THIRTY-ONE former Republican members of the U.S. House have called on President Donald Trump to accept results of the 2020 election – and recognize that Democratic nominee Joe Biden won – as the vast majority of current Republican lawmakers side with the president’s refusal to concede.
In a joint statement on Monday, the group of former Republican U.S. representatives said they believe statements from Trump, who has leveled baseless claims about voter fraud, are efforts to “undermine the legitimacy of the election and are unacceptable.”
“Every vote should be counted and the final outcome accepted by the participants because public confidence in the outcome of our elections is a bedrock of our democracy,” the statement reads. “Going forward it is our hope the nation will, regardless of party or persuasion, recognize that President-Elect Joe Biden has won this election.”
The group includes former House members who bucked their party and endorsed Biden during the campaign. Among them are former Reps. Charlie Dent, R-Pa.; Charles Djou, R-Hawaii.; and Susan Molinari, R-N.Y. Former Rep. Tom Coleman, R-Mo., who also endorsed Biden, issued the statement on behalf of his former colleagues.
Biden surpassed 270 electoral votes on Saturday to claim victory in the most bitterly fought presidential election in recent history. It came after media outlets called Pennsylvania and its 20 electoral votes to the former vice president after four days of counting absentee ballots put Biden ahead, erasing a lead Trump initially boasted about on election night that included mainly votes cast on Election Day.
Biden also narrowly won Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona, Nevada and has a lead of fewer than 11,000 votes in Georgia, which is still too close to call and the subject of a likely recount. Results aren’t official until states certify them and electors cast their votes when the Electoral College meets Dec. 14.
Trump has not conceded. The Trump campaign has filed multiple lawsuits aimed at election results, including one in Pennsylvania that argues an “illegal two-tiered voting system” subjected in-person and mail-in voters to different rules.
Attorney General Bill Barr announced he’s authorized prosecutors to “pursue substantial allegations of voting and vote tabulation irregularities” despite little evidence of widespread voter fraud.
Only four Republican senators – Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Susan Collins of Maine, Mitt Romney of Utah and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska – have congratulated Biden on winning. Others like Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Ted Cruz of Texas and Tom Cotton of Arkansas have said the election had not been decided.