By Tom Ozimek
President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Saturday to praise lawmakers for defending the Constitution.
“So much credit to all of the brave men and women in state houses who are defending our great Constitution. Thank you!” the president said in the tweet.
While it is unclear what actions Trump was specifically referring to, his campaign’s legal team announced Tuesday that state legislatures in Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Michigan would be holding public hearings to restore confidence in election integrity, while Republican state lawmakers have ramped up their efforts to dispute the results of the election.
“It’s in everyone’s interest to have a full vetting of election irregularities and fraud,” Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani said in a statement. “And the only way to do this is with public hearings, complete with witnesses, videos, pictures, and other evidence of illegalities from the November 3rd election.”
Some of the Trump team’s legal challenges have focused on the claim that constitutional rights of voters were violated by actions that include state officials effectively changing voting rules ahead of the election, while the Constitution gives the authority to make such changes to state legislators.
The first of these hearings was held on Wednesday at the Pennsylvania State Senate in Gettysburg. At the hearing, Giuliani made a case for widespread voter fraud, called for 672,000 votes to be rejected, and urged Pennsylvania state senators to appoint their own slate of electors. He also addressed claims by critics that Republicans are trying to disenfranchise voters by filing contest-of-election lawsuits.
“We want to disqualify 672,000 votes so that 74 million people are not disenfranchised,” Giuliani said, referring to the number of people who voted for Trump, many of whom likely have had their confidence shaken in the result of the election by the growing body of evidence of election-related irregularities.
Pennsylvania Senate Democrats, in response to the GOP hearing, said Giuliani is “peddl[ing] unsubstantiated voter fraud claims in any place that will have him” and won’t accept the “loss with grace or a modicum of dignity.”
Republican state lawmakers in the Keystone State said on Friday said they’ll soon introduce a resolution to dispute the results of the election, which could lead to the GOP-controlled legislature appointing electors for Trump.
A Michigan Senate committee is scheduled to meet next week to review vote counting in Detroit, with the agenda indicating that members will hear testimony about absentee ballot counting at Detroit’s TCF Center, the site of Election Day drama, and ensuing protests over what some alleged was a fraudulent process.
Michigan officially certified its election results on Monday, handing victory in the state to Democrat Joe Biden, although attorney Sidney Powell filed a lawsuit on Wednesday, alleging voter fraud with the complicity of state officials and asking the courts to order the results de-certified.
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has disputed claims of voter fraud, saying in a statement that the State Board of Canvassers’ decision to certify the vote “confirms the truth: the election was fair and secure, and the results accurately reflect the will of the voters.”
Arizona lawmakers and members of the Trump campaign plan to hold a hearing in Phoenix on Monday to discuss election-related issues, the same day that the state’s election officials are scheduled to certify the vote.
Rep. Mark Finchem (R-Oro Valley), who announced he will be chairing the meeting, said in a press release that his “worst fears have come to light” after “examining potential fraud pathways and illegal actions through which our 2020 election could have been tainted.”
“After a review of the statistical anomalies, and there are to numbers [sic] to count, affidavits of improper actions, and community outrage that has grown out of what appears to voters to be an attempt to throw the election through a number of fraudulent efforts, we decided as a Members [sic] of the Legislature, and not as members of any specific committee, that we should move forward with a public hearing,” Finchem wrote.
Finchem’s remarks come after Arizona’s Republican Gov. Doug Ducey said earlier this week that he trusts the state’s election system after he had held off making statements regarding which presidential candidate won the state, citing ongoing legal cases.
“I’ve said several times: Arizona is a good government state,” Ducey told radio station KTAR on Tuesday. “I trust our election system. There’s integrity in our election system,” Ducey said, adding that he believes “Joe Biden did win Arizona.”
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