The Republican heroes and villains of Trump's attempt to steal the election
Photo: Erik S. Lesser / EPA
In November, Donald Trump became the first president in American history to attempt to hold onto power that voters had given someone else in a national election.
The plot did not develop in a dramatic scene. Instead, Trump lured Republicans into a series of coercive acts on his behalf under a false banner of non-existent electoral fraud - attempted theft disguised as a security measure.
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It could have worked. Many Republicans went active or quiet. These included well-known national figures such as Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, Lindsey Graham, and most of the other Republican senators.
To succeed, Trump's conspiracy depended not only on the top Republicans he dominated, but also on the collaboration of hundreds of state and local officials. In three crucial weeks in November, some of these officials made individual decisions that might have seen through the conspiracy while others foiled it.
Here is a partial list of a few lesser-known Republican friends and enemies of US democracy who emerged in the historic battle for their fate in November 2020.
To stay in power, Trump had to prevent states from confirming the results of their November 3 vote or convince Republican lawmakers to try to dismiss the state results. Trump's main targets included officials in Michigan and Pennsylvania. He found some ready-made accomplices.
A former Michigan senator who, despite independent certification by all 83 Michigan counties and with no evidence of fraud, refused to endorse the state's result to cast doubt on Biden's 154,000-vote win in the state. Shinkle said he thinks the result "must be viewed" in the majority of Black Detroit. One district clerk described Shinkle's abstention as "shocking and disgusting".
Monica Palmer and William Hartmann
Republican recruiters in Wayne County, Michigan trying to undo their election results after Trump called Palmer. She called for an examination of the Detroit vote before confirming the result in violation of the law. She later said she knew nothing of the law.
Mike Shirkey and Lee Chatfield
Michigan Senate and House Republican leaders who accepted an invitation to visit Trump at the White House when the president tried to prevent the state from confirming Biden's 82,000-vote victory. In the Oval Office, Shirkey and Chatfield received a telephone briefing from Rudy Giuliani about fraudulent voting. You later lied and said the meeting with Trump was about economic relief from Covid-19. They were photographed drinking Dom Pérignon at Trump's Washington DC hotel after their meeting.
A Republican electoral officer in the Philadelphia suburbs who refused to certify a 27-point Biden win in his county. "I think the US Supreme Court should review the travesty in Pennsylvania," Gale said. Trump's campaign never presented evidence of election fraud to the Pennsylvania courts, dismissing almost every Trump case.
Keith Gould and Joyce Dombroski-Gebhardt
Republican members of the electoral committee in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, were so committed to Trump's electoral fraud tales that they refused to confirm the vote in a 14-point County Trump. She outvoted three Democrats on the board to confirm Trump's win in the county.
After an almost two-month absence from the White House briefing room, the press secretary appeared 17 days after the election to spread Trump's lie about election fraud. "There are very real claims that the campaign is pursuing," she said. Regardless, she lied about Trump's meeting with Michigan lawmakers, saying it was "not an advocacy meeting, there will be no one from the campaign - he routinely meets with lawmakers from across the country".
The Republican National Committee chairman and the Michigan native appeared at a press conference two days after the election and spread lies about "discrepancies" and "irregularities" and called for a pre-certification review of the Michigan vote in violation of state electoral law. Under her leadership, the Republican National Party made wild and conspiratorial claims that Trump actually won a "landslide". A majority of Republican voters tell respondents that the election was fraudulent.
Opposite state and local officials who refused to confirm the election results were Republican officials who confirmed Biden’s victory.
Never in American history has such an action been interpreted as heroism - with election results that are always routinely confirmed, regardless of who won, as the constitution provides.
But in 2020, these officials had to withstand a pressure campaign from Trump tweeting many of them, leading to death threats against them and their families.
A Republican electoral commissioner in Philadelphia who opposed Trump. The weekend after the election, Schmidt went on 60 minutes and said Trump's claims of fraud in Philadelphia were false.
“Ultimately, we count the eligible voters submitted by the voters. I don't understand the controversy about it, ”said Schmidt. “Counting the votes cast by eligible voters on or before election day is not corruption. It doesn't cheat. It's democracy.
"From the inside out, everything feels very mixed up."
Aaron Van Langevelde
Republican vice chairman of a state acquisitions committee who voted to confirm Biden's win in Michigan. Langevelde broke a standstill that would have been caused by Shinkle's perfidy. "We have an obligation to confirm this choice based on these results, it is very clear," he said.
"We mustn't try to wield power that we just don't have," Langevelde continued. "As John Adams once said," We are a government of law, not men. "This board must adhere to that principle here today. This board must do its part to uphold the rule of law and to our legal obligation to confirm this election . "
The former director of the cybersecurity and infrastructure security agency, who was fired by Trump for defying the president's election fraud, is lying. Nine days after the election, the Cancer Agency issued a statement: "The November 3rd election was the safest in American history." Krebs was released a week later, but he continued to talk about the integrity of the elections. After a Trump campaign attorney told Cancer "should be taken out and shot at dawn," Krebs said he would sue.
Sterling, a Republican official who oversaw the implementation of Georgia State's new electoral system, delivered a passionate speech warning of death threats against election workers and saying Trump "inspires people to commit potential acts of violence."
Sterling addressed Trump and said:
We're investigating, there's always a way, I see. You have the right to go to court. What you cannot do - and you need to step up and say this - is stop inspiring people to commit potential acts of violence. Someone gets hurt, someone gets shot, someone gets killed, and it's not right. That is not right.
The Republican Secretary of State in Georgia, who stood up to Trump and insisted Biden's angry victory in the state was legitimate. "I'm 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'll walk this 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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Election Center 2020
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