Vice President Mike Pence signaled his support for a group of Senate Republicans pledging to challenge the official Electoral College result late Saturday, issuing a statement through his chief of staff, Marc Short, noting that he “welcomes” the effort and that he “shares the concerns of millions of Americans about voter fraud and irregularities in the last election.”
As the Daily Wire reported on Saturday, 11 Republican Senators, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) announced that they would “reject the electors from disputed states as not ‘regularly given’ and ‘lawfully certified’” pending the results of a 10-day “emergency audit” of results could be conducted.
“The group is led by Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and includes Senators Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, James Lankford of Oklahoma, Steve Daines of Montana, John Kennedy of Louisiana, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Mike Braun of Indiana, and Senators-elect Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Roger Marshall of Kansas, Bill Hagerty of Tennessee and Tommy Tuberville of Alabama,” the New York Times reported.
“We do not take this action lightly. We are acting not to thwart the democratic process, but rather to protect it,” Cruz wrote, adding that he and the other 10 Senators believe that the 2020 presidential election “featured unprecedented allegations of voter fraud, violations and lax enforcement of election law, and other voting irregularities.”
The group noted that the appropriate venue for such a challenge would be the Supreme Court, but they were taking up the issue because the Supreme Court twice rejected the opportunity to intervene. In total, courts — including many judges appointed by President Donald Trump — have rejected “nearly 60 attempts” to challenge the now-certified election results,” per the NYT.
Instead, the group of Republican Senators wrote that they are following the example of the Congress that handled the election of 1877, which was wrought with “serious allegations of fraud and illegal conduct.”
“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,” the group said.
“Once [the audit is] 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,” the 11 Senators concluded.
Pence has largely remained mum on the issue of election challenges despite being charged with presiding over Wednesday’s session of the Senate, where legislators will vote on whether or not to certify Democrat Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election. On Friday, a federal judge dismissed a previous effort, brought by Texas Republican Rep. Louis Gohmert, to compel Biden to intervene and overturn the election results.
But on Saturday, through Short, Pence said that he “welcomes” Cruz’s proposed audit.
The Vice President, the statement notes, “shares the concerns of millions of Americans about voter fraud and irregularities in the last election” and “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 Jan. 6th.”
“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
Congress will meet Wednesday to vote on certifying the Electoral College results.
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