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Hoyer on Trump election challenges: 'I think this borders on treason'

House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerDemocrats face increasing pressure to back smaller COVID-19 stimulus Hoyer on Trump election challenges: 'I think this borders on treason' Capitol's COVID-19 spike could be bad Thanksgiving preview MORE (D-Md.) on Thursday said President TrumpDonald John TrumpVenezuela judge orders prison time for 6 American oil executives Trump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation MORE's efforts to persuade Republican officials to reverse election results in key battleground states “borders on treason.”

“He is undermining the very essence of democracy, which is: You go to the poll, you vote and the people decide,” Hoyer told The Washington Post. “There’s no doubt that the people decided.”

“I think this borders on treason,” the Maryland Democrat added.

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His comments came after a Thursday press conference by Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiEx-Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell files lawsuits in Michigan, Georgia Trump set for precedent-breaking lame-duck period As Biden administration ramps up, Trump legal effort drags on MORE, who repeated previous claims without providing evidence that Trump, rather than President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation US records 2,300 COVID-19 deaths as pandemic rises with holidays MORE, won the election.

“Joe Biden is in the lead because of the fraudulent ballots, the illegal ballots that were produced and that were allowed to be used after the election was over,” Giuliani told reporters. “Give us an opportunity to prove it in court and we will.”

Multiple post-election GOP lawsuits alleging voter fraud or voting irregularities have been dropped or thrown out in battleground states like Arizona, Georgia and Nevada where Biden received more votes than Trump.

Giuliani's remarks on Thursday prompted criticism from Republican lawmakers as well.

Sen. Ben SasseBen SasseTrump transition order follows chorus of GOP criticism The Memo: Trump election loss roils right Whoopi Goldberg blasts Republicans not speaking against Trump: 'This is an attempted coup' MORE (R-Neb.) warned that the "wild press conferences erode public trust," adding that "we are a nation of laws, not tweets."

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Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstThe Memo: Trump plows ahead with efforts to overturn election More conservatives break with Trump over election claims Peggy Noonan: 'Bogus dispute' by Trump 'doing real damage' MORE (R-Iowa) condemned claims from Sidney Powell, a lawyer associated with the Trump campaign, who said that down-ballot candidates could have "paid to have the system rigged to work for them," with the GOP senator calling Powell's statement "offensive" and "absolutely outrageous."

The Trump team’s repeated disputes of the election outcome, which all major news outlets called for Biden almost two weeks ago, also drew a rebuke from Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyBiden teams to meet with Trump administration agencies Paul Ryan calls for Trump to accept results: 'The election is over' Trump transition order follows chorus of GOP criticism MORE (R-Utah), the 2012 Republican nominee for president.

“Having failed to make even a plausible case of widespread fraud or conspiracy before any court of law, the President has now resorted to overt pressure on state and local officials to subvert the will of the people and overturn the election,” Romney said in a statement shared on Twitter.

“It is difficult to imagine a worse, more undemocratic action by a sitting American president,” Romney added.

Romney's statement came after Trump invited some of Michigan's top state-level Republicans to the White House in a sign he may be seeking a way around the election results. 

Bob Bauer, a senior adviser to the Biden campaign, told the Post on Thursday that the Biden team is confident Trump will fail in any efforts to overturn election results.

“None of it is legally significant,” Bauer said. “They are pivoting from this completely failed litigation strategy to a strategy of misleading people into believing that he now has a political option. It is a response to failure. It is the last card that he thinks he can pull from his deck here, but his hand remains a completely losing hand.”