Two Republican senators are criticizing President Donald Trump and his team for their efforts to pressure state and local election officials to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victories in several closely contested states.
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, one of Trump’s most vocal GOP critics, tweeted Thursday, “It is difficult to imagine a worse, more undemocratic action by a sitting American President.”
Romney accused Trump on resorting to “overt pressure on state and local officials to subvert the will of the people and overturn the election.”
Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., went after Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who held a press conference Thursday presenting a list of far-fetched, thoroughly debunked claims on the 2020 election.
Sasse tweeted: “Rudy and his buddies should not pressure electors to ignore their certification obligations under the statute. We are a nation of laws, not tweets.”
Biden has defeated Trump in the electoral vote, 306-232, according to the Associated Press. Biden was called as the winner of Georgia Thursday, completing the electoral map.
Trump has lost more than two dozen legal challenges in court, but has now expanded into other last-ditch tactics. Among them: personally calling local election officials who are trying to rescind their certification votes in Michigan, suggesting in a legal challenge that Pennsylvania set aside the popular vote there and pressuring county officials in Arizona to delay certifying vote tallies.
Trump has also invited Michigan’s Republican legislative leaders, Senate Majority Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield, to the White House, according to two officials familiar with the matter who were not authorized to speak publicly. The two have agreed to go, according to one official, but they haven't commented publicly, and it's not clear what the purpose of the meeting is.
The Michigan Legislature would be called on to select electors if Trump succeeded in convincing the state’s board of canvassers not to certify Biden’s 154,000-vote victory in the state. But both legislative leaders have indicated they will not try to overturn Biden’s win.
“Michigan law does not include a provision for the Legislature to directly select electors or to award electors to anyone other than the person who received the most votes,” Shirkey’s spokeswoman said last week.
TEGNA Staff contributed to this report.