As Trump’s Fraud Allegations Founder, More Republican Lawmakers Are Acknowledging His Defeat
The Trump campaign’s post-election lawsuits have been almost uniformly unsuccessful, key states are moving ahead with certification of their results, and the General Services Administration has finally recognized Joe Biden as the probable president-elect. Although Donald Trump still insists he is not conceding, a growing number of Republican lawmakers are urging him to do so, or at least acknowledging that his wild fraud claims have not panned out. Joining a small group of GOP legislators who promptly recognized Biden’s victory, several senators and representatives who initially took a wait-and-see approach recently said we have waited long enough.
Sen. Mitt Romney (R–Utah), a Trump critic who supported impeachment and said he did not vote for the president, congratulated Biden on his victory more than two weeks ago, after major news outlets projected him as the winner. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R–Alaska) likewise acknowledged Biden’s victory on November 7, as did Reps. Don Young (R–Alaska), Adam Kinzinger (R–Ill.), John Shimkus (R–Ill.), Paul Mitchell (R–Mich.), Tom Reed (R–N.Y.), Will Hurd (R–Texas), and Denver Riggleman (R–Va.).
Rep. Francis Rooney (R–Fla.), who congratulated Biden the following day, wrote a November 15 op-ed piece for The Hill headlined “Time to Concede.” Rep. Don Bacon (R–Neb.) admitted on November 8 that “the handwriting is on the wall that Joe Biden has been elected as the next President.” Sen. Susan Collins (R–Maine) congratulated Biden on November 9, and Rep. John Curtis (R–Utah) recognized him as the president-elect the same day.
Rep. Jim Durkin (R–Ill.) chimed in last week. “The election is over,” he told the Chicago Sun-Times on November 19. “Begin the transition process.”
Last Thursday, Sen. Ben Sasse (R–Neb.) cast doubt on Trump’s attempts to reverse the outcome of the election. “What matters most at this stage is not the latest press conference or tweet, but what the president’s lawyers are actually saying in court,” he told The Washington Post. “When Trump campaign lawyers have stood before courts under oath, they have repeatedly refused to actually allege grand fraud—because there are legal consequences for lying to judges.”
Sen. Marco Rubio (R–Fla.) likewise has been skeptical of Trump’s election fraud charges. “Taking days to count legally cast votes is NOT fraud,” he tweeted on November 4, although he added that “court challenges to votes cast after the legal voting deadline is NOT suppression.” Last week Rubio casually referred to Biden as the “president-elect.”
Rep. Liz Cheney (R–Wyo.), who chairs the House Republican Conference, initially said “it’s the responsibility of the courts” to address election fraud claims. But by last Friday, she was losing patience. “The President and his lawyers have made claims of criminality and widespread fraud, which they allege could impact election results,” she said. “If they have genuine evidence of
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