INSTITUTE INDEX: Virginia senator's law firm promotes GOP voter fraud lies

Virginia state Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel (R) is the managing partner of a prominent law firm that's played a critical role in spreading allegations about voter fraud in the 2020 elections, which European observers found were "well-managed" overall. (VCU Capital News Service photo via Flickr.)

Rank of the 2020 presidential contest among the most heavily litigated in U.S. history, with that litigation yielding few results other than sowing doubt in the process among President Trump's supporters: 1

Percent of Republicans who say they don't believe the election was free and fair, even though European elections observers determined it was "well-managed" and criticized "baseless allegations of systemic deficiencies": 70

Number of law firms that served as what a legal publication characterized as "heavy hitters" for Republicans in this year's elections-related litigation, including Holtzman Vogel Josefiak Torchinsky (HVJT) in Warrenton, Virginia: 3

Year in which HVJT was founded by Jill Holtzman Vogel, a four-term Republican state senator in Virginia who as an attorney for the Republican National Committee (RNC) was involved in the 2000 presidential recount fight in Florida: 2001

Month in which a group calling itself the Honest Elections Project — which is represented by HVJT partner Jason Torchinsky and is a legal alias for the Judicial Education Project, part of a secret-money network helping President Trump push the federal judiciary further to the right — announced it was buying ads warning against voting by mail and accusing Democrats of cheating, while also sending letters to election officials in states including Florida that used misleading data to accuse jurisdictions of having excessively high voter registration numbers and threatened legal action: 4/2020

As part of an onslaught of litigation related to the 2020 elections, date on which Torchinsky — a longtime attorney for Republican causes and a member of the conservative Federalist Society that plays a major role in Trump's selection of federal judges — filed a brief on behalf of the Honest Elections Project in federal court in Wisconsin arguing against changing laws to make voting easier amidst the COVID-19 pandemic: 3/30/2020

Month in which the Honest Elections Project filed briefs related to cases in states including Virginia and Texas in favor of voting restrictions: 4/2020

Date on which the Georgia voting rights advocacy group Fair Fight released a report documenting 2020 voter suppression efforts that noted "substantial overlap" of counsel for the Honest Elections Project, the Houston-based vote monitoring group True the Vote, and the RNC, with the anti-voting groups represented by private Trump attorney Will Consovoy, former RNC vice chair James Bopp, and HVJT's Torchinsky: 4/23/2020

In 2018, percent of the Judicial Education Project's funding that came from a single $7.8 million donation from Donors Trust, a group that's been called a "dark money ATM" and is backed by the Koch network and other prominent conservative donors: more than 99

Year in which Torchinsky helped launch the short-lived American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR), which U.S. elections scholar Richard Hasen said put the idea of voter fraud into the public consciousness, "infected" the Supreme Court's thinking, and gave "academic cachet" to the false notion that voter fraud is a major problem in order to build support for voter roll purges and restrictive voter ID laws: 2005

Amount a consulting firm owned by Alex Vogel — an HVJT partner who served as counsel for the Bush-Cheney campaign in the 2000 presidential recount in Florida and who is married to Jill Holtzman Vogel — was paid for Alex Vogel's work as the ACVR's executive director: $75,000

Year in which HVJT, representing Gov. Pat McCrory's (R) legal defense fund after his narrow defeat by Democrat Roy Cooper, filed numerous challenges against North Carolina voters that falsely accused them of casting ballots fraudulently — an effort that longtime voting rights advocate Bob Hall said appeared to be "a calculated misinformation campaign": 2016

Number of North Carolina voters HVJT accused of voting fraudulently, with nearly all of those accusations turning out to be false, many the result of careless errors such confusing a "Sr." and a "Jr." or failing to note different middle initials: about 600

Year in which some of those falsely accused voters filed a defamation lawsuit against HVJT that's now moving toward a trial: 2017

Date on which Alex Vogel appeared on WGN Radio to give his thoughts on the Trump election lawsuits without mentioning his firm's role in the GOP's 2020 litigation strategy: 11/10/2020

Date on which the Honest Elections Project issued a press release applauding Georgia's decision to recount the close presidential race won there by Democrat Joe Biden, suggesting the group is now turning its attention to the state where two U.S. Senate runoffs on Jan. 5 will determine the chamber's partisan control: 11/12/2020

(Click on figure to go to source.)