Trump election dispute puts Republicans into contradictions

  • Marc Levy/The Associated Press

(Harrisburg) — The drive to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the battleground state of Pennsylvania over President Donald Trump is forcing Republicans into contradictions with one another.

Republican judge after Republican judge has thrown out sweeping efforts to reverse the certification of Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania’s election.

The latest was a request to the U.S. Supreme Court led by Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly of northeastern Pennsylvania and the GOP candidate and Trump darling, Sean Parnell, who lost to Pittsburgh-area U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb, a Democrat.

On Tuesday, the state’s top elected Republican, U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, reiterated his view that Biden won and that it is unseemly for Trump to pressure state lawmakers to try to undo the election.

“It’s completely unacceptable and it’s not going to work and the president should give up trying to get legislatures to overturn the results of the elections in their respective states,” Toomey told The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Toomey’s comments came a day after an aide to state House Speaker Bryan Cutler, R-Lancaster, said the president had called twice to see what might be possible for Trump to do about the state’s presidential election.

FILE PHOTO: House Majority Leader Bryan Cutler, R-Lancaster, speaks with members of the media at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Friday, June 28, 2019.

Matt Rourke / AP Photo

FILE PHOTO: House Majority Leader Bryan Cutler, R-Lancaster, speaks with members of the media at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Friday, June 28, 2019.

Cutler and other top Republican lawmakers have said that, legally, the state Legislature has no power to override the popular vote and select a slate of presidential electors.

On Friday, Rudy Giuliani — Trump’s personal lawyer — excoriated Republican legislatures in a message on Twitter as having “let down America” and having ”completely misled the President and me.”

Soon after, Cutler and 63 other Republican lawmakers issued a statement urging members of Congress to block Pennsylvania’s electoral votes from being cast for Biden on Jan. 6.

Toomey’s office quickly said he will not object. Republican U.S. House members from Pennsylvania, however, did not quickly answer queries to their offices about the lawmakers’ statement.

Kelly’s lawsuit, meanwhile, aimed to undo Biden’s victory in the state by invalidating its year-old mail-in voting law and all the 2.5 million ballots cast under it. Most of those ballots were cast by Democrats.

When the legislation passed last year, only one Republican lawmaker voted against it.

And, while top Republicans lawmakers have remained quiet about the lawsuit’s attempts to undo the law, lawyers for the Legislature argued in court papers that the law is constitutional.

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