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Rand Paul's convinced election was stolen — but not sure he'll do anything about it

The Kentucky senator is now comparing Donald Trump’s loss to LBJ’s 1948 Senate race.

By Josh Israel - December 18, 2020
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Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) baselessly suggested on Friday that the 2020 election was a corrupt as Lyndon Johnson’s 1948 Texas Senate race. It’s his latest of several recent statements, without offering any evidence, that the presidential election was fraudulent.

But despite his commitment to that lie, he won’t commit to doing anything about the election he keeps saying was “stolen.”

“LBJ biographer Robert Caro on election fraud: ‘Johnson received the votes of the dead, the halt, the missing and those who were unaware that an election was going on.’” Paul tweeted. “Sound familiar?”

He shared a 1990 New York Times story about irregularities in Johnson’s win over Coke Stevenson in a Democratic primary runoff — though the article noted that fraud was much more common at the time and quoted a Johnson aid as saying without cheating on both sides, Johnson’s margin would have actually been much larger.

For weeks, Paul has been making similar unfounded claims that Donald Trump was somehow the real winner of last month’s election.

“The fraud happened. The election in many ways was stolen,” he claimed at a Senate hearing on Wednesday, without providing any proof. He also asserted that people broke absentee voting rules, that non-citizens cast ballots, and — improbably — that “dead people voted.”

On Nov. 29, he alleged “Anomalies in Vote Counts” in four states.

“Interesting . . . Trump margin of “defeat” in 4 states occurred in 4 data dumps between 1:34-6:31 AM,” he tweeted. “Statistical anomaly? Fraud? Look at the evidence and decide for yourself.(That is, if Big Tech allows u to read this).”

PolitiFact rated the claim a “pants on fire” lie, noting that there was “no credible basis to Paul’s claim” that the reporting of absentee ballots — which were most popular among Biden supporters — was evidence of fraud.

Nine days earlier, Paul tweeted: “When the media says no evidence of widespread fraud, perhaps they mean no evidence, if you look the other way…” He shared an article about a mathematics professor who said that his analysis showed nearly 100,000 fraudulent absentee ballots were cast in Pennsylvania.

Days later, that professor apologized for “lack of clarity and due diligence” in his extrapolations.

Last month, the New York Times called election officials from every state — Democrats and Republicans — to ask if they’d seen any widespread election fraud or irregularities. None of the states had seen any such  indicated any.

At the same Senate hearing this week, Christopher Krebs, former director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, confirmed this. “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised,” he said, urging Republicans to stop pretending that there was.

Trump fired Krebs last month after he wrote, in a joint statement with elections administrators, that he 2020 election “the most secure in American history,” with “no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”

But even though Paul has rejected these bipartisan assurances that the election was secure and has continued to insist that Trump, not President-elect Joe Biden, is the true victor, he has thus far refused to commit to any action to try to overturn the result.

Next month, the House and Senate will meet in a joint session to tally the results from the Electoral College. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) plans to object to the electors from states won by Biden but won by Trump in 2016.

Brooks needs only one to co-sign his objections in order to force a vote on whether to reject the Electoral College votes from each of those states. While this is unlikely to overturn the results, with a Democratic House and many Senate Republicans publicly opposing the effort, it could cause lengthy delays.

A Paul spokesperson did not immediately respond to an inquiry for this story.

But Brooks and Trump have reportedly been lobbying Paul to back the objections. He has declined to rule it out, telling reporters on Wednesday, “I haven’t thought about it, or made any plans to do anything.”

This week, Sen.-elect Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) appeared to endorse the idea of an Electoral Vote objection, saying, “We’re going to have to do it in the Senate.”

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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