Heather Cox Richardson:

Other Republicans are standing on the principle of democracy. Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) called Trump’s phone call a “new low in this whole futile and sorry episode.” [Senator Liz] Cheney called the call “deeply troubling” and said people should listen to the full recording. Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) called the call “absolutely appalling” and tweeted, “To every member of Congress considering objecting to the election results, you cannot—in light of this—do so with a clean conscience.”

Today former Senator John C. Danforth (R-MO), who has supported the political career of Josh Hawley, the first senator to back Trump’s challenge, rejected the effort to challenge the electoral college votes. “Trump’s false claim that the election was stolen is a highly destructive attack on our constitutional government. It is the opposite of conservative; it is radical….”

These lawmakers were joined today by a group of about 200 business and legal leaders from JetBlue, Goldman Sachs, Lyft, the NBA, and so on. They signed a letter condemning attempts to “thwart or delay” the process of counting the electoral votes as a threat “to the essential tenets of our democracy.” Biden and Harris won the election, the letter notes, and courts have rejected challenges to that election. “The incoming Biden administration faces the urgent tasks of defeating COVID-19 and restoring the livelihoods of millions of Americans who have lost jobs and businesses during the pandemic. Our duly elected leaders deserve the respect and bipartisan support of all Americans at a moment when we are dealing with the worst health and economic crises in modern history. There should be no further delay in the orderly transfer of power.”

But a group of Republican lawmakers has signed on to Trump’s attempt to overturn the election and stay in power, and Trump’s phone call has not changed their minds. More than 100 members of the House of Representatives will challenge the acceptance of electoral votes for Biden and, when asked their position on the phone call in which Trump tried to strongarm an election official into cheating, dismissed it as “frustration” or attacked the stories about the recording as “one-sided.” (The recording and the transcript were released in full.)

At least fourteen senators, led by Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) will also reject the electoral votes for Biden from states Trump claims, without evidence, to have won. The two Republican Senators in Georgia, in a fight for reelection, have now signed onto the effort, although it means they are saying that the voters in their own state should be overruled in their choice for president.


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