A top Republican legal strategist told a roomful of GOP donors over the weekend that conservatives must band together to limit voting on college campuses, same-day voter registration and automatic mailing of ballots to registered voters, according to a copy of her presentation reviewed by The Washington Post.
Cleta Mitchell, a longtime GOP lawyer and fundraiser who worked closely with former president Donald Trump to try to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, gave the presentation at a Republican National Committee donor retreat in Nashville on Saturday.
The presentation — which had more than 50 slides and was labeled “A Level Playing Field for 2024” — offered a window into a strategy that seems designed to reduce voter access and turnout among certain groups, including students and those who vote by mail, both of which tend to skew Democratic.
Mitchell did not respond to a request for comment, and it is unclear whether she delivered the presentation exactly as it was prepared on her PowerPoint slides. But in addition to the presentation, The Post listened to audio of portions of the presentation obtained by liberal journalist Lauren Windsor in which Mitchell discussed limiting campus and early voting.
“What are these college campus locations?” she asked, according to the audio. “What is this young people effort that they do? They basically put the polling place next to the student dorm so they just have to roll out of bed, vote, and go back to bed.”….
Some advisers to other elected officials were frustrated the RNC allowed her to speak at a major event, given her role on behalf of Trump after the election and her repeated false claims about voter fraud. But they did not want to criticize her publicly.RNC officials noted that other speakers who were critical of Trump were also given prime billing at the event.
In Trump’s private comments to donors at the event, he said that he eventually wants to end all mail and early voting, according to audio obtained by The Post. But until that happens, he said, Republicans had to get better at it.
Mitchell advised Trump and was on the call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in January 2021 when Trump asked Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to overturn the result.
“All we have to do, Cleta, is find 11,000-plus votes,” Trump said on the call, which is now under investigation by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis as part of a broader inquiry into efforts to overturn the 2020 result in Georgia.