Arizona’s two most conservative members of Congress continued Tuesday to baselessly claim the presidential election was stolen for Democrat Joe Biden in swing states across the country, though they were slightly more measured in their critique of their home state.
Republican Reps. Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar are among the most outspoken voices on Capitol Hill still claiming fraud two weeks after voting ended and President Donald Trump lost by more than 5 million votes and lost the electoral college by the same margin he won by four years ago.
Aided by a video from the Arizona Republican Party that touts misleading and debunked allegations in other states, Biggs and Gosar continued to push for a complete audit of Maricopa County’s tabulations and said — falsely — other states included widespread votes from the dead and machine glitches intended to steal the election.
Election officials across the country have brushed aside the issues raised by Trump, his legal team in cases across the country, and by Biggs and Gosar. There is no credible evidence that fraud tipped the election to Biden, a former vice president.
In their video, Gosar says at one point that Wisconsin had a pre-dawn “pause” the day after the election that tilted the state with a flood of votes for Biden.
“Why, in the most consequential election of our lifetime, did these swing states decide to stop the count?” Gosar asked. “In Wisconsin, just before 4 a.m., over 100,000 votes are dumped and almost every single one of them was for Vice President Joe Biden.”
Election authorities in Wisconsin have said it didn’t happen that way.
“We are not finding ballots,” Julietta Henry, director of elections for Milwaukee County, told PolitiFact National. “Ballots are being counted.”
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel put it this way in a fact-check item:
“The increase in the chart simply shows when the city of Milwaukee reported its absentee ballot results. We knew well before the election that Democrats were much more likely than Republicans to vote absentee, that it takes longer to count such ballots, and that Milwaukee is a Democratic stronghold.”
Biggs cited a misleading claim of GOP poll-watchers being barred from entering a tabulation center in Detroit.
“A certain number of challengers, Democratic and Republican, were prohibited from entering (the facility), but that’s because the number of challengers already observing the process had reached the limit allowed under state law, Detroit election officials said.
“More than 100 Republican challengers remained inside the room where absentee ballots were being counted.”
The sustained effort from Biggs and Gosar to undermine the presidential race’s results comes as Trump fired the official Tuesday who oversaw cybersecurity for the Homeland Security Department after the man, Chris Krebs, declared the Nov. 3 elections “the most secure in American history.”
In a tweet, Trump called Krebs’ conclusion “highly inaccurate,” and said “there were massive improprieties and fraud — including dead people voting,” among other problems.
On Twitter, those who track the pro-Trump conspiracy group QAnon pointed to fresh ties between Arizona GOP chair Kelli Ward and the man who owns the online message site formerly known as 8chan. The site has been condemned as a haven for child pornography and videos of mass murder.
They noted that Ward said on Twitter she had passed along the concerns raised by Jim Watkins about the maker of election software used in Maricopa County to the county’s Board of Supervisors.
Biggs repeated his call for an audit of Maricopa County during an interview Tuesday with Phoenix radio station KFYI-AM (550), but he didn’t articulate a clear reason why one was needed beyond to soothe doubts he said exist.
“There’s so many people that are questioning the veracity of the elections,” Biggs said. “It’s not just people in Maricopa County, Arizona. It is people around the country are watching. They’re trying to understand what is going on, whether it be in Georgia or Pennsylvania. And mind you, I don’t think we have anything like that in Georgia or Pennsylvania. Those two states are an absolute mess on this issue. But I think if you want to assuage any doubts on this in Arizona, it would be wise to do.”
In a Facebook video chat Monday, Gosar acknowledged there were no clear grounds to allege Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, of stealing the election.
“I don’t know that there’s anything wrong that she’s done at this point in time, other than some poor statements. You know, basically saying she was elected as secretary of state to get Democrats elected, and then chastising Republicans as Nazis. Other than that, I don’t know that she’s done anything that would warrant yet discovered malfeasance. And so that would be up to the voters for the recall, if that’s what you want,” he said.
Hobbs has taken heat for a 2017 tweet in which she accused Trump of having a “neo-Nazi base.”
Even so, Gosar suggested there was significant fraud in other states that others have not verified.
“I know I’ve got some friends that are tech whizzes, and they’ve been really involved in trying to follow the fraud,” Gosar said. “A lot of dead people voting. But once again, is it enough to make a difference? Turn 60,000 votes upside down in Pennsylvania?”
The Trump campaign pointed last week to a single ballot received from a Pennsylvania woman who died Oct. 22, before her ballot was even mailed, as a sign of wider fraud. Authorities there referred it to the police and said Pennsylvania “mail-in ballots are processed so that even ballots from recently deceased voters aren’t counted.”
For Gosar, the aftermath of the election has provided fresh grist for a man who has long pushed conspiracies.
In 2017, he intimated falsely that liberal billionaire George Soros was a Nazi collaborator as a youth. He has chatted with Frank Gaffney, another conspiracy peddler.
For his part, Biggs has drawn criticism from medical professionals for arguing against the wearing of masks during the pandemic and advocating for people’s right to use hydroxychloroquine to prevent COVID-19.
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