Meet the former Trump lawyer behind the GOP's latest anti-voter movement

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Cleta Mitchell promoted the same fraudulent conspiracy theories about the election as her client did.

A conservative activist and former Donald Trump lawyer is to head up two newly announced conservative initiatives aimed at suppressing voting.

Cleta Mitchell, who worked to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, will lead the two new efforts.

The conservative activist group FreedomWorks announced on Sunday that Mitchell would chair its National Election Protection Initiative.

FreedomWorks told Newsmax, "The integrity of our elections are the bedrock of our Republic and confidence in these institutions is on the decline." Conservatives often use the term "election integrity" as the rationalization for their efforts to suppress votes, particularly of ethnic minorities and other demographics that historically vote Democratic.

Newsmax, in what it said was an exclusive report on FreedomWorks' new effort, said Mitchell would "lead a program focused on election integrity education, training, and deployment, including registering voters, recruiting and training local activists, working as election officials, monitoring election procedures, and identifying needed changes and reforms in election administration and law."

On Tuesday, the Conservative Partnership Institute announced that Mitchell would be leading its Election Integrity Coalition. Former Sen. Jim DeMint, the chair of the institute, of which former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows is a senior partner, told the Washington Examiner, "Washington elites are trying to silence and bully conservatives with astounding brazenness, which Cleta has witnessed first hand, and now through her work at CPI, she will teach the conservative movement how to fight back against this cancel culture." The Examiner reported that the coalition is among a number of groups gearing up to fight against H.R. 1, the For the People Act of 2021, House Democrats' proposed bill that would expand voting rights across the country.

Mitchell is a longtime conservative activist who has been a part of many right-wing organizations and Republican campaigns. She has worked in the past for former Trump campaign manager and adviser Steve Bannon, representing his nonprofit organization.

Most recently, she was a lawyer for Trump's reelection campaign.

In that capacity, Mitchell promoted the same fraudulent conspiracy theories about the election as her client did.

"We're already double checking and finding dead people having voted. We're going to be finding people have voted across state lines, voted in two states, illegal voting, noncitizens and that sort of thing," Mitchell said after the election had been called for President Joe Biden.

Mitchell echoed Trump in claiming Biden's win in Georgia was tainted, alleging that the recount in the state was a "total sham" and "A FAKE!"

"Happy to be considered a nut job because I believe in the rule of law," she tweeted.

As part of the Trump campaign's efforts to overturn Biden's win, Mitchell was on the Jan. 2 phone call Trump made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to get him to throw out Democratic votes and "find" enough votes for him to give him the win.

After her role in that process became the subject of news reports, she was criticized by her employer, the Washington law firm Foley & Lardner: "We are aware of, and are concerned by, Ms. Mitchell's participation in the Jan. 2 conference call," the firm said in a statement on Jan. 5. A day later, it was announced that Mitchell had resigned from the firm.

It wasn't her first time promoting election conspiracy theories.

In 2010, as the lawyer for Sharron Angle's campaign for the Senate seat held by Democrat Harry Reid of Nevada, Mitchell released a fundraising letter alleging that Reid "intends to steal the election" and accusing him of offering "free food" in exchange for votes.

A spokesperson for Nevada's Election Integrity Task Force told Talking Points Memo then that it had not received a single report of voter fraud from anyone who had experienced it personally.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.