Ted Cruz leads new GOP effort to overthrow 2020 election

Senator Ted Cruz speaks to the press during the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett. | Samuel Corum / Getty Images

At least 12 Republican senators will oppose the certification of the 2020 election results.

11 current and incoming Republican senators on Saturday announced in a joint statement that they would oppose congressional certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the electoral college next week in a futile effort to give incumbent President Donald Trump an unelected second term.

The statement – led by Texas Senator Ted Cruz – also calls for the creation of an electoral commission modeled on a similar committee assembled in 1877, saying the commission would conduct “a 10-day emergency audit of election results in contested states. ”

Citing “unprecedented allegations of electoral fraud, violations and lax electoral law enforcement, and other voting irregularities,” the letter also argues that states should be allowed to “assess the findings of the Commission and could call a special legislative session to certify a change in their vote, if necessary. “

The days following the 2020 election did indeed see unprecedented allegations of electoral fraud – but all of them were deemed unfounded by the judiciary, state officials, national security officials and election officials. Nonetheless, Cruz and the other members of the group – Senators Ron Johnson, James Lankford, Steve Daines, John Kennedy, Marsha Blackburn and Mike Braun, as well as Senators-elect Cynthia Lummis, Roger Marshall, Bill Hagerty and Tommy Tuberville – maintain the opposite. .

Lummis, Marshall, Hagerty and Tuberville were elected in November and have yet to be sworn in, but will be seated on Sunday before a congressional session devoted to certifying the electoral vote on January 6.

In their plans to oppose certification, the 11 lawmakers join Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, who announced his own plan to object last week, and a sizable majority in the House Republican Conference, led by Trump devotees like Representative Louie Gohmert, who said they would do the same.

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“We won’t tell 74 million Americans that their voice doesn’t matter,” Hawley said of his efforts on Dec. 30, conveniently ignoring the fact that Biden won the election by a margin of more than 7 million votes over Trump and that in the American system their votes have equal weight.

In the end, the Republican objection plan will go nowhere. While a bicameral group of Republicans may successfully oppose the certification of results, the Democratic majority in the House means the effort will ultimately fail there – and it may not have much luck in the end. Neither Senate, where the No 1 and No 2 Republicans in the House – Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Majority Whip John Thune – spoke out against him.

“In the Senate it would fall like a hound,” Thune told reporters in December 2020. “I just don’t think it makes a lot of sense to put everyone through this when you know what the outcome will be. final. be. “

Other Republicans, including the senses. Mitt Romney and Ben Sasse have criticized Hawley’s plan. And in a statement on Saturday, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) strongly opposed the lawmakers’ objection plan.

“I have taken an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States”, she said, “And that is what I will be doing on January 6 – just as I strive to do every day serving the people of Alaska. I will vote to affirm the presidential election of 2020. ”

Ted Cruz’s “electoral commission” reportedly investigates frauds that have repeatedly been proven non-existent

Project objection aside, the plan of an “electoral commission” supported by Cruz and 10 of his colleagues is nonsense. On the one hand, the commission they are calling for has no precedent in the modern era and no realistic prospect of being called. Moreover, the statement is based on a series of false statements by Cruz and his colleagues that echo a rhetoric of electoral fraud similar – and equally unfounded – to that heard repeatedly by Trump.

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Election day – November 3, 2020 – is now 60 days in the past. Meanwhile, Trump and his Republican allies filed and lost at least 60 election-related prosecutions at all levels of state and federal justice systems alleging electoral fraud and other irregularities – and they failed to prove their case every moment.

Recounts in battlefield states like Georgia and Wisconsin – both won by Biden – revealed no evidence of large-scale fraud or irregularities that could have affected the election results. And in all 50 states and Washington, DC, election results were carefully reviewed by state officials and certified to be accurate.

In short, 60 days of scrutiny gave no reason to believe the letter’s bogus claim that “the allegations of fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election” are of concern – and there is has no reason to believe that an “election commission” would backfire a different result.

That there have been allegations of fraud like never before is true, but as Chris Hayes de MSNBC It was stressed on Sunday that these were deceptive efforts led by Trump and backed by his allies, like Cruz, to overturn legitimate election results.

Cruz and his allies cite the results of this effort in their statement on Saturday that the widespread belief in the existence of electoral fraud – a sort of distorted argument “where there is smoke, there is fire – requires the creation of an electoral commission.

“Reuters / Ipsos polls tragically show that 39% of Americans believe ‘the election was rigged’,” the group said on Saturday. “This conviction is shared by Republicans (67%), Democrats (17%) and independents (31%).”

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That’s an accurate report of poll results – but it leaves out the likely reason for this widespread belief.

In fact, the Republican base has been inundated with unproven electoral fraud rhetoric from all corners of the right-wing universe – from Trump’s Twitter feed to Fox News to bewildered speeches by Republican senators – almost continuously since the Trump’s electoral defeat. There is a direct line between Cruz’s rhetoric and the problem he diagnoses: as Hayes said Twitter, “They spent months lying to people, telling them the election was stolen and now they turn around and cite the fact that a lot of people believe them as proof!” ”

Ultimately, Saturday’s statement is just the latest foray into a restless Republican effort to keep Trump in power in opposition to the will of the people. Given that any certification challenge can be dissolved by a majority vote, and there are more than enough opponents to these challenges in both the House and the Senate, Cruz’s plan seems unlikely. to work.

Biden is set to be re-confirmed as the next president on Jan.6 ahead of his Jan.20 inauguration. But if Cruz and his colleagues are also sincerely concerned by a “deep mistrust of our democratic processes” which “permanently threatens the legitimacy of any subsequent administration” as they claim, their own role in the breakdown of trust in the electoral process deserves to be reviewed.

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