McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, endorses Trump’s fraud accusations. The president muddies the transition.
After three days of ambiguity, the Republican Party broke its silence and came out en bloc in support of Donald Trump and his accusations of electoral fraud against Democrat Joe Biden.
“Let’s not preach” to President Trump about what he should or should not do in this situation, said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell. “No sermons on how the president should immediately and happily accept the preliminary election results coming from the same characters who have spent the last four years refusing to accept the validity of the last elections.”
McConnell’s reaction runs in the opposite direction to the congratulations to Biden expressed by former President George Bush on Sunday, followed only by several senators and governors from the moderate wing of the party.
The Republican leader in the Senate refrained from congratulating the Democrat but also from commenting on the preliminary result, which made Biden the mathematical winner of the elections on Saturday at noon thanks to his victory in Pennsylvania and Nevada. ” President Trump is 100% within his right to examine allegations of wrongdoing and weigh his legal options,” the senator defended during a session of the Upper House.
The Trump campaign has launched legal appeals in these and other states with the aim of contesting the results, but so far none have had a path and all experts agree that they have little sign of success.
Trump had already warned before the elections that he would not accept a defeat, which does not contribute to giving credibility to his allegations. In one case the evidence was as weak as a note written on a post-it by an unidentified alleged electoral observer.
The efforts of the president’s attorneys, who is persistently asking his supporters for donations to fund the legal battle, have been bolstered by a joint offensive announced Monday by Republican state attorneys general, who have asked the Supreme Court to revert to the September ruling that upheld the Pennsylvania state law that allows counting votes received up to three days after the worst elections left open the possibility of reexamining the case.
The authorities in this state, where Biden has obtained 45,000 more votes than Trump, affirm that the volume of ballots received within that period was very limited and has no capacity to alter the result.
Justice Department orders investigation
In yet another example of the Justice Department’s instrumentalization that has defined the Trump era, Attorney General William Barr instructed his troops Monday to investigate any suspected “vote-counting irregularities” before states certify the results.
The usual practice of the ministry until now was not to intervene until the results have been certified. “There is no justification for me to do this,” said Matthew Miller, a former spokesman for the Department during the Obama Administration.
“At best Barr has done this to calm Trump and give credibility to his accusations of fraud. At worst, the Justice Department is willing to intervene in some way to tip the election in favor of the president. Neither option is good but one is much worse than the other. ”
Finally, the president’s campaign team called a press conference on Monday night in which he again accused the Democrats of stealing the elections without presenting any proof of his allegations, which led the Fox News network to interrupt suddenly the broadcast claiming that they could not “in good conscience” allow them to continue spreading rumors (their commentators of the night are nevertheless still committed to the cause).
Regardless of the legal merits of the allegations, Republicans are building a dangerous narrative that it will undermine the confidence of millions of Americans in the legitimacy of the election.
Trump’s inability to present hard, concrete evidence of the alleged fraud however irritates some Republicans. “Show the evidence. Because if you can’t show them you can’t do this. We cannot blindly endorse it without evidence, ” former Gov. Chris Christie, who has served as an advisor to the president, told the president from NBC on Sunday. Some sources link McConnell’s reaction to the repetition of the Senate elections in Georgia on January 5 and his interest in keeping the Republican base mobilized.
Two gold seat
The southern state is in the eye of the hurricane for being one of the states that have contributed to the victory of Joe Biden, in this case by a margin of 11,419 votes, but its relevance goes further: Georgia will convert on January 5 in a sort of ‘second round’ of the presidential elections. Neither candidate for his two seats in the federal Senate has reached the threshold of 50% of the votes, so the elections will have to be repeated.
They are two golden seats: if the Democrats manage to seize both, they would equalize the Republicans. The Constitution provides that in the event of a 50-50 tie, it is the Vice President, Vice President Kamala Harris in this case, who has the deciding vote. Having a Democratic majority in this chamber would make Joe Biden’s job much easier and the Republicans out of the game. The parties will spare no effort or resources to seize these seats.
The combination of all these situations has caused tensions within the conservative party: two Republican senators have demanded the resignation of the Secretary of State of Georgia and responsible for organizing the elections, Brad Raffensperger, also a Republican.
“That is not going to happen. The voters of Georgia elected me and the voters of Georgia will fire me, ”he replied indignantly at the accusations of Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue.
The judges on Thursday rejected the appeal presented by Trump’s lawyers and the Georgia authorities maintain that while they are reviewing all possible illegally cast ballots, they have not seen “any indication of systematic fraud” and rule out that the recount – what they are required to do by law because of the even result – move enough ballots to reverse Biden’s victory.
To turn the score around, Trump would have to get the judges to override the results not in one state but in two, which is unlikely. Biden calmly observes all these maneuvers and has his eyes set on the preparations for his inauguration and the launch of a national strategy against Covid-19.