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House Republicans who backed Trump impeachment warn Democrats on Iowa election challenge

Nine House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Trump signed a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) warning her against pursuing an investigation into the Iowa election between GOP Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks and her Democratic opponent, Rita Hart.

In the letter, the lawmakers express their “extreme dismay” with the recent decision from the House Administration Committee to investigate a request from Hart in which she claims 22 votes were incorrectly left out of the recount that gave Miller-Meeks the win by six votes.

“This action not only set a dangerous precedent for future elections, it reinforces the false belief by many in our country that our election system is rigged and that certain politicians can change results to fit their whims,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter dated Friday.

The letter was signed by GOP Reps. Fred Upton (Mich.), Liz Cheney (Wyo.), Jaime Herrera Beutler (Wash.), Adam Kinzinger (Ill.), John Katko (N.Y.), Dan Newhouse (Wash.), Anthony Gonzalez (Ohio), David Valadao (Calif.) and Peter Meijer (Mich.).

“Earlier this year, we the undersigned voted to impeach a President in our own party who had repeatedly refuted the results of a certified election, which led to horrific violence in the Capitol Building on January 6th. That was not an easy vote for us politically, but it was the right thing to do,” the lawmakers continued.

They argued that the investigation into the Iowa district should be dropped as Miller-Meeks’s victory was certified unanimously by the bipartisan Board of Canvassers in Iowa after a “scrupulous recount,” and they noted that Hart had the option of challenging the result in Iowa before the results were certified but did not.

“It is our belief that any attempts to overturn the result of a certified congressional election through a partisan process will be rightfully seen as illegitimate and further erode that trust in our election system,” the GOP lawmakers added. “To that end, we would ask that you immediately cease any and all effort by the House Administration Committee to reverse the results of that election.”

House Administration Committee spokesperson Peter Whippy said in a statement to The Hill that  “an election contest can only be filed by a candidate who claims a right to an office after state certification of the election in favor of the contestant’s opponent.” 

“Since 1933, there have been 110 such contests filed – an average of just over two contests in the House per Congress. There have been two contests properly filed in the 117th Congress in Iowa’s second and Illinois’ fourteenth congressional districts,” Whippy added. “These challenges are not frequent, but they are a regular and expected part of our elections process. In Iowa’s second congressional district, with the margins as razor thin as they are, it should not be surprising that any candidate in these circumstances would choose to exercise their rights under the law to contest the results.”

Republicans are not the only ones who have expressed concerns over a possible investigation.

On Monday, Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips (Minn.) came out against the investigation writing on Twitter, “Losing a House election by six votes is painful for Democrats. But overturning it in the House would be even more painful for America. Just because a majority can, does not mean a majority should.”

Pelosi has not ruled out removing Miller-Meeks from Congress, telling reporters earlier this month that it would depend on the House Administration Committee’s findings.

“We’ll see where that takes us,” she said. “But there could be a scenario to that extent, yes.”

Republican figures like Karl Rove and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) have rebuked Democrats for allowing the investigation to take place, accusing them of hypocrisy.

“Pelosi and Washington Democrats are literally trying to overturn a state-certified election here in Congress. That’s exactly what they’re doing over in the House right now,” McConnell said from the Senate floor last week.

–Updated at 3:04 p.m.

Tags 2020 elections Adam Kinzinger Anthony Gonzalez Dan Newhouse David Valadao Dean Phillips Donald Trump Fred Upton House Administration Committee Iowa district Jaime Herrera Beutler John Katko Karl Rove Liz Cheney Mitch McConnell Nancy Pelosi Peter Meijer Recount
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