- Former Republican Sen. John Danforth on Monday slammed Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley’s efforts to contest the Electoral College certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 presidential race.
- “Lending credence to Trump’s false claim that the election was stolen is a highly destructive attack on our constitutional government,” Danforth said in a statement. “It is the opposite of conservative; it is radical.”
- Hawley was the first GOP senator to publicly announce his intentions to challenge the Electoral College certification, with Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and several other Republican lawmakers following his lead.
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Former GOP Sen. John Danforth on Monday denounced Sen. Josh Hawley’s efforts to contest the Electoral College certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 election.
“Lending credence to Trump’s false claim that the election was stolen is a highly destructive attack on our constitutional government,” Danforth said in a statement. “It is the opposite of conservative; it is radical. As one friend asked me, ‘What are my grandchildren to think of America if they are told that elections are fraudulent?'”
Danforth, who represented Missouri in the Senate from 1976 to 1995, was a pivotal figure in Hawley’s successful 2018 Senate campaign against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, leading an effort to get Hawley to enter the race when he was still a newly-elected Missouri state attorney general.
The spotlight on Hawley, a likely 2024 presidential candidate, has grown even brighter over the past few days as he became the first GOP senator to publicly state that he would back a challenge to the election results, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky warned against only days earlier.
“I cannot vote to certify the electoral college results on January 6 without raising the fact that some states, particularly Pennsylvania, failed to follow their own state election laws,” Hawley said on December 30. “At the very least, Congress should investigate allegations of voter fraud and adopt measures to secure the integrity of our elections. But Congress has so far failed to act.”
On Saturday, a group of Republicans led by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, another likely 2024 candidate, announced their intention to challenge the Electoral College certification. Republicans allied with Trump continue to make or entertain debunked allegations of voter fraud in key states that Biden flipped to the Democratic column in 2020, including Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.
The Trump campaign has unleashed a plethora of unsuccessful lawsuits in lower federal courts and the Supreme Court since the November election.
Danforth, who decided to speak out after receiving inquiries regarding Hawley’s actions, concluded his statement by emphasizing the need for national unity in the wake of rampant election disinformation.
“At a time of extreme polarization the populist strategy is to drive America even farther apart by promoting conspiracy theories and stoking grievances,” he said. “We must reject this strategy and reclaim America’s historic purpose of holding our diverse nation together as one people.”