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A slew of prominent Senate Republicans and their incoming Sen.-elect peers dropped a joint statement Saturday afternoon announcing and defending their intention to challenge the results of the 2020 presidential election come Jan. 6th.
The crux of the argument they made is that “the allegations of fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election exceed any in our lifetimes,” which is why, they argue, it’s absolutely mandatory that the current election results not be certified.
Instead, they argued, a commission must be set up to investigate the fraud.
“The election of 2020, like the election of 2016, was hard fought and, in many swing states, narrowly decided. The 2020 election, however, featured unprecedented allegations of voter fraud, violations and lax enforcement of election law, and other voting irregularities,” the statement reads.
“Voter fraud has posed a persistent challenge in our elections, although its breadth and scope are disputed. By any measure, the allegations of fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election exceed any in our lifetimes.”
The statement was signed by Sens. Ted Cruz, Ron Johnson, James Lankford, Steve Daines, John Kennedy, Marsha Blackburn and Mike Braun, as well as Sens.-elect Cynthia Lummis, Roger Marshall, Bill Hagerty and Tommy Tuberville.
The statement continues by noting that concerns over fraud and impropriety in the 2020 election are no small matter, as polling data has shown that up to 67 percent of Republicans and 39 percent of all Americans believe “the election was rigged.”
And this is an inexorable fact, regardless of what others say.
RELEASE: My statement in advance of the Electoral College certification process on January 6, 2021.
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) January 2, 2021
“Some Members of Congress disagree with that assessment, as do many members of the media. But, whether or not our elected officials or journalists believe it, that deep distrust of our democratic processes will not magically disappear. It should concern us all. And it poses an ongoing threat to the legitimacy of any subsequent administrations,” the senators wrote.
“Ideally, the courts would have heard evidence and resolved these claims of serious election fraud. Twice, the Supreme Court had the opportunity to do so; twice, the Court declined.”
This leaves the matter up to Congress, which on Jan 6th. must decide whether or not it wishes to certify the disputed results of the election.
A number of Republicans have made it clear they intend to challenge the results, and for that, they’ve been smeared as tyrannical monsters hellbent on undoing an election. But this is a false narrative.
“[T]here is long precedent of Democratic Members of Congress raising objections to presidential election results, as they did in 1969, 2001, 2005, and 2017,” the senators explained.
“And, in both 1969 and 2005, a Democratic Senator joined with a Democratic House Member in forcing votes in both houses on whether to accept the presidential electors being challenged.”
The senators then drew attention to what specifically happened in 1877, when so many allegations of fraud emerged that Congress set up a commission to investigate the matter.
“The most direct precedent on this question arose in 1877, following serious allegations of fraud and illegal conduct in the Hayes-Tilden presidential race. Specifically, the elections in three states-Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina-were alleged to have been conducted illegally,” they wrote.
“In 1877, Congress did not ignore those allegations, nor did the media simply dismiss those raising them as radicals trying to undermine democracy. Instead, Congress appointed an Electoral Commission-consisting of five Senators, five House Members, and five Supreme Court Justices-to consider and resolve the disputed returns.”
They believe the same solution should be applied again.
“We should follow that precedent,” they bluntly stated.
“To wit, Congress should immediately appoint an Electoral Commission, with full investigatory and fact-finding authority, to conduct an emergency 10-day audit of the election returns in the disputed states. Once completed, individual states would evaluate the Commission’s findings and could convene a special legislative session to certify a change in their vote, if needed.”
Accordingly, they continued, they “intend to vote on January 6 to reject the electors from disputed states as not ‘regularly given’ and ‘lawfully certified’ (the statutory requisite), unless and until that emergency 10-day audit is completed.”
The letter concluded with the GOP senators rebutting the argument from critics that they’re “naïve” fools or Trump sycophants.
“We are not naïve. We fully expect most if not all Democrats, and perhaps more than a few Republicans, to vote otherwise. But support of election integrity should not be a partisan issue,” they wrote.
“A fair and credible audit-conducted expeditiously and completed well before January 20-would dramatically improve Americans’ faith in our electoral process and would significantly enhance the legitimacy of whoever becomes our next President. We owe that to the People.”
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