U.S. Rep Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, will be hitting the campaign trail looking for support in a run for U.S. Senate in 2022 by trying to convince voters the system he is relying on has major issues and robbed former President Donald J. Trump of an election victory in 2020.
Brooks argued in an interview with Lagniappe “fraud” caused a sure election victory to be taken from the Republican incumbent. He believes it was not only based on “illegal” votes flooding in for President Joe Biden, but also states changing laws during an unprecedented pandemic to make it easier for would-be voters to cast their ballots.
“One part is plain old fraud. The second part is illegal ballots, and I define an illegal ballot as any ballot that was cast in violation of law, particularly any ballot that was cast in violation of the United States Constitution,” he said. “By way of example, in Georgia, this mass mailing out of ballots scheme violated Article One, Section Four [of the U.S. Constitution], no ifs, ands or buts about it.”
The fact many states made the changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic should have no bearing on the legality of those votes, Brooks said.
“They had motivations and if those motivations were good rather than bad, then the proper way to do it, according to the Constitution, was to do it through the Georgia State Legislature,” he said. “In my judgment, one motivation was to make it easier to steal an election. That, in my judgment, was [Georgia politician] Stacey Abrams and her side of the coin. Another motivation had to do with COVID-19. Those were the motivations, but it doesn’t make any difference if the motivations are good or bad, there is a process in place we’re supposed to follow, according to the United States Constitution, that all of us officeholders are sworn to uphold and that process was not followed.”
In other contested states like Pennsylvania, Brooks argued the commonwealths and their supreme courts should not have allowed so many voters to use absentee ballots. Brooks listed exceptions for certain voters to use absentee ballots as previously set up in the U.S. code. Those include people with disabilities, those who are out of state on Election Day or military personnel serving abroad.
“So, in the United States Code, we’ve set for specific exceptions and justifying not voting on Election Day, which, by the way, brings up a whole new issue, the United States government and the United States Congress, we set Election Day,” Brooks said. “We didn’t set an election week or an election month or election season. We set a 24-hour period for the elections to occur with these specific exceptions that I’ve just enumerated, where someone cannot physically be at the polling place on Election Day. You’ve got a pretty good argument that all those votes cast in violation of those United States Code provisions are also illegally cast.
“I’m not blaming the voter,” he added. “The voter is doing what the law permits, whether it’s illegally implemented by the secretary of state or the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.”
He did argue, however, because those states didn’t follow the “rules” set by the U.S. Constitution, officials should not count those votes, even from those whose only crime was doing what a state allowed them to do.
Brooks acknowledged this and said it’s not ideal to ignore all the votes, but states had to learn to do the right thing.
“I don’t like what the state did,” Brooks said. “I don’t like the idea of rejecting some good ballots because they’re mixed in with a lot of bad ballots, but we have to have an election process where we have confidence that the reported [results] are honest and accurate and I don’t have that with what we have right now.”
In addition to the “illegal” actions of some of the state governments, Brooks estimated somewhere between 900,000 and 1.7 million votes in the 2020 election came from non-citizens.
He used data from an analysis of jury pool information from the Government Accountability Office to come up with his estimate, arguing jury pool participants are taken from voter rolls. While he cites the study as saying up to 3 percent of those in jury pools were non-citizens, the actual report is much more nuanced.
The report studied eight U.S. District Courts. Of those, four said they had zero incidents of non-citizens being called to jury duty from voter rolls. Of the remaining four, only one district responded by estimating between 1 and 3 percent of those called were non-citizens. In three of those last four districts, the courts also used driver license information to call jurors.
Brooks credited “socialists” trying to censure him in the House over his speech before the Jan. 6 Capitol riot as allowing him to gain more popularity.
“That’s just partisan politics and it’s helped tremendously,” he said. “My engagement in freedom of speech and my engagement in favor of honest and accurate elections, coupled with the scurrilous and false attacks against me by the socialists, by a group of media people that I call the fake news media and by the more liberal wing of the Republican Party that some call the establishment wing, all of that has increased my name recognition and favorability ratings with principled conservatives in a Republican primary.”
Brooks also appealed to traditional Republican voters, saying he is a “principled conservative” who would stand against “bad legislation” that would increase the national debt. This stand would save the country from a looming “insolvency,” which other elected leaders know is coming, he said, but want to punt on in favor of being reelected.
Rob Holbert contributed to this report.
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