RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — State Sen. Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) said she presented her claims “of gross election irregularities” to the attorney general’s office Tuesday, months after refusing to when former Attorney General Mark Herring asked her for proof.
Sen. Chase has continued to make unproven election fraud claims about the 2020 election and said days before Virginia’s 2021 gubernatorial election that she knew how Democrats were “cheating.” Herring, a Democrat who was running for re-election, called on Chase to hand over any evidence of election fraud that she said she had with his office.
But Chase said she would wait until Republican Jason Miyares took office to provide the information to the attorney general’s office, which now has the authority to pursue civil lawsuits over alleged violations of election laws.
“They were very interested in the information and they wanted to schedule a second meeting,” Chase said in a Wednesday evening phone interview. “They kept saying ‘wow, this is something.'” She added that the presentation included evidence of “election irregularities” all the way back to 2008.
Miyares’ office said it does not comment on specifics of internal meetings Wednesday, but did provide a statement confirming that Chase met with members of the team overseeing election laws.
“Senator Chase requested a meeting with staff in the Office of the Attorney General, which oversees election law. Our team met with her, as they would any sitting State Senator who requests a meeting,” Victoria LaCivita, a spokeswoman for Miyares, said in a statement.
Chase, who was censured on a bipartisan vote last year after making comments in support of rioters during the January 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, touted the sit-down with a Facebook post Tuesday. The post prompted criticisms from Virginia Democrats in the state Senate.
In a press release Wednesday, the caucus blasted Chase for providing her claims with the attorney general’s office under Miyares but not with lawmakers or with Herring, accusing her of spreading misinformation to sow doubt about the legitimacy of Virginia’s electoral process.
“Contrary to what is spewed on far-right cable news, there has never been evidence of significant voter fraud in the Commonwealth or the United States. Senator Chase refuses to accept that truth, and wastes our time and taxpayer dollars on unfounded, politically-motivated attempts to subvert the will of the electorate,” state Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria), the Virginia Senate’s Privileges and Elections Committee Chair, said in a statement.
Democrats pointed to comments Chase made during a Feb. 1 hearing in the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee after her bill to allow forensic audits to be conducted in Virginia was killed on a party-line vote.
“A lot of people said ‘Amanda show me the fraud’ and I say give me a full forensic audit and I’ll show you the fraud,” Chase told the panel then.
“Senator Chase’s refusal to provide the evidence of election fraud to a Democrat-led Senate Committee while she offers the information to the Republican Attorney General is an obvious attempt to skirt the legislative process in achieving her lie-based goals,” state Sen. Mamie Locke (D-Hampton) said in a statement.
On Wednesday, Chase told 8News she couldn’t get into the details of the information she shared with Miyares’ office because there was “a lot of documentation” with a lot of technical language. She said would eventually be holding a press conference about her claims.
“This will all be made public at the right time but I’m giving the attorney general and his office the time to pore over the information before,” Chase said.
Republican bills to change Virginia’s voting rules, many from Chase, have been killed by Virginia Senate Democrats. Chase said Wednesday that she is proposing a floor amendment to set aside $70 million in the budget for a “full forensic audit” of the 2020 presidential election.
Virginia conducts risk-limiting audits after elections, a method Democrats and the state’s outgoing elections commissioner say is cost-effective and reliable. The audit for the 2020 presidential election revealed that Virginia’s election officials were over 99% confident in President Joe Biden’s victory.
Chase dismissed arguments that risk-limiting audits are proven and help uncover issues with elections, alluding to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack when claiming that a lack of trust in the electoral system doesn’t come from the rhetoric from politicians but a desire for more oversight.
“If you can’t trust the elections, you’re not going to respect the system. That’s what happened at the Capitol,” Chase said Wednesday. “They [the rioters] were not confident in the election result. We need a full forensic audit to find the truth.
Chase did not say when her planned press conference or the second meeting with Miyares’ election law staff would take place.