Mike Johnson is heading to Mar-a-Lago for ‘election integrity’ event with Donald Trump

Mike Johnson is heading to Mar-a-Lago for ‘election integrity’ event with Donald Trump

Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson will join Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago for a “joint announcement on election integrity” on Friday, according to the Louisiana congressman’s campaign.

GOP officials have promoted so-called “election integrity” legislation in the wake of the 2020 elections, echoing many of the false claims promoted by Mr Trump and his allies in his ongoing attempts to undermine the outcome and discredit election officials and policies that certified his loss.

Mr Johnson played a central role among members of Congress in rejecting Mr Trump’s loss in the 2020 presidential election, an effort supported by baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud that fuelled spurious legal challenges and the attack on the US Capitol.

The congressman – who was elected House Speaker in October following a three-week standoff among House Republicans – took the lead in a brief to the US Supreme Court with 125 House Republicans to support a failed legal challenge to overturn President Joe Biden’s victories in several states.

Mr Johnson later voted against certifying Mr Biden’s win during a joint session of Congress on 6 January 2021, even after the Trump-fuelled riots at the Capitol.

The presumptive nominee for the Republican nomination for president has also maintained his false narrative that the 2020 election was rigged against him, repeating much of the same bogus claims that are now at the centre of criminal allegations surrounding his attempts to overturn the results.

The event – slated for Friday, before Mr Trump returns to New York for the first week of the former president’s hush money trial in Manhattan - also comes as Mr Johnson navigates criticism from his own party and a potential threat to his speakership while maintaining a slim Republican majority in the House.

Mr Johnson faces scrutiny among GOP members over military aid to Ukraine that has been held up for months, among other issues that have divided House Republicans. Far-right US Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia also has threatened to force a motion to oust him as House Speaker.

The Mar-a-Lago meeting appears to send a message to House Republicans that the former president supports Mr Johnson’s continued leadership, even as Mr Trump’s staunch ally Greene continues to publicly rebuke his position.

Mr Trump did not make an outright endorsement of Mr Johnson’s run for House Speaker last fall, but he told his followers on Truth Social that Republicans should “go with the leading candidate, Mike Johnson, & GET IT DONE, FAST!”