Republicans refocus their efforts on future elections

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Senate Republicans pivoted Wednesday from challenging the November election results to trying to ensure fair elections in the future.

“Clearly, we can’t let this go on for the next election,” Sen. Rick Scott, Florida Republican, said at a Homeland Security Committee hearing on ballot fraud and other problems at the polls.

The meeting came two days after the Electoral College affirmed the win for President-elect Joseph R. Biden, effectively rendering President Trump‘s challenges moot.

Still, Republicans said the allegations and suspicions about the Nov. 3 vote and the massive mail-in voting demanded lawmakers’ attention.

“The fraud happened. The election in many ways was stolen and the only way it will be fixed is by in the future reinforcing the laws,” Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, said.

“This hearing should not be controversial,” said Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson, Wisconsin Republican.

Democrats said the committee was elevating baseless allegations by Mr. Trump and undermining the election process.

“This inflammatory rhetoric is harmful to our democracy,” said the committee’s top Democrat, Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan.

The hearing came to a head when Mr. Johnson labeled Mr. Peters a liar.

He accused Mr. Peters of falsely accusing Mr. Johnson of spreading Russian disinformation when the committee probed shady overseas deals by Mr. Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.

“You lied repeatedly in the press I was spreading Russian disinformation,” Mr. Johnson said. “That was an outright lie.”

“This isn’t about airing your grievances,” Mr. Peters fired back. “This is terrible what you are doing to this committee.”

Christopher C. Krebs, former director of the Homeland Security Department’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, dismissed security issues related to the election. He said the government not only protected against hacking but also against “perception hacks” used to spread disinformation.

“The 2020 election was the most secure in U.S. history,” Mr. Krebs testified. “This was a secure election. Of that, I have no doubt.”

Mr. Krebs worked at DHS from 2018 to 2020 before he was fired after issuing a statement undercutting Mr. Trump‘s allegations of widespread voter fraud.

“We have to move on,” he said at the hearing. “This is not America.”

Mr. Trump chimed in on Twitter:

“Chris Krebs was totally excoriated and proven wrong at the Senate Hearing on the Fraudulent 2020 Election. Massive FRAUD took place with machines, people voting from out of state, illegals, dead people, no signatures—and so much more!”

Democratic senators rebutted allegations of voter fraud, saying judges have struck down 59 out of 61 of Mr. Trump‘s legal challenges.

Republicans at the hearing countered that courts ignored to voting irregularities.

“We can’t just say it didn’t happen. We can’t just say ‘oh, 4,000 people voted in Nevada that were noncitizens’ and we’re just going to ignore it,” he said.

“The courts have not decided the facts. The courts never looked at the facts,” he said. “The courts don’t like [challenges to] elections. They stayed out of it by finding an excuse, standing or otherwise, to stay out of it.”

Ken Starr, former special counsel during the Clinton administration, noted that courts have not heard evidence of fraudulent voting because judges dismissed the cases based on procedural grounds.

Jesse Binnall, a lawyer who represented the Trump campaign in Nevada, said he uncovered tens of thousands of fraudulent votes including 42,000 people who had voted twice and a few thousand undocumented immigrants who voted.

Mr. Biden won Nevada by 33,596 votes or 2.4%.

“Transparency is not political,” Mr. Binnall said. “That’s what we were denied in Nevada.”

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