Right Wing Watch reported Monday that right-wing election lawyer Cleta Mitchell was heading up a new “election integrity” project announced by FreedomWorks via an “exclusive” to Newsmax that was picked up by other right-wing outlets like the Epoch Times. Then on Tuesday, the Washington Examiner reported, “The influential Conservative Partnership Institute today laid out plans to tackle decades of election irregularities and the Democrat’s new national election proposal, H.R. 1, naming noted attorney Cleta Mitchell to lead its Election Integrity Coalition.” It is not clear whether the competing announcements reflect more than one project or simply organizational jockeying for credit and media attention for a coalition effort.
Mitchell was part of former President Donald Trump’s post-election legal team, and she took part in the call in which Trump threatened and bullied Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. According to the Examiner, the Conservative Partnership Institute, or CPI, referred to Mitchell, with her history of high-ranking positions in multiple right-wing organizations, as the “consigiliere to the vast right-wing conspiracy.”
The Examiner reported that Mitchell “will focus on legal training and support for conservatives and coordinate challenges to schemes to liberalize elections.” Mitchell told the Examiner she had just organized a call with 20 organizations working on H.R. 1, a voting-rights and campaign finance bill opposed by right-wing groups. “My role with CPI is to help bring all these strings together and to keep the multiple tracks that we need to deal with. And my role with them is to try to help support the efforts of others, figure out what’s missing, what people are doing, talking to each other,” she told the Examiner.
CPI is chaired by former senator and former Heritage Foundation president Jim DeMint. Also part of its leadership team is former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who has the title of senior partner, and Ed Corrigan, a former Heritage Foundation vice president and Capitol Hill veteran. Mitchell has been given the title “senior legal fellow.”
Mitchell’s bio on CPI’s website says she “leads CPI’s Election Integrity Coalition, working with top conservative groups and leaders from around the nation to advance election integrity reforms in Washington and the state level.”
While Mitchell has apparently been hired to coordinate right-wing opposition to H.R. 1, CPI’s website claims, “CPI does not take positions on legislation or engage in lobbying or partisan campaign activities.”
The website includes links to a slew of Conservative Action Project memos urging opposition to many Biden administration executive branch nominations and opposing H.R. 1 as “the ultimate fantasy of the left.” The Conservative Action Project organized right-wing sign-on letters in December, one calling for Republican state legislators to override voters and appoint pro-Trump electors and another urging senators to be willing to contest state-certified Electoral College votes.
Last Friday, Mitchell appeared on religious-right radio host Sandy Rios’ show and podcast. Mitchell said the Trump campaign had ignored her warnings to prepare for post-election legal battles and that the Republican National Committee’s claim to have thousands of lawyers deployed in battleground states were not true.
Mitchell said Meadows called her the day after the election and asked her to go to Atlanta. She said that the Trump campaign lawyers in Georgia were “pretty useless” and that she had organized volunteer attorneys to document “irregularities” that formed the basis of a lawsuit filed in Georgia. Mitchell told Rios she had “nothing kind to say about Brad Raffensperger.”
Mitchell complained that the Georgia Republican establishment wanted to let the presidential election go and focus on the Senate runoff campaigns. Mitchell said she warned them that if Trump supporters “do not see you walking barefoot across broken glass for this president, they’re not going to come out and vote again.”