Opinion: The Ted Cruz crowd is trying to destroy democracy, not protect it

The truth is that Cruz and his co-conspirators are engaged in what CNN’s Jake Tapper aptly dubbed Sunday a “bloodless coup.” They are attempting to help Donald Trump overturn the 2020 vote and remain as President despite losing to Joe Biden.
There’s no good faith basis at this point to object to the electoral votes from any state nor create a new commission — as the Cruz group suggests — to “audit” the election results. There have been nearly 60 lawsuits by Trump and his allies that have, as The New York Times noted, failed “to prove definitively any case of illegal voting on behalf of their opponent in court.” These lawsuits were even rejected by eight judges Trump had personally nominated to the federal courts.
Then there were the recounts. In Georgia, a state with a Republican governor and GOP controlled-state legislature, Biden’s nearly 12,000-vote victory was confirmed by three recounts — including one by hand. And just last week, at the insistence of Trump, the state conducted an audit of absentee ballot signatures in Cobb County that also found no evidence of fraud.
Biden’s victory was also confirmed in Wisconsin after Trump requested a recount there. The other so-called “disputed states” — as the senators and senators-elect call them — likely include Michigan, where Biden trounced Trump by more than 154,000 votes; Pennsylvania, where Biden won by more than 80,000 votes; and Arizona, a state with a GOP governor and legislature, where Biden prevailed by close to 11,000 votes.
Yet Cruz — the person Trump dubbed “Lyin’ Ted” during the 2016 campaign — is one of the leading figures who wants you to believe otherwise. They’ve served up a buffet of lies and half-truths in the statement released Saturday that desperately tries to justify this naked power grab — or, at the very least, tries to endear them to the Trump base.

For starters, they claim the 2020 election “featured unprecedented allegations of voter fraud.” Of course, those claims emanated from the very person seeking to benefit from this coup: Trump.

In any event, allegations concerning election fraud are decided by the courts, not by partisan actors. Cruz, an attorney and former solicitor general for the state of Texas, is at least one of the group who must know that — and he’s undoubtedly aware that every Trump lawsuit failed.

Yet the objectors misleadingly suggest that Trump has not had his day in court yet, writing: “Ideally, the courts would have heard evidence and resolved these claims of serious election fraud. Twice, the Supreme Court had the opportunity to do so; twice, the Court declined.”

In reality, the courts did consider the merits of the claims made by Trump and his allies. For example, Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani personally argued a case on Trump’s behalf in a Pennsylvania federal court seeking to overturn the results in that state. After losing at the trial level, a Trump-appointed appeals court judge, Stephanos Bibas, gutted Trump’s claims, writing in his opinion that “voters, not lawyers, choose the President. Ballots, not briefs, decide elections.” Bibas added, “Charges require specific allegations and then proof,” noting “we have neither here.”
What the joint statement also doesn’t mention is that in Arizona, the GOP state chair Kelli Ward brought a lawsuit seeking to overturn Biden’s victory there. She was permitted to review more than 3,000 mail-in ballots together with an expert document examiner to prove her claims of voter fraud.
Upon reviewing the signatures, even Ward’s expert admitted there was no evidence of fraud. After a two-day hearing that featured various witnesses called by Ward, the judge concluded she had “not proven that the Biden/(Kamala) Harris ticket did not receive the highest number of votes.” Ward then appealed the ruling to the state’s Supreme Court, where the seven justices — all appointed by Republican governors — unanimously affirmed Biden’s victory.
Another lawsuit that destroys any suggestion that Trump didn’t have his day in court took place in Wisconsin before Trump-appointed federal judge Brett Ludwig. There, Ludwig wrote that Trump’s request was “extraordinary” in that “a sitting president who did not prevail in his bid for reelection has asked for federal court help in setting aside the popular vote.” The judge concluded that, “This Court has allowed plaintiff (Trump) the chance to make his case and he has lost on the merits.”

The senatorial statement concludes with the line, “Every one of us should act together to ensure that the election was lawfully conducted under the Constitution.” It was — as countless lawsuits, recounts and audits bear out.

But facts don’t matter to Trump or those like Cruz — It’s about power at all costs. To Trump and his GOP allies, democracy is simply an obstacle standing in the way of their fanatical lust for power.

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