Updated Jan. 5, 6:33 p.m.: U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, announced Tuesday she will join fellow Republicans in objecting to the Electoral College tally confirming Joe Biden’s win over Donald Trump.
In a statement, McMorris Rodgers said her decision was “not about overturning an election” but was about “examining allegations of potential fraud, certifying that states are protecting election integrity, and ensuring people’s voices are being heard.”
Her statement cited unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud, saying “many in the media and on the Left have sought to silence these questions and millions of people are still questioning their trust and confidence in our election process.”
Original story follows:
U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse will not join fellow Republicans in their last-gasp attempt to subvert the 2020 presidential election outcome by objecting to electoral votes that delivered a victory to President-elect Joe Biden.
Newhouse, R-Sunnyside, who represents Central Washington’s 4th Congressional District, said in a tweet Monday he’ll oppose the effort to reject the legitimate Electoral College results when Congress meets in a joint session on Wednesday.
“The Constitution is clear. States select electors. Congress does not. … We must count the electoral votes submitted by the states,” Newhouse said.
Newhouse said he won’t join the hundred or more Republican members of the House and Senate who reportedly plan to object to acceptance of the electoral votes.
Instead, he said he’ll align with several fellow “constitutional conservatives,” led by Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky, with a letter to House leadership which criticizes the “reckless adoption of mail-in ballots” in many states, but says Congress has only a narrow role in formally tallying the electors.
One other Republican U.S. House member, and Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Vancouver, had not announced whether she’ll obey President Donald Trump’s demands that Republicans demonstrate fealty to him by trying to block Biden’s win.
Newhouse and McMorris Rodgers, in early December, were among the 100-plus House Republicans who signed a legal brief supporting a Texas lawsuit that sought to overturn Biden’s election victory. Herrera Beutler did not sign on to the brief.
Texas’ lawsuit, attempting to block the certification of four other states’ elections, was quickly dismissed by the Supreme Court.
Both Newhouse and McMorris Rodgers said in prepared statements at the time they wanted to look closer at the results in those states, all of which Biden won.
Newhouse said the suit was not about overturning the election, but was “simply about ensuring the American people have faith in our elections and our Constitution.”
McMorris Rodgers said that “many people” have had questions about the election results and the lawsuit seeking to overturn the election results “is about the Supreme Court answering those questions for the American people so we can move forward.” After the Supreme Court dismissed the lawsuit, she congratulated Biden on winning the election.
Dozens of other legal actions by the Trump campaign also have been rejected by courts even as the president and his legal team continue to fling false claims of widespread voter fraud.
On Saturday, Trump called the Secretary of State in Georgia, Brad Raffensperger, asking him to “find” 11,780 votes to overturn Biden’s win there — an act some legal scholars described as a potentially criminal abuse of power.
Many Republicans have backed Trump’s efforts to overrule the will of the voters.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, plans to lead as many as a dozen senators in obeying Trump’s demands that they engage in the effort to set aside the election. A hundred or more Republicans in the U.S. House are expected to follow suit, according to media reports.
Massie, in the letter backed by Newhouse, said Republicans should be loathe to mess with the Electoral College, pointing out that Republican presidential candidates have only won the national popular vote once in the last 32 years.
“If we perpetuate the notion that Congress may disregard certified electoral votes — based solely on its own assessment that one or more states mishandled the presidential election — we will be delegitimizing the very system that led Donald Trump to victory in 2016, and that could provide the only path to victory in 2024,” the letter states.
Seattle Times staff reporter David Gutman contributed to this report.