Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson’s Senate campaign has paid over $20,000 to a Wisconsin-based law firm that played a role in former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election in the state, paying the firm for “legal consulting,” including efforts for a possible recount, Federal Election Commission records show.
Per FEC records, Johnson’s campaign has made two payments to the Wisconsin-based Troupis Law Office – one payment of $13,287.50 on July 15 for “Legal Consulting,” and a subsequent payment for $7,000, dated July 18, for “Recount: Legal Consulting.”
The firm, which is owned by Wisconsin attorney Jim Troupis, was previously employed by the Trump campaign for recount efforts during the former President’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election and has been the target of recently issued Department of Justice subpoenas probing the January 6, 2021, insurrection.
NBC News first reported on the Johnson campaign’s payments to Troupis Law Office.
The Johnson campaign defended its move to retain Troupis’ legal services in a statement Monday to CNN.
“As anyone who works on campaigns in this state knows, close elections in Wisconsin are the rule, not the exception,” Johnson campaign spokesperson Alexa Henning told CNN. “It would be reckless to be unprepared for any possible circumstance – and this campaign has been preparing for months for just that.”
For his part, Johnson’s opponent, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, has retained legal services from prominent Democratic election law attorney Marc Elias, FEC filings show.
In an interview with local conservative radio host Vicki McKenna in June, Johnson said Troupis was responsible for providing his Senate staff with a slate of fake Wisconsin electors on January 6, asking the Wisconsin Republican to deliver the slate to then-Vice President Mike Pence ahead of the congressional session that day to certify Joe Biden’s 2020 election win.
“I was originally sent a text at 11:36 by [Jim] Troupis, and it just – I’m trying to find it real quick – and it said ‘Need to get a document on Wisconsin electors to you and the VP immediately. Is there a staff person I can talk to immediately. Thanks, Jim,’” Johnson told McKenna.
Johnson has drawn fire after the House select committee investigating January 6 revealed in June that an aide to the senator attempted to hand-deliver the false slate of electors to Pence, but was rebuffed by the vice president’s staff. Johnson has attempted to downplay his role in the scheme, telling reporters his involvement only lasted “a matter of seconds.”