 2020 hearing at which supporters of Trump's "Big Lie" that the election was "stolen" spent hours promoting conspiracy theories about the contest.

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) called Johnson's action "direct support for for Trump's conspiracy to overturn the will of the people in Wisconsin."

Four Democratic candidates for Johnson's Senate seat also called on him to resign.

"Ron Johnson actively tried to undermine this democracy. He literally tried to hand Mike Pence fake ballots," Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes said in a statement. "Once again, Ron Johnson has proven he's a danger to our country and our fundamental rights. I'm calling for him to resign immediately."

State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski argued that "it is clear Ron Johnson is a threat to our democracy and is unfit to continue serving in the United States Senate."

Former state lawmaker Tom Nelson called Johnson "a criminal and a traitor" who should "be prosecuted."

"He must resign," Nelson added.

Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry, also running in the primary to oust Johnson, tweeted that "Trump and his MAGA allies planned, promoted, and paid for a seditious conspiracy to overturn an election they lost. And Ron Johnson attempted to deliver it to D.C. on a silver platter."

Responding to the congressional committee's revelation, Johnson spokesperson Alexa Henning tweeted that "the senator had no involvement in the creation of an alternate slate of electors and had no foreknowledge that it was going to be delivered to our office."

"This was a staff-to-staff exchange," she added. "His new chief of staff contacted the vice president’s office," which "said not to give it to him and we did not. There was no further action taken. End of story."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

Just a few days left in our crucial Mid-Year Campaign and we might not make it without your help.
Who funds our independent journalism? Readers like you who believe in our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. No corporate advertisers. No billionaire founder. Our non-partisan, nonprofit media model has only one source of revenue: The people who read and value this work and our mission. That's it.
And the model is simple: If everyone just gives whatever amount they can afford and think is reasonable—$3, $9, $29, or more—we can continue. If not enough do, we go dark.

All the small gifts add up to something otherwise impossible. Please join us today. Donate to Common Dreams. This is crunch time. We need you now.

'Morally Bankrupt' G7 Slammed for 'Caving' to Fossil Fuel Lobby on Climate

"People in poverty around the world will pay the highest price for this backtrack by some of the wealthiest countries," one activist warned of the group's new statement on gas investments.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Yeah, And?': Ocasio-Cortez Embraces GOP Freakout Over Helping Women Skirt Abortion Bans

"Republicans are mad because I am sharing this information," said Rep. Ocasio-Cortez. "Too bad!"

Julia Conley ·


WATCH LIVE: Top Meadows Aide Cassidy Hutchinson Testifies at Surprise Jan. 6 Hearing

Hutchinson, who has spent more than 20 hours in deposition with the House panel, is expected to provide more damning evidence of the role that Meadows played in Trump's coup attempt.

Kenny Stancil ·


Oxfam Condemns G7 for Leaving 'Millions to Starve' as Global Hunger Surges

"Faced with the worst hunger crisis in a generation, the G7 have simply failed to take the action that is needed," said Max Lawson of Oxfam International.

Jake Johnson ·


'Horrific': 50 Migrants Found Dead in Abandoned Trailer Truck in Texas

"We need to end Title 42 and fix our broken immigration system so these unimaginable tragedies stop happening," said Rep. Chuy García. "People fleeing violence and poverty deserve a chance at a better life."

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo