Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) released a lengthy statement Wednesday following news of his colleague, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) announcing his intention to object to the Electoral College votes on January 6, contending President Donald Trump and his allies are “playing with fire.”
Sasse released the explanation after receiving inquiries from Nebraskans who are purportedly demanding that he join Hawley and select House Republicans in objecting to the Electoral College votes on January 6. However, he said he will not be joining them and is actively urging his colleagues to avoid this “dangerous ploy”:
WHAT HAPPENS ON JANUARY 6th In November, 160 million Americans voted. On December 14, members of the Electoral College…
While the Nebraska Republican admitted that there is a constitutional basis for Congress to dismiss Electoral College votes, he said a challenge, in this instance, lacks a “real basis” and denied the narrative that evidence exists of voter fraud “so widespread that it could have changed the outcome of the presidential election.”
“Since the Electoral College Act of 1887 was passed into law in the aftermath of the Civil War, not a single electoral vote has ever been thrown out by the Congress,” he said, adding that “one goofy senator attempted this maneuver after George W. Bush won reelection in 2004, but her anti-democratic play was struck down by her Senate colleagues in a shaming vote of 74-1.”
“For President-Elect Biden’s 306-232 Electoral College victory to be overturned, President Trump would need to flip multiple states. But not a single state is in legal doubt,” Sasse continued.
The senator then walked through six contested states — Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona, Nevada, Wisconsin, and Georgia, explaining why he does not believe the issues raised would ultimately tip the scales of the election while ultimately quoting former Attorney General Bill Barr, who weeks ago said that the department had “not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”
The most “telling fact,” Sasse continued, is the existence of a “giant gulf between what President Trump and his allies say in public — for example, on social media, or at press conferences outside Philadelphia landscaping companies and adult bookstores — and what President Trump’s lawyers actually say in courts of law,” chalking it up to a massive fundraising effort.
However, Sasse said there is “some voter fraud in every election cycle” and that the media made the situation worse by claiming that fraud was nonexistent.
He added they should investigate “all specific claims” but refrain from burning down “the whole process along the way.”
Sasse also said he has not heard “a single Congressional Republican allege that the election results were fraudulent” during private discussions.
“Instead, I hear them talk about their worries about how they will ‘look’ to President Trump’s most ardent supporters,” he said:
And I get it. I hear from a lot of Nebraskans who disagree with me. Moreover, lots of them ask legitimate questions about why they should trust the mainstream media. Here’s one I got this morning: “We live in a world where thousands and thousands of stories were written about the Republican nominee’s alleged tax fraud in 2012, but then when Harry Reid admitted — after the election — that he had simply made all of this up, there were probably three media outlets that covered it for thirty seconds. Why should I believe anything they say?” As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who has watched for four years as lies made up out of whole cloth are covered as legitimate “news” stories, I understand why so many of my constituents feel this in-the-belly distrust. What so much of the media doesn’t grasp is that Trump’s attacks are powerful not because he created this anti-media sentiment, but because he figured out how to tap into it.
Nonetheless, it seems to me that the best way we can serve our constituents is to tell the truth as we see it, and explain why. And in my view, President-Elect Biden didn’t simply win the election; President Trump couldn’t persuade even his own lawyers to argue anything different than that in U.S. federal courts.
The Republican expressed the belief that Trump and his allies are “playing with fire” in attempts to overturn the results of the election, dismissing efforts as a ploy of “ambitious politicians who think there’s a quick way to tap into the president’s populist base without doing any real, long-term damage.”
“If we normalize this, we’re going to turn American politics into a Hatfields and McCoys endless blood feud — a house hopelessly divided,” he warned.
Hawley announced Wednesday he would object to the certification process on January 6, joining a handful of GOP lawmakers in the House, including Reps.-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Diana Harshbarger (R-TN).
“I cannot vote to certify the electoral college results on January 6 without raising the fact that some states, particularly Pennsylvania, failed to follow their own state election laws,” Hawley said in a statement:
And I cannot vote to certify without pointing out the unprecedented effort of mega corporations, including Facebook and Twitter, to interfere in this election, in support of Joe Biden. At the very least, Congress should investigate allegations of voter fraud and adopt measures to secure the integrity of our elections. But Congress has so far failed to act. For these reasons, I will follow the same practice Democrat members of Congress have in years past and object during the certification process on January 6 to raise these critical issues.
Trump plans to be in Washington, DC, on January 6, and appeared to urge supporters to join him.
“JANUARY SIXTH, SEE YOU IN DC!” he said Wednesday:
JANUARY SIXTH, SEE YOU IN DC!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 30, 2020