facebook app symbol  twitter  linkedin  instagram 1

A former Justice Department official told the House committee investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol that Donald Trump complained Native Americans were paid to vote against him in the 2020 election. 

Richard Donoghue, who served as Trump’s acting deputy attorney general in December 2020 and January 2021, testified on Monday that the former president pressured Justice officials to investigate alleged irregularities in Native American voting. Trump accused Native Americans of voter fraud, claiming they cost him the election. 

"Dead people are voting, Indian people are getting paid to vote,” Trump said, according to Donoghue. “There’s lots of fraud going on here.”  

Donoghue refuted Trump’s baseless claim, telling the Committee, “We told him flat out that much of the information he’s getting is false and/or just not supported by the evidence.”

Undaunted, Trump repeated the lie about Native Americans in interviews and post-election rallies, including a June 5 speech for North Carolina Republicans, where he talked about alleged widespread voter fraud and claimed: "Indians getting paid to vote in certain states, including Arizona and Nevada, getting paid to vote. You’re not allowed to get paid to vote."

Trump’s false claims may have stemmed, in part, from his disappointment that Native American voters played a key role in several swing states won by Biden — including Wisconsin and Arizona — during the 2020 election.

The results of the election were in line with a national poll of Native American voters prior to the November contest. A national survey by Native News Online released prior to the election found that its Native American readers and Indian Country leaders overwhelmingly supported Democratic nominee Joseph R. Biden for president. The survey of 519 American Indians and Alaska Natives from more than 200 tribes found that 68 percent planned to support Mr. Biden for president, with just 15 percent planning to support then President Donald J. Trump.

Native American voting rights advocate Tom Rodgers (Blackfeet Nation), issued a statement after Donoghue's testimony about Trump's "false and damaging claims" that Native Americans were paid to vote in 2020. 

"The Big Lie just got bigger," Rodgers said in a statement published on Twitter. "For nearly a century, every effort has been made to keep Native Americans from casting a ballot, the core rite of democracy.  Many people have worked hard to break these dark barriers, so that any Indigenous adult who wants to vote can vote. 

"Trump's unfounded accusation that Native Americans were paid to vote in 2020 is in line witha lifetime of his ignorant hate-filled remarks aimed at Native Americans.  Trump's words are why Native Americans will continue to vote in record numbers.  This path gives us our voice." 

More Stories Like This

Zuni Youth Enrichment Project Will Offer Multiple National Park Trips for Youth in 2024
Federal Government Shutdown Averted by Short-term Extension
House Passes Bipartisan Legislation to Boost Support for Indigenous Entrepreneurs
Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby named OKCityan of Year
Native Farm Bill Coalition Leaders Critical of USDA Equity Commission Final Report

Native Perspective.  Native Voices.  Native News. 

We launched Native News Online because the mainstream media often overlooks news that is important is Native people. We believe that everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities. That's why the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers.  We hope you'll consider making a donation to support our efforts so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount — big or small — gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous-centered journalism. Thank you.

About The Author
Native News Online Staff
Author: Native News Online StaffEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Native News Online is one of the most-read publications covering Indian Country and the news that matters to American Indians, Alaska Natives and other Indigenous people. Reach out to us at [email protected].