Day Before Electoral College Meets, Trump Tweets That Certifying Votes Will Be a ‘Severely Punishable Crime’ (It’s Not)

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The Electoral College is scheduled to cast their votes Monday, in state-by-state meetings across the country, and President Donald Trump is very unhappy about it, tweeting renewed attacks on the election he lost to President-elect Joe Biden, but this time with a new twist: declaring that certifying the votes will be “committing a severely punishable crime.” It’s one of multiple misrepresentations, misstatements, and just flat-out lies he fits into a three-tweet thread.

Unsurprisingly, Twitter quickly labeled all of these tweets with “This claim about election fraud is disputed.”

Trump began his tweets claiming that “all” of the swing states had found “massive VOTER FRAUD.” They have not; the Trump campaign and his various allies have now lost over fifty lawsuits, getting tossed out of courts in multiple states and even smacked down by the Supreme Court. Many of these judicial blows have come at the gavel of Republican-appointed judges, even some whom Trump himself appointed.

In fact, as National Review’s Andrew McCarthy noted, when the Trump campaign was given the chance to present evidence of this so-called fraud, they had nothing to show, instead agreeing to a stipulation of facts with the state of Wisconsin. And it was far from the first time they’ve ducked an opportunity to present actual evidence.

Trump continued, claiming that because of this fraud (which, again, has not been proven to exist) these swing states “CANNOT LEGALLY CERTIFY these votes as complete & correct without committing a severely punishable crime.”

The electors are governed by a federal law that requires them to meet on the “Monday after the second Wednesday in December of presidential election years,” which is this Monday, December 14, and then state law sets the exact meeting place. Many will be meeting in the capitol buildings used by their state legislatures.

They can legally certify their states’ votes, and they are going to do so tomorrow, with 306 expected to be cast for Biden and 232 for Trump (the same margin he declared was a “landslide” victory when he beat Hillary Clinton with the same electoral college score).

Needless to say, these meetings are not going to be “severely punishable crimes,” or even mildly admonished crimes. They aren’t crimes at all. (As contrasted with some of the recent rhetoric from certain Trump supporters seeking to overturn the results, which might be.)

The presidential Twitter tirade continued, with a statement that “Everybody knows” that a long list of bad things happened, including voting by dead people, illegal immigrants, prisoners, and other ineligible voters.

Again, everybody does not know this, the Trump campaign has been unable to provide evidence of it to the degree that could potentially change the result in any state, much less in the multiple states needed to flip Biden’s electoral college victory.

“In all Swing State cases, there are far more votes than are necessary to win the State, and the Election itself,” Trump declared, presumably meaning that he has disputed enough votes that would be able to make up his losing margin. Except he has failed to do that…over and over and over again.

“Therefore, VOTES CANNOT BE CERTIFIED,” Trump’s Twitter tantrum concluded. “THIS ELECTION IS UNDER PROTEST!”

Unfortunately for Trump, tweeted complaints have absolutely no legal effect.

The Electoral College will cast their votes on Monday, December 14, starting at 10 am ET. A joint session of Congress will officially tally the Electoral College votes on January 6, 2021. And President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn into office as the 46th President of the United States on January 20, 2021.

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