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Power and Lies and Elise Stefanik

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., questions Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, and National Security Council aide Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, as they testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019, during a public impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump's efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 19: U.S. Rep. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) questions Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, National Security Council Director for European Affairs and Jennifer Williams, adviser to Vice President Mike P... WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 19: U.S. Rep. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) questions Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, National Security Council Director for European Affairs and Jennifer Williams, adviser to Vice President Mike Pence for European and Russian Affairs during testimony before the House Intelligence Committee in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill November 19, 2019 in Washington, DC. The committee is hearing testimony during the third day of open hearings in the impeachment inquiry against U.S. President Donald Trump, whom House Democrats say held back U.S. military aid for Ukraine while demanding it investigate his political rivals. (Photo by Jacquelyn Martin - Pool/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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May 5, 2021 10:37 p.m.

Aaron Blake of the Post dug up these statements from Elise Stefanik, the representative from New York State who is likely to replace Liz Cheney once she’s ejected from the House GOP leadership. Stefanik was a garden variety Upstate New York Republican before she hitched her wagon to Trump around 2018 and went all in with the Trump personality cult.

In the lead-up to the January 6th insurrection most congressional Republicans were careful to avoid repeating Trump’s most outrageous lies about a stolen election. They focused on the purported unconstitutionality of pandemic-related changes to election regulations. In other words, they weren’t directly claiming a stolen election in the sense of stuffed ballot boxes or dead voters or other similar stuff. They were arguing that states had exceeded their constitutional authority in doing things that making voting by mail easier. So those votes were illegitimate though not ‘fraudulent’ in the way most of us understand the term. This allowed them to back Trump’s claims of an illegitimate election by hanging their hat on a very weak constitutional argument rather than racist lies about ‘inner city’ vote fraud and other conspiracy theories.

But Stefanik wasn’t so careful.

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