A senator from a key battlefield state on Monday accused the White House of threatening democracy by trying to force local officials to overturn legitimate election results – as other Republicans continued their long march to recognize the president Trump had lost.
Republican Senator Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania told CNBC that while he supported the president and supported his right to pursue legal challenges, “the idea that a sitting president would try, I don’t know. , to exert pressure, to cajole, to persuade state legislators to reject the will of their constituents “was” totally incompatible with any type of truly democratic society “.
In recent days, Mr. Trump has pressured Republicans in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia to delay or revoke certification of their results even as his court challenges crumble.
On Saturday, after a federal judge dismissed a Trump campaign lawsuit challenging Pennsylvania’s results, Toomey congratulated President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on their victory.
In a statement after the sacking, Mr. Toomey said the president had “exhausted all plausible legal options to challenge” the state’s results.
Most Republicans in Congress refused to acknowledge Mr. Biden’s victory. But in recent days, a growing number of party leaders have pushed for a conventional and cooperative transition – as the Trump campaign has collapsed in court, launched outlandish conspiracy theories and sought to firmly arm local officials to delay or cancel the results.
“It is high time to start a transition, at least to cooperate with a transition,” said North Dakota Republican Senator Kevin Cramer on Sunday, even as he insisted that Mr. Trump should have more time to bring legal proceedings. “I prefer to have a president who has more than a day to prepare.”
As a result, the remarks of Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Republican No. 3 in the House, who urged Mr. Trump to act quickly on his legal remedies so the country can move on.
“If the president cannot prove these claims or demonstrate that they would change the outcome of the election, he should fulfill his oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States while respecting the sanctity of our electoral process,” he said Ms. Cheney said in a statement.
The double debacle of Mr. Trump’s failure in Pennsylvania – the conservative federal judge in the case called his trial a “Frankenstein monster” haphazardly and without legal basis – and the erratic behavior of the president’s legal team , led by Rudolph W. Giuliani, compels others to go even further.
Former Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, a recurring Trump adviser, called the president’s legal team “national embarrassment” in an interview over the weekend, saying “elections have consequences.”
Gov. Larry Hogan, Republican of Maryland, a frequent critic of Trump who rules one of the country’s most liberal states, was even less polite.
“It’s time for them to stop the nonsense,” he told CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday. “It gets more and more bizarre every day, and frankly, I’m embarrassed that more people in the party aren’t speaking up.”