If you read the Associated Press story by Scott Bauer or the unfairly slanted article by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Dan Bice, you might think that conservative Supreme Court candidate Dan Kelly was involved in or even supportive of, a so-called “fake elector scheme” after the 2020 presidential election.
Any reasonable reader would assume as much from the way that Bauer and Bice worded their stories, especially if they read the false attack in Bice’s article from liberal Janet Protasiewicz’s campaign, which said of Kelly, “His continued efforts to overturn Wisconsin’s 2020 presidential election results are disqualifying.”
This is an outright lie. There is no evidence that Kelly has ever tried to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.
Bauer’s article says, “One of the two conservative candidates for an open Wisconsin Supreme Court seat was paid by state and national Republicans to advise on election issues, including the plan to have fake GOP electors cast ballots for Donald Trump even though he lost the state.”
In fact, Kelly’s spokesman says, “Justice Kelly believes Joe Biden is the duly elected president of the United States.” He also says, “Justice Kelly provided no legal advice with respect to the possibility of Republican electors in the 2020 election.”
We went back to the key documentary evidence in this case, which was a transcript of testimony that former Republican Party Chairman Andrew Hitt gave before Congress. You can read the transcript in full here: GPO-J6-TRANSCRIPT-CTRL0000050979.
The documentary evidence shows that Kelly was not in the loop on any discussions about fake electors, and there is no evidence that he took any stand on them. He was doing legal work for a party leader, Hitt, who was unhappy with and strongly opposed to the scheme (as was Mark Jefferson, the other state GOP leader at the time).
All the journalists managed to prove is that the state Republican Party under then chairman Hitt hired Kelly to advise the party on a variety of election matters. Many election issues were circulating at the time, including things like dropboxes and indefinitely confined voters. That’s it. That’s not terribly surprising; Kelly, a former state Supreme Court Justice, is regarded as a keen legal mind.
Although the transcript of Hitt’s testimony does indicate he and Kelly spoke about election issues, the same transcript makes it clear that Hitt was opposed to the fake electors and doesn’t say Kelly ever supported it.
It’s clear what’s going on here. The liberal media is desperate to attach January 6 narratives to conservative candidates in an effort to hurt them at the ballot box, in this case, the Feb. 21 primary election.
The headline on Bice’s article blares: “Supreme Court candidate Daniel Kelly was paid $120,000 by Republicans to work on ‘election integrity,’ advise on fake electors.”
“Kelly was at the center of the discussion in December 2020 with top Wisconsin Republicans over their highly controversial plan to covertly convene a group of Republicans inside the state Capitol in the weeks following Donald Trump’s loss to Joe Biden to sign paperwork falsely claiming to be electors.
Former state Republican Party Chairman Andrew Hitt said in a deposition last year to the U.S. House committee that investigated the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol that he and Kelly had ‘pretty extensive conversations’ about the fake elector scheme.”
You get the tone. You get the implication.
But Hitt’s actual testimony indicates that he “also talked to special counsel to the RPW at 11 o’clock that morning and worked our way through the issue. I specifically called him and asked whether or not he was in the loop on this alternate electors meeting. He said he wasn’t,” Hitt told Congress, according to the transcript.
Hitt later explained he was referring to Kelly, when he was asked, “I’m sorry. Who did you say who you asked if they were in the loop on the alternate elector meeting on December 7th?”
Hitt replied, “Yeah. That was Dan Kelly, who was also a lawyer — outside lawyer. His title is special counsel at that point. I had brought him on in Wisconsin to kind of help with — he’s from Wisconsin. I brought him on to kind of advise on election law matters, and I think he started in August.”
In other words, Hitt said Kelly was not even in the loop.
Maybe the headlines should have read, “Supreme Court Candidate Was Not in the Loop on Fake Elector Scheme.”
Got that? Kelly was brought in to advise the party on election law matters in general, but he was NOT in the loop on an alternate elector meeting, there’s no evidence he ever supported it, and he was advising a guy who didn’t like it.
“You know, in April — March-April of 2020, through the summer, as a result of the pandemic, there were, at one point, seven legal — seven different pieces of litigation going on regarding election laws and procedures,” Hitt testified. “It just — it was too much to be able to keep up with, so I brought him on to kind of help — help manage that and advise on it.”