Throughout, Mr. Trump has not just seemed undaunted; he has held up the investigations as a point of pride — a sign that he and his followers are waging a righteous battle against a biased, corrupt law enforcement regime. Mr. Trump has already capitalized, sending a text to his supporters, linking to his donation page: “The Radical Left is corrupt. Return the power to the people! Will you fight with me? Donate.”
This attitude doesn’t stop with Mr. Trump: In Colorado, Tina Peters, who served as a county clerk and thus the top local election official, has been charged with felonies and misdemeanors related to tampering with election equipment, and in multiple other states, officials have been investigated for similar possible offenses as investigators try to get to the bottom of efforts to allow partisan G.O.P. operatives to tamper with voting systems in 2020.
None of these investigations seem to give pause to the Republican leadership or its committed base. To the contrary, brazen lawbreaking is now a political asset for G.O.P. candidates and operatives. Several people involved in Jan. 6 are running for office and winning G.O.P. primaries — with Mr. Trump’s blessing — flaunting their participation in the violent putsch.
As of last January, at least 57 people who went to the rally, gathered on the Capitol steps or violently invaded that building were campaigning for office around the country, according to Politico. And at least three of them have been charged with crimes relating to the riot. Does this hinder their campaigns? Not in the least. For example, Ryan Kelley, a Republican who unsuccessfully ran for governor of Michigan, told Politico, “As I travel around the state, I’m an insurrectionist to some people.” But, he went on, “you know, to other people, it’s like, ‘That’s why I’m voting for you. Because you walk the walk and you were out there fighting for us.’”
Last week election deniers prevailed in several G.O.P. primaries. In Arizona a former news anchor, Kari Lake, who won the Republican nomination for governor, told reporters that there was fraud even in that race and told her supporters that they “rose up and voted like their lives depended on it.”
And in Michigan, a Republican activist suspected of involvement in a scheme to undermine the results of the 2020 election, Matthew DePerno, is on track to clinch the Republican nomination for state attorney general. (In early 2021 election officials reportedly handed over voting machines to him and other Republican activists trying to substantiate claims of fraud in the election.) Mr. DePerno’s candidacy, like Ms. Lake’s, has been endorsed by Mr. Trump.