In November, Donald Trump became the first president in American history to try to hold on to the power that voters had bestowed on someone else in the course of a national election.
The plot did not unfold in a dramatic scene. Instead, Trump lured Republicans into committing a series of coercive acts on his behalf under a false flag of nonexistent electoral “fraud”: the attempted robbery disguised as a security measure.
It could have worked. Many Republicans went on actively or silently. These included well-known national figures such as Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, Lindsey Graham, and most of the other Republican senators.
But to be successful, Trump’s plot depended not only on the top Republicans he dominates, but also on the cooperation of hundreds of state and local officials. For three crucial weeks in November, some of those officials made individual decisions that could have carried out the plot, while others thwarted it.
Here’s an incomplete list of some of the lesser-known Republican friends and foes of American democracy who emerged in the historic November 2020 battle for their fate.
To stay in power, Trump needed to prevent states from certifying the results of their Nov.3 ballots or convince Republican lawmakers to try to discard the state results. Trump’s key targets included officials in Michigan and Pennsylvania. He found some ready accomplices.
A former state senator in Michigan who refused to certify the state result despite independent certifications from all 83 Michigan counties and no evidence of fraud casting doubt on Biden’s victory by 154,000 votes in the state. Shinkle said he thought the black majority Detroit result “needs to be analyzed.” A county clerk called Shinkle’s abstention “shocking and disgusting.”
Monica Palmer and William Hartmann
Republican colporteurs in Wayne County, Michigan, who sought to reverse their certification of the election result after Trump placed a phone call to Palmer. She demanded an audit of Detroit’s vote before certification of her result, in defiance of the law. He later said he was unaware of the law.
Mike Shirkey and Lee Chatfield
Republican Senate and House leaders from the Michigan state who accepted an invitation to visit Trump in the White House as the president tried to prevent the state from certifying Biden’s victory by 82,000 votes. In the Oval Office, Shirkey and Chatfield received a telephone briefing by Rudy Giuliani on Bogus Voter Fraud. They later lied and said that the meeting with Trump was about economic relief from Covid-19. They were photographed drinking Dom Pérignon at the Trump Hotel in Washington DC after their meeting.
A member of the Republican electoral board in the suburbs of Philadelphia who refused to certify a Biden victory of 27 points in his county. “I think the US Supreme Court should review the farce that has occurred in Pennsylvania,” Gale said. said. The Trump campaign never presented any evidence of voter fraud to the Pennsylvania courts, which dismissed nearly all of Trump’s cases.
Keith Gould and Joyce Dombroski-Gebhardt
Republican members of the electoral board in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, were so committed to the Trump electoral fraud fairy tale who refused to certify the vote in a county that Trump won by 14 points. Three Democrats on the board outvoted them to certify Trump’s victory in the county.
After an absence of nearly two months from the White House meeting room, the press secretary appeared 17 days after the election to spread Trump’s lie about voter fraud. “There are very real claims that the campaign is pursuing,” he said. On the other hand, he lied about Trump’s meeting with Michigan lawmakers saying that “it was not an advocacy meeting, there will be no one from the campaign there; he regularly meets with legislators from around the country.
The Michigan native and Republican national committee chairman appeared at a press conference two days after the election and spread lies about “discrepancies” and “wrongdoing.” demanding an audit of Michigan’s vote prior to certification in defiance of state election law. Under his leadership, the Republican National Party made wild and conspiratorial claims that Trump had won “overwhelmingly.” The majority of Republican voters now tell pollsters that they believe the elections were fraudulent.
Facing the state and local officials who refused to certify the election results were the Republican officials who certified Biden’s victory.
Never in the history of the United States has such an action been interpreted as heroic material, and election results are always routinely certified regardless of who won, as the constitution would.
But in 2020 these officials had to resist a pressure campaign by Trump, who named many of them in tweets, generating death threats against them and their families.
A Republican election commissioner in Philadelphia who stood up to Trump. The weekend after the election, Schmidt spent 60 minutes and said that Trump’s claims about fraud in Philadelphia were false.
“At the end of the day, we are counting the eligible votes cast by the voters. The controversy surrounding it is something that I don’t understand, ”said Schmidt. “Counting the votes cast on or before Election Day by eligible voters is not corruption. It is not cheating. It is democracy.
“From the inside, looking out, everything feels very upset.”
Aaron Van Langevelde
Republican vice chairman of a state canvassing board that voted to certify Biden’s victory in Michigan. Langevelde broke what would have been a stalemate caused by Shinkle’s perfidy. “We have a duty to certify this election based on these results, that is very clear,” he said.
“We must not attempt to wield power that we simply do not have,” continued Langevelde. “As John Adams once said, ‘We are a government of laws, not of men.’ This board needs to adhere to that principle here today. This board must do its part to uphold the rule of law and fulfill our legal duty to certify this election. “
The former director of the cybersecurity and infrastructure security agency, fired by Trump for challenging the president’s election fraud lies. Nine days after the election, Krebs’ agency issued a statement beginning, “The November 3 election was the safest in American history.” Krebs was fired a week later, but continued to speak out about the integrity of the election. After a Trump campaign attorney said Krebs should be “pulled out at dawn and shot,” Krebs said he would sue.
Sterling, a Republican official who oversaw the implementation of Georgia’s new voting system, delivered a passionate speech warning of death threats against poll workers and saying that Trump is “inspiring people to commit potential acts of violence.” .
Addressing Trump, Sterling said:
We are investigating, there is always a possibility, I understand. You have the right to go to court. What you don’t have the ability to do, and you need to step up and say this, is stop inspiring people to commit potential acts of violence. Someone is going to get hurt, someone is going to get shot, someone is going to die and it is not okay. Not well.
The Republican secretary of state in Georgia who stood up to Trump and insisted that Biden’s surprise victory in the state was legitimate. “I am a conservative Republican. Yes, I wanted President Trump to win. But as secretary of state we have to do our job, “Raffensperger said in an interview with The Guardian. “I am going to walk that fine, straight line with integrity. I think integrity is still important. “
In response, Trump said of Raffensperger: “He is an enemy of the people.”
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