Former GOP Speaker Ryan Denounces Effort to Object to Electoral Votes

January 4, 2021 Updated: January 4, 2021

Former Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan said he opposes efforts by GOP members of Congress to contest the electoral votes that will be counted in a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6.

Ryan condemned the planned effort, implying the action undermines the rule of law.

“Under our system, voters determine the president, and this self-governance cannot sustain itself if the whims of Congress replace the will of the people,” Ryan said in a Jan. 3 statement.

“It is difficult to conceive of a more anti-democratic and anti-conservative act than a federal intervention to overturn the results of state-certified elections and disenfranchise millions of Americans.”

The former speaker’s statement comes in response to news that dozens of House members and at least a dozen senators will object during the joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, with Vice President Mike Pence presiding over the proceedings.

Since the Nov. 3 election, President Donald Trump’s legal team has tried to get courts to hear the cases of voter fraud and irregularities backed by sworn testimony from numerous witnesses. Trump lawyers and allies allege that widespread voter fraud occurred during the election, including with mail-in ballots and electronic voting machines.

Besides Ryan, a handful of other Republicans have come out against the planned objection, including Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who has been a strong ally to the president but said he won’t join his colleagues in objecting.

“Objecting to certified electoral votes won’t give him a second term—it will only embolden those Democrats who want to erode further our system of constitutional government,” Cotton said.

Meanwhile, Ryan criticized Trump’s effort to bring voter fraud claims to all levels of the U.S. courts, including the Supreme Court, claiming it was due to “a lack of evidence.”

“The legal process was exhausted, and the results were decisively confirmed. The Department of Justice, too, found no basis for overturning the result,” Ryan added. “If states wish to reform their processes for future elections, that is their prerogative. But Joe Biden’s victory is entirely legitimate.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) says that since the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to look at the evidence brought by cases related to the 2020 election, Congress has a responsibility to fill that role.

“We have an independent responsibility to the Constitution. We have an independent obligation to the rule of law,” Cruz also told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo on Jan. 3.

Cruz is leading a group of at least 11 senators who are demanding that an electoral commission is established to perform an emergency 10-day audit into voter fraud allegations. He said that his proposal for an electoral commission is moored in the law and supported by historical precedents such as the 1876 presidential election.

The move to object to Electoral College votes was spearheaded by Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), who previously told The Epoch Times that objections are necessary in order to “protect our election system from fraud and illegal conduct.”

Allegations about election fraud have been repeatedly denied by election officials and lawmakers, while critics and members of the media have characterized the claims as “baseless.” So far, a large proportion of cases filed by the Trump legal team and the president’s allies have been thrown out by judges for procedural reasons, not a lack of evidence, including by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Janita Kan contributed to this report.