McFeely: ND attorney general Drew Wrigley offered idea to reverse 2020 election, report says

Book reveals he sent message to Sen. Kevin Cramer outlining 'last-ditch effort,' which Cramer forwarded to Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows

North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley
Chris Flynn/The Forum
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FARGO — Two prominent North Dakota Republicans were involved with 'last-ditch' efforts to reverse results of the 2020 election, according to an online report.

The website Axios reported Monday that, according to a new book, current North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley offered an idea to President Donald Trump's Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to push Trump to victory over Democrat Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election, a message that was forwarded by North Dakota U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer.

Wrigley was Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney for North Dakota at the time.

Axios obtained a copy of "The Breach," a book by former Republican Rep. Denver Riggleman of Virginia about Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election. Axios reported on snippets of the book on Monday.

"Between Nov. 3, 2020, and President Biden's inauguration, Mark Meadows' cellphone became a key channel for dozens of elected officials as well as private citizens to convey outlandish conspiracy theories and last-ditch ideas to overturn the election, according to a new book by an ex-adviser to the Jan. 6 committee," Axios reported.


Later in the report, Axios said "the book reveals Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) sent Meadows a forwarded note from North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley, who shared his own idea for a 'last-ditch effort' to demand statewide recounts of absentee and mail-in ballots in crucial states."

Riggleman is a former adviser to the U.S. House's Jan. 6 committee that is investigating Trump's efforts to overturn the election.

"In 2020, as with every election, I urged that every lawful vote be counted, and every unlawful ballot be discarded," Wrigley said in a statement to The Forum Monday night. "That's a perspective that used to unite all Americans, and I hope we can regain that shared view. In the aftermath of particularly close elections, it's critically important that we reserve judgment until all remaining lawful mail-in ballots and military ballots have been counted, and that any legally permissible recounts have been processed.

"There should be nothing controversial about voter integrity, and that is what I'll always promote strongly," Wrigley said.

In an interview with Forum News Service's Rob Port, Wrigley denied advocating for overturning the election.

"I was advocating to make sure we get every vote counted. I haven't advocated, and would not advocate, any sort of end-around," Wrigley said.

"I would never and did not advocate for any sort of end-run shenanigans. I wanted to push to make sure that shenanigans weren't being pushed in either direction," Wrigley said. "At the end of the day there's a constitutional course to be followed, and it was followed. In the end the constitution prevailed."

The text revealed in the book would put Cramer and Wrigley in the middle of election deniers attempting to find ways to overturn the election. Cramer, fellow U.S. Sen. John Hoeven and U.S. Rep. Kelly Armstrong all spoke at a "Stop the Steal" rally in Bismarck following the election.


The book is scheduled for release Tuesday, Sept. 27, while the Jan. 6 committee meets again Wednesday.

Mike McFeely is a columnist for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. He began working for The Forum in the 1980s while he was a student studying journalism at Minnesota State University Moorhead. He's been with The Forum full time since 1990, minus a six-year hiatus when he hosted a local radio talk-show.
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