‘Dangerous Ploy’: Sasse Rebukes GOP Effort To Object To Electoral College Votes

FILE - In this Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017 file photo, Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., speaks during a legislative summit featuring Nebraska's elected Congressional and House officials, in Ashland, Neb. Sasse says Republican lea... FILE - In this Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017 file photo, Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., speaks during a legislative summit featuring Nebraska's elected Congressional and House officials, in Ashland, Neb. Sasse says Republican leaders are overstating how much passing tax-cut legislation can protect their party in next year's elections. The Nebraska Republican, who addressed an evangelical conservative group Saturday night, Nov. 18, 2017, told reporters after his speech that he likes the tax bill moving in the Senate. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File) MORE LESS
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December 31, 2020 10:50 a.m.

Republican Sen. Ben Sasse (NE) on Wednesday night rebuked an effort by a ragtag group of fellow Republicans who have said they intend to object to the results of the Electoral College votes when Congress meets for a joint session next week to reaffirm the victory of President-elect Joe Biden. 

“When we talk in private, I haven’t heard a single Congressional Republican allege that the election results were fraudulent – not one,” Sasse wrote in a Facebook post explaining his decision not to go along with the desperate effort. “Instead, I hear them talk about their worries about how they will “look” to President Trump’s most ardent supporters.”

The statement points at an enduring perception of President Donald Trump’s inflated political influence in spite of his dwindling days in office and comes after a fledgling group of Republican lawmakers reportedly met with Trump at the White House earlier this month to discuss the last-ditch move. 

Members of that group, which includes some of Trump’s most loyal followers and conspiracy theorists, have since pledged to play along in President Trump’s wildly unsuccessful effort to overturn the election results by objecting to the Electoral College vote next week.

Sasse called the effort a “dangerous ploy” which he said he has been urging his colleagues to reject.

“The president and his allies are playing with fire,” Sasse wrote. “If you make big claims, you had better have the evidence. But the president doesn’t and neither do the institutional arsonist members of Congress who will object to the Electoral College vote,” he added.

Sasse’s statement affirmed Biden’s win and laid out what has become a repetitive exercise in debunking some of the conspiracy theories surrounding what even Trump’s former Attorney General Bill Barr called an election that was free from the kind of fraud that would overturn Biden’s win. 

Adults don’t point a loaded gun at the heart of legitimate self-government,” Sasse wrote.

While President Trump has praised members of his party who have pledged to object to the electoral votes during the traditionally routine ceremony on Jan. 6 where sealed certificates with a record of electoral votes from each state are opened and counted, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and others have discouraged GOP senators from what would likely be an effort that would be quickly rejected.

The blistering statement was not the first time Sasse has broken from his party in the past in condemning Trump and the efforts of his most loyal supporters.

Weeks before the election, Sasse criticized the President’s bungled response to the coronavirus pandemic, and tore into the President’s for “kissing dictators’ butts” while appearing to “flirt with white supremacists” in an Oct. 14 telephone town hall with constituents. 

“All the clever arguments and rhetorical gymnastics in the world won’t change the fact that this January 6th effort is designed to disenfranchise millions of Americans simply because they voted for someone in a different party,” Sasse wrote in the Wednesday statement. “We ought to be better than that. If we normalize this, we’re going to turn American politics into a Hatfields and McCoys endless blood feud – a house hopelessly divided.”

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