Republican senator goes off on his own party for 'playing with fire' and trying to overturn the election

Republican senator goes off on his own party for 'playing with fire' and trying to overturn the election

Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri and Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama are among the far-right Republican supporters of President Donald Trump who have vowed to contest the Electoral College results when the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives meet for a joint session of Congress on January 6. Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, however, is a conservative Republican who has acknowledged former Vice President Joe Biden as president-elect. And in a lengthy Facebook post this week, Sasse denounces the actions of fellow Republicans who are refusing to accept the Electoral College results as "dangerous."

"In November," Sasse writes on Facebook, "160 million Americans voted. On December 14, members of the Electoral College — spread across all 50 states and the District of Columbia — assembled to cast their votes to confirm the winning candidate. And on January 6, the Congress will gather together to formally count the Electoral College's votes and bring this process to a close. Some members of the House and the Senate are apparently going to object to counting the votes of some states that were won by Joe Biden. Just like the rest of Senate Republicans, I have been approached by many Nebraskans demanding that I join in this project."

The Nebraska Republican continues, "Having been in private conversation with two dozen of my colleagues over the past few weeks, it seems useful to explain in public why I will not be participating in a project to overturn the election — and why I have been urging my colleagues also to reject this dangerous ploy. Every public official has a responsibility to tell the truth, and here's what I think the truth is — about our duties on January 6, about claims of election fraud, and about what it takes to keep a republic."

Sasse goes on to lay out some reasons why he is so opposed to the "dangerous ploy."

"A member of the House and the Senate can object and, in order for the vote(s) in question to be dismissed, both chambers must vote to reject those votes," Sasse explains. "But is it wise? Is there any real basis for it here? Absolutely not. 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."

The GOP senator sees no merit in Trump's debunked and baseless claims of widespread voter fraud.

"For President-elect Biden's 306-232 Electoral College victory to be overturned, President Trump would need to flip multiple states," Sasse notes. "But not a single state is in legal doubt. But given that I was not a Trump voter in either 2016 or 2020 — I wrote in Mike Pence in both elections — I understand that many Trump supporters will not want to take my word for it."

Sasse goes into details on the election results in six states that Biden won: Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia, Arizona and Nevada, stressing that hard evidence of widespread voter fraud in those states doesn't exist. And he notes that "one of the President Trump's strongest supporters," former Attorney General William Barr, bluntly said, "We have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election."

Sasse warns, "The president and his allies are playing with fire. They have been asking — first the courts, then state legislatures, now the Congress — to overturn the results of a presidential election. They have unsuccessfully called on judges and are now calling on federal officeholders to invalidate millions and millions of votes. If you make big claims, you had better have the evidence. But the president doesn't, and neither do the institutional arsonist members of Congress who will object to the Electoral College vote."

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