WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — As Republican President Donald Trump, his allies and his supporters continue to put forth claims of election fraud, the Senate Homeland Security Committee held a hearing Wednesday to examine the accusations.
Committee chair Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., called the hearing, saying it is important to highlight voting irregularities and pass reforms to prevent future errors, but Democrats slammed the decision, arguing it will only erode democracy.
“Fraudulent voting did occur,” Johnson said, insisting human and voting machine errors led to miscounts, despite the fact that every state in the country has certified its election results and the Electoral College has voted, too, giving President-elect Joe Biden, a Democrat, the win.
“These irregularities raise legitimate concerns and they do need to be taken seriously,” Johnson continued.
Attorneys leading Trump’s legal fight in Wisconsin and Nevada agreed with Johnson.
“200,000 of those ballots in Dane and Milwaukee county (Wisconsin) had no initials at all,” James Troupis, one of Trump’s lawyers, told the committee.
Chris Krebs, the nation’s former top election security official who was fired by Trump after he said the election was the most secure in the country’s history, again denied voting machines were compromised.
“I think we’re past the point where we need to be having conversations about the outcome of this election,” Krebs said.
Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan, the committee’s ranking Democrat, agreed, saying the debate is over and Trump’s claims have been repeatedly rejected by courts. He slammed Johnson for advancing what he called dangerous misinformation.
“This hearing gives a platform to conspiracies and lies and it’s a destructive exercise that has no place in the United States Senate,” he said.
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., who also sits on the committee, isn’t giving up the fight yet, either.
“President Trump has every right to continue to raise these serious, serious issues,” he said.
He said he still hasn’t ruled out objecting to the election results when they are presented to Congress Jan. 6.
“Raising questions about the election is a totally legitimate thing,” Hawley said. “I’m studying how one might do that, what the procedure is, and trying to gather evidence.”
Trump has yet to concede the election to Biden and the White House says the matter is still being litigated. The president on Wednesday praised Johnson for his performance at the hearing and called for the results in Nevada, which gave its six electoral votes to Biden, to be flipped.