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Sen. Mike Lee continues to defend Trump’s questioning of election results

(Ross D. Franklin | AP file photo) Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, speaks at a campaign rally for President Donald Trump at Phoenix Goodyear Airport on Oct. 28, 2020. Lee continues to defend Trump's challenge of election results.

In posts on a conservative alternative to Twitter and Facebook, Sen. Mike Lee is continuing to defend President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede the election and challenge results — and has yet to recognize Joe Biden as president-elect.

“You want unity now, progressives?” he asked in a post on Parler. “If you do, then — regardless of what you think of President Trump or the legal theories being pursued by his lawyers — at least acknowledge that he has every right to verify the fairness and accuracy of the election. Such efforts are not at odds with the electoral process; they are themselves part of the process.”

The Utah senator added in complaint, “Democrats and other Trump-hating Americans utilized mechanisms made available to them by the Constitution — most recently, the impeachment process — in an effort to nullify the 2016 election. They have denigrated him at every turn, and with him those who voted for him in 2016.”

So, he said, “it’s hard to take seriously those who are expressing outrage that Trump wants to find out what, if anything, they might have done to de-legitimize him and prevent his re-election.”

Democrats and other Trump-hating Americans utilized mechanisms made available to them by the Constitution — most recently, the impeachment process — in an effort to nullify the 2016 election. They have denigrated him at every turn, and with him, those who voted for him in 2016. So needless to say, it’s hard to take seriously those who are expressing outrage that Trump wants to exhaust his legal remedies to find out what, if anything, they might have done to de-legitimize him and prevent his re-election. You want unity now, progressives? Great. If you do, then — regardless of what you think of President Trump or the legal theories being pursued by his lawyers — at least acknowledge that he has every right to verify the fairness and accuracy of the election. Such efforts are not at odds with the electoral process; they are themselves part of the process.

-- Senator Mike Lee SenMikeLee Sunday, November 22, 2020

That is in contrast to Utah’s other senator, Republican Mitt Romney, who last Thursday criticized Trump for overt pressure on state and local officials to overturn the election. “It is difficult to imagine a worse, more undemocratic action by a sitting American president.”

Romney, the only GOP senator to vote to impeach Trump, was also among the first GOP senators to congratulate Biden after major news operations declared him the winner.

Beyond Romney, a group of prominent Utah Republicans, such as Gov. Gary Herbert, Gov.-elect Spencer Cox and Rep. John Curtis, have all acknowledged that Biden won. But other Republicans in Utah’s congressional delegation have yet to do so.

The Trump legal team, led by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, has failed to come up with any evidence of election fraud and the challenges have been rejected by numerous courts.

Nevertheless, the Utah Republican Party on Friday issued a statement that supports Trump’s questioning of election results. “In light of the gravity of these allegations, they need to be thoroughly investigated, and if necessary, litigated,” it said.

Lee continued his support of Trump in a string of other recent posts on Parler.

“Do you remember when all Democrats universally condemned Hillary Clinton’s advice that Joe Biden should never, ever concede — even if it appeared Trump had won the election? Oh wait … such condemnation never materialized. So why is Trump universally condemned by all Democrats for exhausting all legal remedies following the same election?” Lee wrote.

Do you remember when all Democrats universally condemned Hillary Clinton’s advice that Joe Biden should never, ever concede—even if it appeared Trump had won the election? Oh wait . . . such condemnation never materialized. So why is Trump universally condemned by all Democrats for exhausting all legal remedies following the same election? That doesn’t seem like a fair standard.

-- Senator Mike Lee SenMikeLee Monday, November 23, 2020

In another, he added, “If Democrats are so confident that nothing bad happened in the 2020 president election — and that anything, anything that might have gone wrong could not have affected the outcome of the election — why should they fear the challenges brought by the Trump campaign?”

In yet another, he wrote, “How can they demand that Republicans unflinchingly respect a procedure that they (a) have tried to undermine for four years, and (b) are still trying to cut short by denying President Trump the right to pursue legal remedies to verify the legitimacy of the election?”

Lee was a Never Trumper in 2016 who has in recent years fully converted to an ally and supporter of the president.

Lee’s posts on the alternative Parler social media site come as he has attacked Facebook and Twitter recently as unfair to conservatives — including himself — saying they have tagged or removed as questionable many of their posts but tend to leave liberals alone.

He griped at a hearing last week that Facebook tagged one of his posts about the election saying, “Election officials say that voter fraud, which is historically rare, has not affected the outcome in this election. … Mail-in voting was conducted in accordance with state voting rules.”

Lee said then that it “sounds a whole lot more like state-run media announcing the party line than a neutral company as it purports to be.” He added, “This kind of editorializing insulates people from the truth, and it insinuates that anyone concerned about voter fraud must be crazy. It also states it as if it were an irrefutable, neutral objective fact.”

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