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Mike Roman


Over the course of two decades, Mike Roman worked his way up the Republican ranks as a behind-the-scenes political operative and investigator, becoming a trusted aide to former President Trump. As director of Election Day operations in 2020, he oversaw a network of thousands of poll watchers around the country hunting for suspicious behavior, along with another network of pro-Trump lawyers ready to file lawsuits against state authorities. 

In a September 2020 radio interview, Roman had amped up Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud and proposed another far-fetched conspiracy theory: that far-left activists would destroy Trump ballots. Before, during and after the election, he posted a series of tweets to keep stoking these claims of fraud. 

After Trump lost, Roman was deeply involved in his efforts to overturn the result, actively working with his lawyers and other top aides to coordinate the fake electors scheme, among other strategies to help the defeated president retain his grip on power. He has since been indicted in three states for his role in attempting to subvert the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. 

In August 2023, a grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia charged Roman and 18 co-defendants—including Trump—with engaging in “a criminal racketeering enterprise to overturn Georgia’s presidential election result.” In June 2024, he pleaded not guilty to Arizona’s charges of nine felony counts against him, and that same month Wisconsin’s attorney general filed felony forgery charges against him for attempting to pull off the fake electors scheme in that state.

In January 2024, Roman managed to derail the entire Georgia election interference case by filing a motion to disqualify Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis from leading the effort because she had hired her “boyfriend” as a special prosecutor. By June, the Georgia Court of Appeals had ordered a halt to all proceedings in the case pending the outcome of their appeal seeking to disqualify Willis. Oral arguments in the appeal are scheduled for October 4, 2024, with a three-judge appeals panel given until early March 2025 to issue a ruling.


In 2016, Roman worked for Trump’s long-shot presidential campaign, overseeing volunteers charged with finding irregularities at the polls on Election Day. When his celebrity candidate of choice won, he joined the transition team and was appointed as a special assistant to the president and director of special projects and research, reporting to then-White House counsel Donald McGahn. 

Roman first got into politics in 1993 when he worked for Republican candidate Bruce Marks during his campaign for the Pennsylvania state Senate. When Marks appeared to lose in a close race, he was able to overturn the result by proving in federal court that his Democratic opponent had benefited from fraudulent absentee ballots. That case led Roman to obsess about the potential for voter fraud decades before it became part of the MAGA playbook.

During the 2008 presidential race, Roman worked for the campaigns of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Senator John McCain (R-AZ). In 2009, he began working for the Public Engagement Group Trust, a little-known firm in Arlington, Virginia that purportedly raised public awareness of government spending and free markets and was backed by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch

In 2013, Roman moved to a higher-profile arm of the Kochs’ political empire: Freedom Partners, a conservative political advocacy giant where he served as vice president of research—a title that was something of a misnomer for the aggressive unit he led, which Politico dubbed “the Koch intelligence agency.”

The Big Lie

  • Prior to the election, Mike Roman had been helping the Trump campaign stir up election fraud conspiracy theories. On Election Day itself, he posted a series of tweets to reinforce the message, including one aimed at Democrats in Philadelphia that read: “They are stealing it.”
  • Before Trump’s fake electors met in their state capitals on December 14, 2020, some of them balked at the prospect of facing possible legal jeopardy for signing false documents. When attorney Ken Chesebro responded by adding hedging language for the faux certificates from Pennsylvania and New Mexico, he proposed to Roman that these contingency caveats be added to the paperwork for all seven states involved in the scheme. Roman rejected that idea, texting Chesebro on December 12, 2020: “F**k these guys.”
  • In an effort to ensure that fake elector certificates signed by MAGA Republicans in Michigan and Wisconsin would get to Vice President Mike Pence in the Capitol on January 6, Roman hand-delivered them to Pennsylvania Representative Mike Kelly’s chief of staff, who asked a colleague to disseminate copies on Capitol Hill, according to Politico. Per federal law, the certificates needed to be physically presented on the floor during the joint session of Congress, while lawmakers were tallying the Electoral College votes.
  • In March 2021, the House Select Committee investigating the attack on the Capitol subpoenaed Roman, but when he finally appeared before the committee on August 10, 2022, he repeatedly refused to answer questions about his post-election activities, invoking his Fifth Amendment right to protection from self-incrimination. The committee later published copies of emails circulated by Roman about the fake electors plan, including a detailed spreadsheet tracking the effort in several states.