PoliticsThe SouthSider

Missouri House considers letter questioning Biden’s victory

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — At least 66 Republican state lawmakers from Missouri signed a letter on Thursday calling on Congress to reject presidential electoral votes from swing states that went for President-elect Joe Biden.

Rep. Justin Hill, R-Lake Saint Louis, filed the nonbinding resolution Thursday. It says Missouri lawmakers have “no faith” in election results from Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia, Arizona and Nevada, despite the fact that President Donald Trump and his allies have lost dozens of times in courts across the country and have no evidence of widespread fraud.

The resolution asks Congress to reject those election results unless lawmakers from those states investigate election results, “including analysis of absentee and mail in ballot samples for compliance with state election law.”

A state House committee scheduled a hearing for Monday on the Missouri resolution, which would have no authority to force Congress or other states to act even if it’s passed by the full House.

“Really this is an official letter to other states and Congress saying that we have concerns,” Hill said.

Even in the face of losses in court and recounts that have only confirmed Biden’s win, Trump has contended that, in fact, he himself won the election. And he’s moved out of the courts to directly appeal to lawmakers as his losses mount. He brought Michigan lawmakers to the White House in a failed bid to set aside the vote tally, and phoned Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, asking him to order a special legislative session to overturn the states results. Kemp refused. Trump also called Pennsylvania House Speaker Bryan Cutler, a Republican, who said state law did not give the Legislature the power to overturn the will of voters.

It’s unclear whether the full Missouri House will return to the Capitol this year to vote on the resolution. House lawmakers already left Jefferson City after completing a special legislative session on federal coronavirus aid. The Legislature’s annual five-month session begins in January.

Hill filed the proposal shortly after Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt,  a Republican, signed on to a Texas lawsuit asking the U.S. Supreme Court to invalidate Biden’s victory.

House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, a Democrat, issued a statement in which she called actions by Schmitt and the state House “insanity on a fast track to dystopian nightmare.”

“By seeking to invalidate the lawful votes of other states in a ludicrous attempt to steal the presidential election for Donald Trump, the attorney general and House Republicans have abandoned all pretense of support for and belief in democracy,” she said. “Their actions cannot be dismissed as mere partisan scheming and are dangerous to the integrity of our entire system of government.”

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