MINOT, N.D. — The first time I ever met Drew Wrigley, who is currently North Dakota’s attorney general, he pulled out a little baggie from his wallet that contained a small piece of paper in it.
It was one of the infamous “hanging chads” from the contested 2000 election between Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Al Gore.
Wrigley, then the executive director of the North Dakota Republican Party, traveled to Florida as a volunteer to help monitor the ongoing recounts.
“People from all over the country where down there,” he told me me. “We were observing and making sure the votes were being counted appropriately,” adding that the Republican and Democratic observers were friendly and even “played cards.”
That collegial attitude, even as vote counting in Florida drove national drama in 2000, is in sharp contrast to the 2020 election between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden, which has seen nearly two years of pitched partisan battle, and a riotous assault on the U.S. Capitol as members of Congress were set to vote on the results.
Now a book from former Republican congressman Denver Riggleman, who worked as staff for the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack, claims that Wrigley sent a text message to U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer, who in turn forwarded to Trump administration chief of staff Mark Meadows, calling for recounts in the states.
“The book reveals Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) sent Meadows a forwarded note from North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley, who shared his own idea for a ‘last-ditch effort’ to demand statewide recounts of absentee and mail-in ballots in crucial states,” Axios reports .