TEXAS — As the majority of Texas Republican lawmakers on the state and federal level continue to refuse to acknowledge Joe Biden as president-elect, one Texas congressman is leading the charge to pressure the Department of Justice to investigate President Donald Trump’s allegations of vote-rigging in the 2020 presidential election.
Rep. Michael Cloud, a Republican from Victoria, who represents the state’s 27th District, Tuesday initiated a letter signed by 36 other House Republicans to Attorney General William Barr expressing concern about the “shocking lack of action from the Justice Department” under his direction.
The letter came hours after Barr, a key Trump ally, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that his department had uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could change the outcome of the Nov. 3 election.
Barr’s comments came as Trump and his legal teams continued to push a narrative that the election was full of voting irregularities, particularly in swing states such as Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. Biden won all of those states, according to each of their certified election results.
Trump has refused to concede in the race. His personal lawyer Rudolph Giuliani said in a statement that “there hasn’t been any semblance” of an investigation into the president’s complaints about voting fraud.
On Wednesday, Trump released a 46-minute, prerecorded video that included allegations that the election had been under a “coordinated assault and siege.” Trump also claimed that state election officials tipped off Biden by telling him not to bother campaigning because Democrats would corrupt the vote in his favor. Both Facebook and Twitter labeled the video’s allegations with a “disputed” tag on the posts.
Despite Barr’s comments about the lack of evidence to back up Trump and his legal team’s allegations, as well as several Republican governors and secretary of states' declarations that their states’ votes were clean and fair, Texas Republican lawmakers remain unconvinced and unwilling to accept Trump’s defeat at the polls.
Thirty-seven House Republicans signed the letter to Barr on Dec. 1, including Cloud and eight other Texas congressmen. The Texas members of Congress who signed the letter with Cloud include Reps. Jodey Arrington of Lubbock, Brian Babin of Woodville, Mike Conaway of Midland, Dan Crenshaw of Houston, Bill Flores of Bryan, Louie Gohmert of Tyler, Lance Gooden of Terrell, and Randy Weber of Friendswood.
The letter stated that there have been “a number of anomalies, statistical improbabilities, and accusations of fraud that bring the election results in several states into question.”
“More than enough evidence has been presented to warrant the issuing of subpoenas, search warrants, and the impounding of ballot materials and election devices for forensic analysis,” the Dec. 1 letter said. “With any of the concerns raised about the integrity of ballots cast, it is critical to ensure that we have all the facts and evidence necessary to review.”
The Texas House Republicans are among the majority of Texas lawmakers in Washington, D.C., who have yet to acknowledge Biden as the president-elect.
Republican Sen. Ted Cruz has backed the president’s continued legal challenges to the Nov. 3. Election results.
This week, Cruz said he supported an effort to get the Supreme Court to hear an appeal of Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court ruling dismissing a GOP-led challenge of that state’s mail-in voting system.
John Cornyn, who just won reelection in a closely watched U.S. Senate race against Democrat M.J. Hegar, has hedged on the issue of throwing complete support behind Trump’s false claims of a rigged election. Last week, Cornyn said that “obviously, the outcome is becoming increasingly clear,” but stopped short of calling Biden the president-elect by saying the former vice president “is not president-elect until the votes are certified.”
Two Texas Republicans in Congress have publicly referred to Biden as the president-elect: Reps. Kay Granger of Fort Worth and Will Hurd, who represents Texas’ 23rd district, which stretches 550 miles from the suburbs of San Antonio to the outskirts of El Paso.
Meanwhile, some Trump allies in Washington appear to be retreating as the president’s legal cases continue to get rejected in the courts because of a lack of evidence needed to go to trial.
Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, has not spoken about the president’s allegations of election fraud. While he’s agreed that Trump has the right to pursue any legal actions available to him as a candidate, McConnell has not acknowledged Biden as the projected winner. This week, however, he referred to a “new administration” coming into the White House next year.
Congressman Cloud and other signers of the letter to Barr this week remain unconvinced.
In a press conference on Thursday, Cloud joined other lawmakers and members of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of conservative Republican lawmakers, to demand that Barr release the findings of investigations into allegations of 2020 election fraud.
“Foundational to our Republic is the people’s confidence in our election system,” Cloud said in an emailed response to questions. Cloud said that the number of “election anomalies, discrepancies and sworn testimony from hundreds of whistleblowers” has raised reasonable questions for a large portion of the American electorate.
Those questions deserve to be answered, Cloud said.
“From the information that has been made public, we have not seen the kind of proactive effort out of the DOJ that the moment warrants and that would restore the people’s confidence,” he said.
Earlier this week, Texas GOP Chairman Allen West echoed the Republican House members’ concern about the election results.
“And, even now, as more and more evidence – yes, evidence – is presented that proves beyond a reasonable doubt that there was fraud in this election cycle, the Democrats remain defiant, and delusional, in their dismissal," West said in a statement provided by the party spokesman.