The Republican Speaker of Arizona’s House of Representative unequivocally shot down President Donald Trump’s legal strategy of doing an end run around that state’s certified vote and instead getting the legislature to manipulate the Electoral College vote.
Per a Friday statement from the office of Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, the legislature has rejected the Trump campaign’s shockingly undemocratic request, which is predicated on conspiracy theories and false claims about widespread election fraud.
“This week, Rudy Giuliani, Jenna Ellis, and others representing President Donald Trump came to Arizona with a breathtaking request: that the Arizona Legislature overturn the certified results of last month’s election and deliver the state’s electoral college votes to President Trump,” Bowers noted, before soundly dismissing such a move. “The rule of law forbids us to do that.”
In recent days, Trump has lashed out at Arizona’s Republican governor, Doug Ducey, for certifying the state’s results, which Biden won by nearly 12,000 votes. Ducey, in turn, threw a subtle elbow back at the president, saying in a public statement: “If you want to contest the results, now is the time…bring your challenges.”
Bowers went on to point out that he himself voted for Trump and wished for a different outcome, but emphasized he would allow the legislature to violate state law by disenfranchising millions of voters in order to help Trump get re-elected.
No election is perfect, and if there were evidence of illegal votes or an improper count, then Arizona law provides a process to contest the election: a lawsuit under state law. But the law does not authorize the Legislature to reverse the results of an election.
As a conservative Republican, I don’t like the results of the presidential election. I voted for President Trump and worked hard to reelect him. But I cannot and will not entertain a suggestion that we violate current law to change the outcome of a certified election.
Interestingly, Bowers’ statement was tweeted out on the Arizona House GOP’s official account just hours after the Arizona Senate GOP put out its own statement calling for an “independent audit” of the election software and equipment in the state’s Democratic stronghold, Maricopa County. Bowers was listed as joining with state Senate President Karen Fann (R) in endorsing this move.
This earlier statement by Arizona state legislators prompted an encouraging response from Trump, who thanked Fann and Bowers by name in a tweet where he again falsely claimed “a fact-check of signatures will easily give us the state.”
Thank you to Senate President Karen Fann and House Speaker Russell Bowers – and all, for what you are doing in Arizona. A fast check of signatures will easily give us the state. Votes against have been reduced to a very small number! https://t.co/NIGpkJHyoY pic.twitter.com/gJIozjtyES
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 4, 2020
As of publication of this post, however, the president had not retweeted Bowers’ subsequent, outright rejection of using faithless electors to give the state to Trump.
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