12 GOP Senators Call for Electoral Commission to Conduct “Emergency 10-day Audit” Of Disputed States (Update)
“we 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”
Twelve Republican Senators and Senators Elect, led by Ted Cruz, have released a Joint Letter calling for appointment of an Electoral Commission to conduct an emergency 10-day audit of results in disputed states, to be completed in time for the January 20 inauguration, including giving state legislature’s time to change their electoral votes if the audit reveals fraud.
The letter recognizes it has little chance of success, but at least it doesn’t pretend — as some have — that Vice President Pence, as President of the Senate, can reject electoral votes.
Here is the full letter, signed onto by U.S. Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), and Mike Braun (R-Ind.), and Senators-Elect Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.)
“America is a Republic whose leaders are chosen in democratic elections. Those elections, in turn, must comply with the Constitution and with federal and state law.
“When the voters fairly decide an election, pursuant to the rule of law, the losing candidate should acknowledge and respect the legitimacy of that election. And, if the voters choose to elect a new office-holder, our Nation should have a peaceful transfer of power.
“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.
“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.
“And those allegations are not believed just by one individual candidate. Instead, they are widespread. Reuters/Ipsos polling, tragically, shows that 39% of Americans believe ‘the election was rigged.’ That belief is held by Republicans (67%), Democrats (17%), and Independents (31%).
“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.
“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.
“On January 6, it is incumbent on Congress to vote on whether to certify the 2020 election results. That vote is the lone constitutional power remaining to consider and force resolution of the multiple allegations of serious voter fraud.
“At that quadrennial joint session, there is long precedent of Democratic Members of Congress raising objections to presidential election results, as they did in 1969, 2001, 2005, and 2017. 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 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.
“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.
“We should follow that precedent. 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, we 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.
“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. 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.
“These are matters worthy of the Congress, and entrusted to us to defend. We do not take this action lightly. We are acting not to thwart the democratic process, but rather to protect it. And every one of us should act together to ensure that the election was lawfully conducted under the Constitution and to do everything we can to restore faith in our Democracy.”
REACTIONS — The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. but mostly The Ugly
Notice the wording:
Cruz does not even allege that voting fraud happened, only that U.S. democracy can be upended if enough people make those “allegations,” however meritless. https://t.co/IaNJN8kFuN
— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) January 2, 2021
This, like birtherism, is a tactic designed to reduce voters faith in democracy. The more people distrust elections and government, the easier it is for hucksters like Cruz to claim they represent an alternative https://t.co/fGV6T9RzR0
— Anne Applebaum (@anneapplebaum) January 2, 2021
Name & shame these enemies of democracy:
Ted Cruz (TX)
Ron Johnson (WI)
James Lankford (OK)
Steve Daines (MT)
John Kennedy (LA)
Marsha Blackburn (TN)
Mike Braun (IN)
Cynthia Lummis (WY)
Roger Marshall (KS)
Bill Hagerty (TN)
Tommy Tuberville (AL) https://t.co/5QNFpHGr7X
— Eric Swalwell (@ericswalwell) January 2, 2021
Rarely can you predict with 100% assurance that years from now everyone who went down this road will wish they had a mulligan. https://t.co/evhNDuabkg
— Josh Holmes (@HolmesJosh) January 2, 2021
With all due respect to my Republican colleagues in the Senate who are doing this: can you please get a grip? Election officials across the country, including Republican Governors, have certified these results. This is embarrassing. https://t.co/J4GY3TbIZX
— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) January 2, 2021
Looks like Pence isn’t going to take any action himself (because he can’t, as mentioned before), but he supports the Congress exercising its authority.
“The Vice President welcomes the efforts of members of the House and Senate to use the authority they have under the law to raise objections and bring forward evidence before the Congress and the American people on January 6th.” 2/2
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) January 2, 2021
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