Shaw: Shame on Drew Wrigley and Kevin Cramer

Columnist Jim Shaw responds to reports North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley sent a message to Sen. Cramer outlining a "last-ditch effort" to reverse the 2020 election.

Jim Shaw
Jim Shaw
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Drew Wrigley and Kevin Cramer knew better. Former North Dakota U.S. Attorney Wrigley (now the state’s attorney general) and Sen. Cramer knew shortly after the 2020 presidential election that Joe Biden had won, and Donald Trump had lost. Heck, even Trump knew it. He just wouldn’t admit it.

None of the states found any significant election fraud, nor did election cybersecurity director Chris Krebs, nor did dozens of judges (including several appointed by Donald Trump) nor did Attorney General Bill Barr, who also happened to be Wrigley’s boss.

So, it’s appalling to learn now that several weeks after the election, Wrigley told Cramer of an idea that could keep Trump in office. Cramer liked it so much that he texted it to Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. We know all this because of a book written by former Republican Congressman Denver Riggelman called “The Breach” and an article in the Guardian. Wrigley and Cramer have confirmed the accuracy of the reports. Their actions were inexcusable.

Wrigley’s idea was called a “last ditch effort.” He demanded statewide recounts of absentee/mail-in ballots in the crucial swing states, even though there was no evidence of election fraud there.

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Book reveals he sent message to Sen. Kevin Cramer outlining 'last-ditch effort,' which Cramer forwarded to Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows

So, what’s the big deal you ask? Because Wrigley also said, “If state officials refuse that recount, the legislature would then act under the constitution, selecting the slate of electors.” Well, those legislatures are dominated by Republicans, and we know what they would have done. They would have sent phony electors to Congress. Wrigley shockingly said, rejecting the recounts would lend “credibility” to the phony electors. Those imposter electors would have made the difference, so Trump would have remained in the White House.


It was an attempted end-run on the U.S. Constitution. You know, that pesky document that Wrigley and Cramer pledged to support and defend. It was a devious plan to cheat and steal to keep Trump in office. In essence, it was an alarming attempt to overturn a free and fair election and nullify the will of the American people.

On top of that, Wrigley might have broken federal laws because U.S. attorneys are not allowed to engage in partisan politics.

Here’s what Wrigley should have told Cramer: “Don’t get me involved in your bogus schemes to overturn the election. Joe Biden won the election fair and square. It’s over. Tell Trump that he should concede, and work with the Biden transition team on the peaceful transfer of power.”

Sadly, Cramer’s actions are no surprise. This is the man who pledged 100% loyalty to Trump at a Fargo rally. Kind of like what they do to dictators in fascist countries. He also participated in the dishonest “Stop the Steal” rally shortly after the election, and attended a meeting on Jan. 4, 2021, about overturning the election.

I expected better from Wrigley. He’s a smart guy and did an excellent job as U.S. attorney. Now, Wrigley admits that Joe Biden was legitimately elected as president. Too bad he’s almost two years late in acknowledging that.

Shaw is a former WDAY TV reporter and former KVRR TV news director.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.

"Does North Dakota really want women with complicated pregnancies to suffer? Does North Dakota really want a critical shortage of qualified obstetricians and to imprison doctors?" columnist Jim Shaw asks. "The legislature must act."

Opinion by Jim Shaw
InForum columnist Jim Shaw is a former WDAY TV reporter and former KVRR TV news director.
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