GOP senator calls for continued pursuit of voter fraud claimsDecember 6, 2020
Republican Sen. Mike Braun on Sunday said claims of voter fraud in the presidential election should continue to be pursued.
The Indiana GOP senator argued in an interview with ABC's "This Week" in favor of continuing to examine those claims — despite states certifying their results and legal challenges to the results largely falling flat — to avoid doubts about the election outcome.
Braun sparred with host George Stephanopoulos, who pressed him on whether — with enough states now certifying their results to give Joe Biden a majority of electoral votes — he would accept Biden as the president-elect. Braun did not do so. Only a small fraction of Republican senators and members of Congress have acknowledged Biden's victory.
"I just don't think that if you say — if you don't pursue it, overturn every stone, this is going to linger into the future," Braun said of claims of election impropriety. "And it's going to be to the disadvantage of whoever is there trying to run the country."
He added there's a "wide gulf" between "systemic fraud" and "reflexively [dismissing] that maybe nothing has happened at all."
Braun's comments follow an extensive yet unsuccessful effort by President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the election results. Trump, who sowed doubts about the election process during the campaign, has falsely claimed many times the election was stolen from him, citing an assortment of anecdotal evidence mixed with logical fallacies and theories of vast conspiracies.
Braun highlighted Georgia, where Trump has criticized Republican election officials and called for a special legislative session to challenge the results. Trump's loss to Biden in the state has been upheld by a series of recounts.
Pressed by Stephanopoulos on certifications of Biden's wins in Arizona, Georgia and Wisconsin, the conservative Indiana senator dug in, drawing a distinction between a recount and "ballot integrity."
"George, recounts are one thing, and we all know that they hardly ever change result of an election — ballot integrity, a whole other issue," Braun said.
"And from the get-go, there was a dialogue on recounts, and people have certified all this stuff," Braun said. "That, to me, is dismissing some of the evidence, sworn testimony, that's out there. And if you don't carry it to its conclusion, you're going to have uneasiness going into the future."
In addition to GOP-led states that have certified Biden wins, including Arizona and Georgia, Stephanopoulos pointed to dozens of lawsuits by Trump and his allies that have been dismissed, and Attorney General William Barr's recent comments that no widespread fraud has been found.
"So the process has played out, hasn't it? And there's no evidence of widespread fraud," Stephanopoulos said. "Why can't you accept the results?"
"I think it's easy to say it's played out because that might be the most convenient thing to say," Braun said.