Loeffler, Perdue side with Texas lawsuit that Georgia AG says is ‘wrong’

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The state of Texas sued Georgia and three other states Tuesday. The case is a longshot attempt to overturn Georgia’s elections after counts and recounts showed that Biden defeated Trump by about 12,000 votes. The lawsuit by Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton accuses Georgia election officials of . illegally changing rules for voter signature verification and early opening of absentee ballot envelopes. Texas alleges that there are 80,000 forged signatures on absentee ballots in Georgia, but they don’t bring forward a single person who this happened to, Jordan Fuchs, Georgia Deputy Secretary of State. Fuchs said the allegations in the lawsuit “are false and irresponsible". Judges have repeatedly dismissed similar lawsuits in Georgia

After the state of Texas filed a long-shot lawsuit asking the U.S. Supreme Court to toss out Georgia’s election results, Republican Attorney General Chris Carr’s office called it “constitutionally, legally and factually wrong.” He didn’t get much backup from other senior Republicans.

Nearly half of the Georgia Senate’s GOP members issued a statement siding with the Texas lawsuit that seeks to help President Donald Trump undo his defeat here. So did U.S. Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, who said they both “fully support” the complaint filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

It was the latest reflection of a deepening divide in Georgia over Trump’s false narrative of a “rigged” election. While some state officials have urged Trump to focus on the Jan. 5 Senate runoffs and acknowledge defeat, others have echoed his calls to overturn the election results.

This lawsuit was filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is battling whistle-blower allegations that he engaged in bribery. It asks the justices to delay the Dec. 14 deadline for certification of presidential electors in Georgia and three other battleground states: Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

State elections officials have repeatedly said there’s no widespread evidence of election fraud and a series of lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign and its allies in Georgia and other states have been rejected by the courts.

After a third tally, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Gov. Brian Kemp, both Republicans, certified Georgia’s election results Monday that showed Joe Biden won the state by roughly 12,000 votes.

Still, Trump’s insistence of voter fraud has taken root in some of his most loyal supporters. And they’re being echoed by elected GOP officials, some who believe the claims and others who seek to curry favor or avoid getting on his bad side.

Then there’s a small number of state Republicans who have defied him – a group that includes Kemp, Raffensperger and Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan.

Raffensperger accused Trump of authoring his own defeat by denigrating mail-in ballots, Kemp refused his demands to call a special session to illegally overturn the election results and Duncan urged the president to concede. Each has been singled out by Trump in scathing attacks.

Loeffler and Perdue have a finer line to balance ahead of runoffs to determine control of the Senate. Though neither have parroted his false claims of a “stolen” election – Loeffler wouldn’t answer that question in Sunday’s debate – they’ve also tried to appease Trump by calling for Raffensperger’s resignation.

In the joint statement, the two senators say Trump has the right to ensure “full transparency and uniformity in the counting process.”

“This isn’t hard and it isn’t partisan. It’s American,” said the senators. “No one should ever have to question the integrity of our elections system and the credibility of its outcomes.”

The statement by 16 GOP state senators went a step further. It claimed a” systemic failure to follow the law has allowed misconduct, fraud and irregularities throughout the voting process of this state” without citing substantiated evidence that’s withstood court scrutiny.

Georgia Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs said the conspiracy theories in the lawsuit “are false and irresponsible.”

“Texas alleges that there are 80,000 forged signatures on absentee ballots in Georgia, but they don’t bring forward a single person who this happened to,” she said. “That’s because it didn’t happen.”

Staff writer Mark Niesse contributed to this report.

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