You may not know Cleta Mitchell — but here’s why you should. Cleta calls herself “the consiglieri to the vast right-wing conspiracy.” She’s leading an effort to unravel our democracy and restrict voting. And her latest project will gut voting rights in North Carolina, a key swing state.
Cleta Mitchell: “fringe of the fringe”
Cleta Mitchell began her career in politics as a Democratic state legislator in Oklahoma. But a while after leaving public office, she switched.
She went on to become the go-to election attorney for Republican candidates and represented special interest groups, like the National Rifle Association.
A former senior NRA official recalled her as the “fringe of the fringe.”
She has also been called the “connective tissue” of the movement to overturn the 2020 election results, beginning legal preparations for post-election challenges as early as July 2020.
Mitchell was on Trump’s infamous call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger when the former president said he needed to “find 11,000-plus votes.” After that phone call, she lost her position at a big law firm. She was swiftly recruited to head up an organization called the Election Integrity Network (EIN).
Election Integrity Network
According to Lekha Shupeck, state outreach director at Documented, EIN was formed to capture the energy around election denialism and use it to push voter suppression measures.
The Election Integrity Network is part of a much larger web. That web includes the likes of the Bradley Foundation, which funnels money to conservative causes, and the Public Interest Legal Foundation, which has been known to sue states to purge people from voter rolls.
Cleta Mitchell herself is meeting with the state legislators who are designing voter suppression measures.
Take North Carolina, for example. Senate Bill 747 would gut mail-in voting and same day registration, both of which Mitchell has publicly supported.
Despite meeting with North Carolina legislators, she denied crafting this legislation.
Meanwhile, the League of Women Voters of North Carolina is urging voters to write their legislators to oppose the election restrictions.
Shady organizations like Mitchell’s EIN are going up against grassroots organizations nationwide, suppressing and intimidating voters at the ballot box and beyond.
“It’s not just North Carolina. It’s already happening in these other states,” Shupeck said. “[W]hatever happens with these voter suppression bills, this network is not going away. They are going to continue to exist and continue to be disruptive to people’s ability to access the vote.”