Kelly Loeffler is not sure yet whether she'll try to overturn election
If the November elections were invalid, that also throws the results of the Georgia senator’s own election in doubt.
Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) said on Wednesday that she is not ruling out challenging the results of the 2020 election during next month’s joint session of Congress. But if she says President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in states like Georgia was invalid, it would seemingly cast doubt on her own reelection race.
She told reporters that she was not ready to acknowledge Biden as the victor, claiming, “There’ll be a time for that if that becomes true, but the president has a right to every legal recourse and we’re letting that play out right now.”
Donald Trump and his allies have already filed — and lost — dozens of lawsuits to challenge the election results.
Asked whether she would join a controversial last-ditch effort by Trump allies in the House of Representatives to object to the Electoral College results when they are officially tallied on Jan. 6, she declined to say no.
“I haven’t looked at it,” she answered. “January 6 is a long way out and there’s a lot to play out between now and then.”
Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already conceded Trump’s defeat and has reportedly begged Loeffler and other Senate Republicans not to object to the vote count.
If any single senator joins the House GOP effort to challenge the results in any state, it will force a two-hour closed debate in each chamber and a vote on whether to reject that state’s electors. With a Democratic majority in the House and a majority of senators now acknowledging Biden’s win, such a maneuver would likely delay — but have zero impact on — the process.
On a conference call Tuesday, McConnell (R-KY) said forcing senators to vote on the results would be a “terrible vote” for Republicans — requiring them to either vote to overturn a free and fair election — one in which many of them ran and won — or to go on record against Trump, who has repeatedly claimed that he won “by a lot.” (He lost both the popular vote and the Electoral College vote, 306 to 232, which he described in 2016 as a “landslide.”)
Since Election Day, Loeffler has supported Trump’s widely debunked claims of fraud and attacked elections officials from her own party for not doing enough to rig the vote for the incumbent, even demanding the resignation of Georgia’s secretary of state.
On the same day Biden won Georgia by about 12,000 votes, Loeffler, who was appointed to a vacant seat last December, won a slot in the Jan. 5 runoff by coming in second in a very crowded field of candidates. She will face the top vote-getter, Democrat Raphael Warnock, as none of the candidates received a majority of the vote.
But if Loeffler endorses GOP claims that Congress should overturn Georgia’s election results, she would also call into question her own place in that runoff. Republican Rep. Doug Collins finished in third place, less than 6% behind her.
Additionally, it would be difficult for her to ask supporters to turn out again to vote for her in another election run by the same Republican officials who allegedly let the election be “stolen” for Biden, while arguing that certified election results should be overturned by Congress.
Loeffler hasn’t said whether she would accept the runoff results if she were to win in January under the very same system run by the very same officials she is now calling fraudulent. Her campaign did not immediately response to an inquiry for this story.
On Wednesday, Warnock blasted Loeffler for disrespecting Georgia voters through her refusal to accept Biden’s victory.
“After refusing for weeks to acknowledge the basic fact that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the election, Kelly Loeffler is now leaving the door open to challenging those results in Congress. That’s reckless and disrespectful of Georgia voters,” he said in a press statement.
“The Electoral College voted and even Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has congratulated President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris. It’s time for Senator Loeffler to stop putting her personal politics ahead of what’s best for our country and accept the results of the November election.”
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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