John Lott is an author, economist, gun rights advocate, and former Trump advisor. During his brief tenure as a senior advisor in the Department of Justice (from October 2020 through January 2021), he participated in Trump’s efforts to influence officials from key states to overturn the 2020 presidential election results. Since then, Lott has continued to argue that there was evidence of significant voter fraud in the election.
The Big Lie
- In a Nov. 4, 2020 Facebook post, Lott alleged “massive vote fraud in Pennsylvania.”
- Lott was party to a Jan. 2, 2021 call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) in which Trump pressured Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to put him ahead of Biden in Georgia.
- In a widely shared paper originally published on Dec. 21, 2020 and revised on Jan. 6, 2021, Lott made a statistical argument that the distribution of absentee ballots in Georgia and Pennsylvania provided evidence of significant voter fraud. His methodology has since been debunked by other experts.
- Lott’s history of questionable analysis of election results dates as far back as 2000, when he argued that the media’s premature calling of Florida’s presidential election in favor of Al Gore cost George Bush 10,000 votes. According to other experts, the correct figure is somewhere between 28 and 56 votes.
- The House Select Committee investigating the attack on the Capitol became more interested in Lott after it questioned former DOJ staffer Jeffrey Clark, who Trump was allegedly considering naming acting attorney general given his belief in election fraud conspiracies. After Clark refused to answer questions, the investigator stated for the record that among the questions he had hoped to ask was “about interaction with a man named John Lott, who worked at the Department of Justice and wrote a memo that involved some allegations of voter fraud.”
- Lott left his position at the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs in January 2021.
- On March 24, 2021, Lott published an article on RealClearInvestigations claiming that the election results in Missoula County, Montana were suspicious, based on the findings of a Republican-backed “audit” group that filed a records request. A recount conducted by the Missoula County Republican Central Committee found only 71 ballots that differed from the original count, far fewer than the more than 5,000 Lott alleged to have issues.
- On June 27, 2022, Lott and an organization called the Missoula County Election Integrity Project sued the Missoula County elections office for disposing of some videos and documents relating to the November 2020 vote count. According to the Missoula Current, the county elections office retained the recordings for the 30 days mandated by county and state policy. The Current reports that the Missoula County Election Integrity Project was being supported by the America First Policy Institute, which was launched by 40 former Trump administration staffers, with input from Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner.