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On the opening day of the new 117th Congress, Sen Mitt Romney of Utah released a statement Sunday in response to an announcement that several of his fellow Republican senators plan to oppose certification of the presidential election results later this week.
Sen Josh Hawley of Missouri and apparently several other GOP senators plan to join House Republicans Wednesday to challenge electors when Vice President Mike Pence reads before Congress what is meant to be a pro forma announcement of the results of the Electoral College.
However, these congressional Republicans are acting in support of outgoing President Donald Trump’s baseless and false charges of election fraud.
“The egregious ploy to reject electors may enhance the political ambition of some, but dangerously threatens our Democratic Republic. The congressional power to reject electors is reserved for the most extreme and unusual circumstances. These are far from it. More Americans participated in this election than ever before, and they made their choice,” Romney’s statement said. “President Trump’s lawyers made their case before scores of courts; in every instance, they failed. The Justice Department found no evidence of irregularity sufficient to overturn the election. The Presidential Voter Fraud Commission disbanded without finding such evidence.
“My fellow Senator Ted Cruz and the co-signers of his statement argue that rejection of electors or an election audit directed by Congress would restore trust in the election. Nonsense. This argument ignores the widely perceived reality that Congress is an overwhelmingly partisan body; the American people wisely place greater trust in the federal courts where judges serve for life,” Romney’s statement added. “Members of Congress who would substitute their own partisan judgement for that of the courts do not enhance public trust, they imperil it.
“Were Congress to actually reject state electors, partisans would inevitably demand the same any time their candidate had lost. Congress, not voters in the respective states, would choose our presidents,” the statement said.
“Adding to this ill-conceived endeavor by some in Congress is the President’s call for his supporters to come to the Capitol on the day when this matter is to be debated and decided. This has the predictable potential to lead to disruption, and worse.
“I could never have imagined seeing these things in the greatest democracy in the world. Has ambition so eclipsed principle?” his statement concluded.
Despite the congressional Republicans’ anticipated challenge, the Democrats’ House majority assures that challenge will fail and that Joe Biden will be sworn in as president on January 20.
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