Federal prosecutors are reviewing fake Electoral College certifications that declared former President Donald Trump the winner of states that he lost, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco told CNN on Tuesday.
“We’ve received those referrals. Our prosecutors are looking at those and I can’t say anything more on ongoing investigations,” Monaco said in an exclusive interview.
The fake certificates falsely declaring Trump’s victory were sent to the National Archives by Trump’s allies in mid-December 2020. They have attracted public scrutiny amid the House’s January 6 investigation into the pressure campaign that sought to reverse Trump’s electoral defeat.
Monaco did not go into detail about what else prosecutors are looking at from the partisan attempt to subvert the 2020 vote count. She said that, more broadly, the Justice Department was “going to follow the facts and the law, wherever they lead, to address conduct of any kind and at any level that is part of an assault on our democracy.”
This is the first time that the Justice Department has commented on requests from lawmakers and state officials that it investigate the fake certifications.
The certificates contain the signatures of Trump supporters who falsely claimed to be the rightful electors in Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Nevada and New Mexico – all states that President Joe Biden had won. Some of the certificates were sent by top officials representing the Republican Party in each state, according to the documents, which were obtained and made public by the watchdog group American Oversight.
In response to Monaco’s new comments, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul told CNN in a statement that it was “critical that the federal government fully investigates and prosecutes any unlawful actions in furtherance of any seditious conspiracy.”
New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas, a Democrat, told CNN in a statement on Tuesday that he is “pleased the DOJ is looking into this matter, as these disturbing allegations require that federal authorities partner with state law enforcement agencies across the country to ensure integrity in the election process.”
The New Mexico Attorney General’s office previously said it is reviewing the matter under state law, and like other states, has referred it to the Justice Department via their US attorney’s office.
“We have received information from the New Mexico Attorney General’s office, but we can’t comment on it at this time,” Scott Howell, a spokesman for the US attorney for New Mexico, told CNN on Monday.
Democratic Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford said in a statement Wednesday that “we welcome the Department of Justice’s recent announcement that it is investigating the fake electors matter, and we look forward to providing any support we can in that endeavor.”
In her interview with CNN, Monaco also touted the efforts the Justice Department has made to address the threats and harassment that election officials have faced.
“I’m concerned about the really disturbing nature of the threats that we’ve seen. They’ve been disturbingly aggressive, and violent and personal,” Monaco said. She pointed to an indictment unveiled by the Justice Department last week alleging that a Texas man had threatened to kill Georgia election officials. The indictment was the first to be brought after the formation of a department task force focused on the issue.
“Those charges were the first coming out of that task force but they will not be the last,” Monaco said.
This story has been updated with additional information.
CNN’s Marshall Cohen and Zachary Cohen contributed to this story.