WASHINGTON (AP/WNCN) — President Donald Trump sought to leverage the power of the Oval Office on Friday in an extraordinary attempt to block President-elect Joe Biden’s victory as criticism mounted that his futile efforts to subvert the results of the 2020 election could do long-lasting damage to democratic traditions.
Trump summoned a delegation of Republican lawmakers from Michigan, including the state’s Senate majority leader and House speaker, in an apparent extension of his efforts to convince judges and lawmakers in the state to set aside Biden’s 154,000-vote margin of victory and grant him the state’s electors.
His efforts to override the public’s will extended to other battleground states that Biden carried as well. It all added up to an unprecedented attempt by a sitting president to maintain his grasp on power, or in failure, to delegitimize his opponent’s victory in the eyes of his army of supporters.
North Carolina Rep. Richard Hudson (R) said the allegations levied by Trump’s lawyers are “breathtaking.”
“If half of them are true, we need to get to the bottom of it and frankly, this may be one of the darkest times in our country if those allegations are true,” Hudson said.
The congressman went on to say every American – no matter of political affiliation – should want the truth to come out.
“This is a process we’re going through right now that is painful, it’s frustrating but it was something that was anticipated by our founders. That when you have allegations of mass corruption in our elections for our chief executive that this process is in place the way it so that we can make sure that every legal vote was counted, the process was fair and transparent and legal. We don’t have that certainty right now so I think it’s important to let this process go through,” He said. “If they’re not true the truth needs to come out as well and there needs to be consequences.”
He said there needs to be a few more weeks so facts can come out.
“We will have a peaceful transition of power. I will be sitting on the platform for the inauguration regardless of who’s president,” Hudson said.
Rick Hasen, an election law expert and professor who has been meticulously chronicling the 2020 race, wrote that there would be “rioting” in the streets if an effort was made to set aside the vote in Michigan, calling it tantamount to an attempted coup.
“We should worry because this is profoundly antidemocratic and is delegitimizing the victory of Joe Biden in a free and fair election,” Hasan wrote on his blog. “It is profoundly depressing we still have to discuss this. But it is extremely unlikely to lead to any different result for president.”
The president on Friday again falsely claimed victory, declaring as an aside during a White House announcement on drug pricing, “I won, by the way, but you know, we’ll find that out.” He touted his total of more than 74 million votes, though Biden himself got more than 80 million.
Trump’s White House meeting was coming days after he personally called two local canvass board officials who had refused to certify the results in Wayne County, Michigan’s most populous county and one that overwhelmingly favored Biden. The two GOP officials eventually agreed to certify the results. But following Trump’s call, they said they had second thoughts.
The state board of canvassers is to meet Monday to certify the statewide outcome and it was unclear whether Republican members of that panel would similarly balk.
Some Trump allies have expressed hope that state lawmakers could intervene in selecting Republican electors, as the president and his attorneys have pushed baseless allegations of fraud that have been repeatedly rejected in courtrooms across the country. It was with that in mind that Trump invited the Michigan lawmakers. He was also said to be considering extending a similar invitation to legis... (Read more)
Submitted 13 days ago