Trump, RNC promise ‘aggressive’ election interference in battleground states

April 21, 2024 7:22 am
sorting ballots

Workers at the Washoe County Registrar of Voters counting early ballots in 2020. The process was live-streamed online. (Screengrab via YouTube)

Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee on Friday announced a “100,000 person strong” program designed to harass election officials and their employees and discredit democracy in Nevada and a dozen other states.

In a statement announcing its Orwellian named “election integrity program,” the RNC said it is “establishing a robust network of monitoring, and protection against any violation or fraud.”

Neither the RNC, Trump, nor anyone else has ever provided any evidence of fraud that would have altered results of the 2020 election that Trump lost to Joe Biden.

“We will aggressively take them to court,” declared Charlie Spies, the RNC’s lead lawyer in the program. 


More than five dozen lawsuits filed by Trump and Republicans challenged the 2020 election results, including several suits in Nevada. To reiterate, the existence of significant fraud or illegal voting was not found in a single one of those cases.

“The Democrat tricks from 2020 won’t work this time,”  Spies said.

A few weeks after the Trump-instigated January 6 attempt to steal the election, Spies himself acknowledged lies launched by Trump and his allies about the 2020 election are “simply not true.”

The RNC’s announcement issued Friday is loaded with hyperbole and innuendo about “voter fraud,” and a “rigged” election, but refers to no evidence of either. That’s not surprising. To reiterate, the courts and election officials in state after state, including Nevada’s then-Secretary of State, Republican Barbara Cegavske, found no evidence that the 2020 election was “rigged.”

But the RNC isn’t promising to intimidate election officials and workers in Nevada because of evidence of wrongdoing in 2020. The RNC is launching its effort because Trump controls the RNC, and he told it to.

‘Democrat tricks from 2020’? Do tell.

With Friday’s RNC announcement, the de facto official position of the Republican Party in 2024 is that in 2020, in Nevada and several other states, every election official, including multiple Republican ones, along with thousands of poll workers and election staff in those states, were co-conspirators in an extravagant and sweeping conspiracy to steal the 2020 election from Donald Trump.

Many of the federal judges rejecting suits from Trump and Republicans in 2020 had been appointed by Republican presidents. Several of them had been appointed by Trump. 

Yet for the “Democrat tricks from 2020” to have worked, dozens of state and federal judges would have also had to be in on the conspiracy. 

For the alleged plot – again, the existence of which is now a fundamental premise of the official Republican Party – to succeed, not just judges but thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of people across the country would have had to have been in on it. It would have had to be an unprecedentedly sophisticated bipartisan conspiracy spanning all branches of local, state and federal government in multiple states.

And yet to this day, and despite multiple and ongoing efforts to prove election fraud by everyone from Trump’s ever-changing stable of quack lawyers to the RNC to Fox News to the My Pillow guy, not a single one of the thousands and thousands of people who would have had to participate in the “Democrat tricks” have confirmed any Republican allegations of the alleged vast conspiracy.

Because there was no conspiracy. 

There was an election. 

Trump lost.

Whether Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, who co-chairs the RNC, or Sigal Chattah, who is Nevada’s Republican Committeewoman, or any of the other RNC’s leaders, members and/or staffers sincerely believe the fantasy of the “stolen” 2020 election – in other words, if they have genuinely been brainwashed into delusion – is irrelevant. The delusion is now official RNC policy. Their job is to act accordingly. And that job, specifically, is “a 100,000 person strong” effort to belittle and discredit democracy.

To belabor the obvious, the last thing Trump wants to do is protect the integrity of elections. He is dedicated to doing the opposite of that.

He relentlessly attacked the election process in the years leading up to the 2020 election in an attempt to discredit the results even before any votes had been cast, and lied about the process on election night, in an attempt to stop votes from being counted.

After all the votes had been counted he continued to tell lies about the election, and instigated the January 6 insurrection. 

When that failed, he started running for president again. He’s been lying about the 2020 election and, in a repeat of his behavior prior to the 2020 election, trying to discredit the 2024 results in advance.

The RNC’s announcement Friday is not an “election integrity program.” It’s just an extension of Trump’s attacks on democracy and penchant for cheating.

How ugly will it get in Nevada?

Trump’s adoring flock continues to be mesmerized by his schtick. Pandering to that flock, Republican elected officials and office-seekers, even those who did not deny the 2020 election results, have effectively condoned Trump’s war on democracy by citing “concerns” in some segments of the public about the 2020 election – concerns that were fabricated and spread by Trump.

Those Republican elected officials and office-seekers are implying, with no evidence, that somehow some vague something must have been wrong.

If not election deniers, they are election-denier-adjacent. They are irresponsibly enabling and lending credibility to Trump’s effort to end democracy. Their behavior is despicable, cowardly, and an ongoing threat to the nation and its people.

Nevada Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo is a good example of this (although most of the Nevada press doesn’t seem to care much).

If Lombardo shows the same blithe disregard when the RNC begins intimidating Nevada election workers, filing more nuisance Nevada lawsuits in which it compares apples to orangutans, and spreading lies to undermine his constituents’ faith in the same election system by which he obtained his job, he’ll be enabling and empowering all that as well.

By looking the other way, Lombardo would also be doing his bit to help Trump nullify the votes of Nevadans in 2024, as Trump tried to do after the 2020 election.

Lara Trump as co-chair of the RNC, Michael McDonald and fellow indicted election deniers in charge of the Republican Party in Nevada, Trump’s cavalcade of weirdo lawyers … given the chuckleheads who will be involved, it’s tempting, maybe even warranted, to speculate that Trump’s lawyers and the teams of people he enlists to harass election officials and undermine democracy in Nevada won’t be any more competent in 2024 than they in were 2020, and equally ineffective at overturning legitimate election results.

But even in failing, their efforts can be pernicious, as evidenced in multiple states, most notably the pain and suffering Trump and his minions cruelly inflicted on Georgia election workers Shaye Moss and Ruby Freeman.

How ugly will it get in Nevada? Especially if Lombardo, Rep. Mark Amodei, and other Nevada Republican elected officials and candidates go along to get along with Trump? We’re about to find out.

A version of this column originally appeared in the Daily Current newsletter, which is free and which you can subscribe to here.

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Hugh Jackson
Hugh Jackson

Hugh Jackson is editor of the Nevada Current.

Nevada Current is part of States Newsroom, the nation’s largest state-focused nonprofit news organization.