Matt Braynard is the executive director of Look Ahead America (LAA), a right-wing advocacy group with the mission of “standing up for patriotic Americans who have been forgotten by our government.” Prior to his work with LAA, he was part of the data analysis team for Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. However, he was fired before the election due to a personal dispute.
The biography Braynard submitted to courts in Arizona during his paid testimony claiming election fraud describes him as a principal of External Affairs, Inc. since 2004. The consulting firm based in D.C. helps candidates for public office to interpret voter data to inform campaign strategies. Its website claims that the firm has “a comprehensive dataset for all 186,775,224 registered voters in 111,195,511 households in the United States.”
January 6, 2021
- In August 2021, Braynard appeared on Steve Bannon’s War Room to announce that Look Ahead America would be holding a “Justice for J6” rally at the Capitol on Sept. 18, 2021 “to push back against the phony narrative that there was an insurrection.” Braynard also said the rioters who breached the Capitol were “largely peaceful,” claiming that “this was a crowd that was egged on in many ways by Capitol Police throwing flash-bang grenades into a relatively peaceful crowd.”
- In various media appearances—including interviews on C-SPAN—Braynard has attempted to portray insurrectionists arrested for their actions on Jan. 6 as “political prisoners.”
The Big Lie
- In testifying before the Arizona state legislature on Dec. 1, 2020, Braynard and Rudy Guiliani questioned election integrity in the 2020 presidential race. Without showing any evidence, Braynard claimed that he had data on early absentee ballots from Maricopa County showing that 44% of people who voted in this group never requested an absentee ballot, but received one anyway.
- In the weeks after the 2020 presidential election, Braynard raised more than $675,000 for a “Voter Integrity Project” on the Christian crowdfunding website Give Send Go.
- Following the election, Braynard worked with the Thomas More Society, a conservative legal group, to review election data and conduct phone surveys in an effort to show a widespread pattern of voting fraud.
- On Jan. 2, 2021, Trump repeated inaccurate figures from his former campaign aide, saying to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger that “you had [4,925] out-of-state voters… in Georgia.” PolitiFact pointed out that this erroneous data came from Braynard, who has been widely criticized for failing to follow standard practices for gathering and presenting statistical research and analysis.
- Through Look Ahead America, Braynard helped organize a series of town halls in Arizona to discuss the GOP-led audit of the 2020 presidential election results.
- Braynard attempted to raise money for an independent report on Arizona’s election to supplement the GOP-led audit. In September 2021, he said in a message to LAA followers: “Unlike the ‘official‘ audit that cost about $6,000,000, our total cost for our research is less than $100,000.”