As Donald Trump’s allies fill Congress, election deniers are moving closer to the GOP mainstream, report finds

WASHINGTON – Hours after the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, then-Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman voted to accept President Joe Biden’s victory over defeated former President Donald Trump, despite Trump’s false claims that Biden won only by fraud .

But as Trump edges closer to a rematch with Biden in 2024, Portman was replaced by Sen. J.D. Vance, a potential vice presidential candidate who repeated Trump’s false claims of fraud and said he would only accept the results this fall “if it’s free and fair.” elections”.

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South Carolina Senator Tim Scott and Florida Senator Marco Rubio, other possible VP types, also did not express opposition to Biden’s victory over Trump, but they showed less commitment this year. Rubio recently said that if “something goes wrong” with the November election, Republicans will not passively wait and accept the outcome.

And the recent Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson, helped organize Trump unsuccessful legal challenge until Biden wins. When asked at the event whether he believed the 2020 election was legal, he declined with other Trump allies about the upcoming elections.

As Trump seeks to return to power, Republicans in Congress are casting even more doubt Biden’s victory or deny that it was legal, allowing for a political turn false claims of fraud persist and provides grounds for potentially challenging the results in 2024.

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AND new report published on Tuesday run by United Action, a group targeting election deniers, found that nearly a third of lawmakers in Congress in some way supported Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election results or otherwise cast doubt on the credibility of the election. Several more hope to join them and run in this year’s House and Senate elections.

“The public should have a really healthy dose of concern about the real risk of having people in power who have proven they are unwilling to respect the will of the people,” said Lizzie Ulmer of United Action.

This issue is particularly pressing for Congress given its constitutional role as the final arbiter of the validity of the presidential election. It tallies the Electoral College results as scheduled on January 6, 2021 – a date now etched in history for the violent attack on the US Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.

In its report, United States United found that in Congress, 170 representatives and senators out of a total of 535 lawmakers could be classified as election deniers. Ahead of the fall elections, two new Senate candidates and 17 new House of Representatives candidates are already on the ballot this fall, trying to join them.

Not only was Congress staffed with people who supported Trump’s attempts to reverse his 2020 loss, but also top positions of the Republican Party.

“This is deeply disturbing,” said Wendy Weiser, vice president for democratic programs at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University. “Democracy can only function if its participants commit to accepting the results of general elections. This is it. This is the entire political system.”

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The former president chose Michael Whatley, who repeated Trump’s election lies, became co-chair of the Republican National Committee along with his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump. Christina Bobb who was recently accused for her alleged involvement in a fraudulent voter recruitment scheme in Arizona, she was appointed head of the RNC’s “election integrity” committee.

Under Trump’s leadership, the RNC is making the conduct of the election its top priority, hiring recent staff and increasing resources, said Danielle Alvarez, an adviser to both the Trump campaign and the party committee.

“Biden is in the White House, that’s true,” Alvarez said, “but there were problems during the election.”

To be clear, there was no widespread fraud in the 2020 election that cost Trump re-election. He talks, audits AND Opinions In battlefield states where he questioned his defeat, everyone confirmed Biden’s victory and the courts rejected it dozens of lawsuits filed by Trump and his allies.

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The United States United report details how successfully election deniers have managed to swell their ranks in Congress. He analyzes the results of congressional party primaries in the 10 states that held them this year and found that in every state at least one voter denier made it to the general election for a House or Senate seat.

The report defines election deniers as people who falsely claimed that Trump won in 2020, spread disinformation about the election or took steps to invalidate it, or refused to identify as a separate race. Establishes that at least 67 parliamentarians, including 50 officials, will be on the ballot in the House of Representatives in November. Three candidates will run for Senate – one of whom, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, is the incumbent senator.

Election deniers also suffered significant losses. Last week in West Virginia, Republican Carol Miller, who also voted against certifying Biden’s victory, successfully fended off a primary challenge from Derrick Evans, who was convicted of felony disorderly conduct after the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol. Numerous 2022 election deniers lost bids for swing state offices such as governor and secretary of state that would have given them direct power over the 2024 vote.

Still, the movement grew thanks to the dominance of the Republican primary. In the race for a nomination that could challenge Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown in Ohio, businessman Bernie Moreno, who previously said Trump was “right” to call 2020 “stolen,” won his primary election. In Indiana, Republican Sen. Mike Braun voted to certify Biden’s victory, but he will step down this year to run for governor and will soon be replaced by Rep. Jim Banks, prominent election denier who easily won the state’s GOP primary.

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The report does not classify either Rubio or Scott as election denier, but skepticism about the reliability of the vote has become an organizing principle of the GOP, especially in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

Before he became Speaker of the House of Representatives, Johnson recruited colleagues who supported an ultimately unsuccessful lawsuit filed by Trump allies seeking to have his 2020 loss dismissed.

Recently Johnson met with Trump at the former president’s Mar-a-Lago resort to shore up his political support amid a far-right revolt aimed at remove him from his position as speaker. He singled out promising House legislation that aimed to keep illegal immigrants in the country from voting.

During a news conference on the steps of the Capitol where the bill was announced, the speaker acknowledged that it was hard to prove that some immigrants cast ballots illegally. Election experts say yes very scarce for immigrants who are not eligible to vote to break federal law.

While Congress has passed legislation to introduce safeguards to better protect against tampering following the attack on the Capitol, lawmakers will ultimately be asked to accept the 2024 results released by their states.

Vance stood by his latest comments. Rubio said he expects lawsuits in jurisdictions where final resolutions are imminent, as is sometimes the case.

“When people ask me, ‘Will you accept the result?’ “I think some people are saying that if there’s something wrong with this election, we’ll point it out,” Rubio said in a brief interview.

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