By Jack Phillips
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Nov. 9 that the race between President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden isn’t over yet, asserting Trump’s legal challenges are legitimate.
“President Trump is 100-percent within his rights to look into allegations of irregularities and weigh his legal options,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. “We have the tools and institutions we need to address any concerns. The president has every right to look into allegations and request recounts under the law.”
McConnell didn’t congratulate Biden after the former vice president declared victory on Nov. 7. Trump’s team has a number of outstanding legal challenges in key battleground states amid allegations of voter fraud and irregularities.
Although media outlets can project a winner, state electors and the Electoral College are the bodies that can officially declare a presidential winner. Each state has different deadlines for when officials must certify the election, and the Electoral College votes on Dec. 14. Inauguration Day is Jan. 20, 2021.
“Obviously, no states have yet certified their election results. We have at least one or two states that are already on track for a recount and I believe the president may have legal challenges underway in at least five states,” McConnell noted, adding that “all legal ballots must be counted, any illegal ballots not be counted” in the United States.
McConnell also argued that corporate-backed media organizations have no Constitutional role in determining the outcome of an election.
“The Constitution gives no role in this process to wealthy media corporations. The projections and commentary of the press do not get veto power over the legal rights of any citizen, including the president of the United States,” he said.
He noted that Democrats in 2016 clamored to declare Trump’s election win illegitimate, while then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton mounted legal challenges.
“Let’s not have any lectures, no lectures, about how the president should immediately, cheerfully accept preliminary election results from the same characters who just spent four years refusing to accept the validity of the last election and who insinuated this one would be illegitimate too if they lost again—only if they lost,” he said.
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) asserted that lawsuits regarding voter fraud aren’t evidence-based.
“Lawsuits must have a basis in facts and evidence. And make no mistake, there has been no evidence of any significant or widespread voter fraud. Joe Biden won this election fair and square. The margins of his victory are growing by the day,” he said.
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