With President Donald Trump and his White House and campaign officials claiming-without evidence-that there is rampant electoral fraud, that Democrats are “stealing the vote,” and that legally cast ballots should not be counted, Republicans on Capitol Hill have carefully avoided this false narrative to create their own.
Rather, GOP lawmakers say the campaign must either present evidence in court to prove its claims of election fraud or accept the results that appeared on Friday night on its way to awarding the presidency to Joe Biden. The race had not yet been officially declared.
“The courts are here to enforce the law and settle disputes,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a tweet, arguing that all legal votes should be counted. “This is how the American vote decides the outcome.”
Senate Republican #4, Roy Blunt of Missouri, put it bluntly – as he so often does – that it was time for the lawyers of the Trump campaign to take the helm.
“At some point,” Blunt told reporters, “they must be willing and able to take things to court and say, ‘Here are the specific reasons we believe this election was not legally decided.
Even Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), one of Trump’s closest allies in Congress, joined the controversy in a conversation with reporters.
“It is the Trump administration’s responsibility to investigate certain cases of voter irregularities,” Graham said, predicting that more information would come to light in the next two days. “He is not undermining American democracy by implying that irregularities have occurred. After all, he has to make the case that something bad happened and let the American people decide how credible that is.
There is no wave of Republicans rushing to the side of the President to support his baseless claims, much to the displeasure of officials and supporters close to Trump. In fact, the exact opposite has happened, with some Republicans condemning Trump’s rhetoric and saying it undermines democracy.
A press conference at the White House on Thursday night, which Trump gave and which was riddled with falsehoods, including the claim that he was the true winner of the election, prompted several current and former elected GOP officials to speak out.
Congressman Will Hurd (R-Texas), who did not run for re-election, tweeted that Trump’s rhetoric “is not only dangerous and false, it undermines the very foundation upon which this nation was built.
Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said that spreading Trump’s “exposed misinformation” would “go insane. He advised the president that if he had “legitimate concerns about fraud,” he should “present evidence and bring it to court.
Congressman Paul Mitchell (R-Mich.) said that “if someone has evidence of wrongdoing, it should be presented and resolved. Anything less is detrimental to the integrity of our elections and is dangerous to our democracy.
White House and campaign officials have urged that elected Republicans reach the airwaves or speak out publicly to support Trump’s allegations of fraud, despite the lack of evidence. But a steady stream of comments from various Republicans on Thursday and Friday instead pleaded for the votes to be counted-which in some states the Trump campaign seeks to prevent-and said that any allegations of fraud should be brought before the criminal court, not the court of public opinion.
“Allegations of irregularities can be decided by the courts,” said newly re-elected Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine). “We must all respect the outcome of the elections.
Congressman Chuck Fleischmann said that “all credible allegations of fraud should be investigated and dealt with by the courts.
Trump, among other wild and groundless allegations, said during his remarks at the White House on Thursday that the election was stolen from him by the Democrats because legal postal ballots duly cast by American voters continue to be counted in key states.
“If you count the legal votes, I win easily. If you count the illegal votes, they may try to steal the election from us,” Trump claimed. “We won in all the important places – a lot, actually – but then our numbers were miraculously and secretly