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Philly GOP commissioner cites election threats, urges McConnell to vote his 'conscience'

Philly GOP commissioner cites election threats, urges McConnell to vote his 'conscience'
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The Republican city commissioner in Philadelphia, whose family received threats after his office oversaw the counting of votes in the 2020 presidential election, is calling on Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellRomney blasts end of filibuster, expansion of SCOTUS McConnell, GOP slam Biden's executive order on SCOTUS Overnight Defense: Biden proposes 3B defense budget | Criticism comes in from left and right | Pentagon moves toward new screening for extremists MORE (Ky.) to vote his “conscience” as senators weigh whether to convict former President TrumpDonald TrumpRomney blasts end of filibuster, expansion of SCOTUS McConnell, GOP slam Biden's executive order on SCOTUS US raises concerns about Iran's seriousness in nuclear talks MORE.

The Senate is expected to vote Saturday on an article of impeachment accusing Trump of inciting insurrection over his role in the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol after House impeachment managers and Trump’s defense team presented their arguments in the trial this week.

Commissioner Al Schmidt late Friday tweeted a message directed at McConnell, writing, “The former POTUS incited supporters to threaten to kill my children and put their ‘heads on spikes’ because we counted votes cast by eligible voters. They named my children and included my home address in the threats.”

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“Please consider when voting your conscience,” Schmidt added.

The commissioner’s tweet referenced previously reported threats directed at members of Schmidt’s family after Pennsylvania Gov. Tom WolfTom WolfAmbitious House lawmakers look for promotions Follow the science: Charter school expansion is a rising tide that lifts all boats The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Split screen: Biden sells stimulus; GOP highlights border MORE (D) certified the election in favor of President BidenJoe BidenBiden taps California workplace safety leader to head up OSHA Romney blasts end of filibuster, expansion of SCOTUS US mulling cash payments to help curb migration MORE

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After CNN had run a segment featuring Schmidt, Trump tweeted, “A guy named Al Schmidt, a Philadelphia Commissioner and so-called Republican (RINO), is being used big time by the Fake News Media to explain how honest things were with respect to the Election in Philadelphia. He refuses to look at a mountain of corruption & dishonesty. We win!”

According to The New York Times, Schmidt and his wife received texts and emails with various threats aimed at them, as well as their son and two daughters. 

“You lied. You a traitor. Perhaps 75cuts and 20bullets will soon arrive,” one read, according to the Times. 

Two emails sent to his wife read, “ALBERT RINO SCHMIDT WILL BE FATALLY SHOT,” “COPS CAN’T HELP YOU. #Q,” and “HEADS ON SPIKES. TREASONOUS SCHMIDTS.” 

Schmidt in November also said staff members in his office had received death threats as they counted votes, adding that critics of his office had been "coming up with all sorts of crazy stuff" about the integrity of the city's election systems and casting doubt on the impartiality of vote counters. 

Schmidt, who announced last month that he would not be seeking reelection in 2023, has continued to say that the presidential election in Pennsylvania was “free and fair,” despite legal challenges from Trump’s team and unsupported claims of widespread fraud from allies of the former president.

A group of GOP lawmakers voted in support of rejecting a slate of Biden electors from Pennsylvania on Jan. 6, though Congress ultimately counted Biden's win in The Keystone State.

On the day of Biden’s inauguration, Schmidt tweeted, “It’s a testament to the strength of our democracy and its institutions that — despite the cynical attempts to disenfranchise voters, cast doubt on a free and fair election, and violently disrupt the transition of power — the will of the people has prevailed.”