Utah's Republican Sen. Mike Lee debated independent challenger Evan McMullin on Monday night, where he was asked to answer for his significant material support for the Jan. 6 coup attempt. Because Mike Lee is a Republican, he responded by simply lying his ass off.
Lee is trying to pretend that he was merely conducting a bit of fact-finding, looking into "rumors" about what means of overturning the election other Republicans were contemplating. What Mike Lee actually did, as Jim Acosta tersely notes, is throw himself into the middle of multiple plots to do that overturning. Mike Lee tried very hard to come up with theories that would justify the Republican nullification of Donald Trump's election loss and only backed away after a resulting violent attack on Congress proved unsuccessful.
Mike Lee spent a hell of a lot of time that December and January trying to coordinate a Republican seditious conspiracy. He only ducked out of the way after it failed.
To refresh Mike Lee's memory, since as a Republican senator he appears to live in the land of half-truths and invented realities, let's again run down Lee's own actions to push and coordinate Republican attempts to overrule the results of a United States presidential election.
- Sen. Mike Lee began pressing the White House to challenge the election's results immediately after Biden was announced to be the winner. On Nov. 7, Lee texted White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, asking him to urge Trump to "exhaust every legal and constitutional remedy" to challenge Biden's win. It was at this point that Lee urged the Trump White House to meet with Republican attorney Sydney Powell—who would quickly assume a role as one of the top conspiracy theorists and hoax promoters. She now faces possible disbarment for launching a series of election-challenging lawsuits that federal judges determined to be based on either fictional or outright fraudulent claims.
- By Nov. 23, it was clear that Republican attempts to have elections officials simply throw out Democratic votes until Trump prevailed weren't going to go anywhere; the votes were counted and it was clear Joe Biden had won (by, ahem, a significant margin.) It was at this point that Mike Lee began aggressively promoting John Eastman—who we now know as an architect of the coup. Eastman's theory, as Lee described it to Meadows on Dec. 8, was that Republican state legislatures could simply ignore the vote counts in their state to "appoint alternative slates of delegates." Yes, Lee was pressing the White House to adopt Eastman's plan to send conflicting slates of electors to Congress, upon which Congress would throw up its hands to say that in the disputed states we simply can't know who won so therefore those states don't count.
- Lee's efforts to push Eastman's plan continued through November right until the coup attempt and were, by his own words, extensive. "I've been spending 14 hours a day for the last week" on the nullification plan, Lee texted Meadows on Jan 4. "I've been calling state legislators for hours today, and am going to spend hours doing the same tomorrow."
- By Jan. 4, after efforts to coax Republican state legislatures into declaring their own state elections invalid had failed as well, Lee was yet again attempting to invent new justifications for challenging the counting of electors on Jan. 6. "We need something from state legislatures to make this legitimate and to have any hope of winning. Even if they can’t convene, it might be enough if a majority of them are willing to sign a statement indicating how they would vote," he told Meadows. The new plan was to ignore the failure of those state legislatures to actually contest the election results with a new assertion that the Republicans in those legislatures would have voted to contest the results if, uh, they had held the vote they didn't have. That, thought Lee, would be enough for Congress to challenge and possibly throw out Biden-won state electors.
After the violent attempt by a Trump-organized crowd to block the counting of electoral votes altogether, Mike Lee rapidly began to revise history to claim he had nothing to do with any of it. From telling Meadows he was spending "14 hours a day" on the plan, including "calling state legislators for hours," Lee now insisted that he first heard about Eastman's "alternate electors" theory just days before the coup attempt, and "was shocked."
Lee's version has evolved with every new revelation. Now that he can't exactly deny that he was working the phones like a sedition-backing toady as Trump himself was pressuring Mike Pence and other Republicans to throw out the electors from multiple Biden-won states, he's evolved himself into a claim that he was working those 14-hour days to "see whether the rumors were true."
The “rumors” of the thing he had been pressing Mark Meadows on for weeks in private texts. The "rumors" being widely reported at the time as the Republican Party's plan of attack. Those "rumors."
Mike Lee really has made quite a name for himself since arriving in the Senate—as a power-seeking sniveler. He started out clinging to Sen. Ted Cruz, and nobody likes being around Ted Cruz. He moved on to become a vociferous Trump suck-up and, as his text messages show, a man willing to drop his day job to instead make himself as useful as possible to Dear Orange Leader.
Now he's just lying about all of it, as is the Republican Party way. Again we have to ask: What's with the Republican base's penchant for liars, groveling toadies, and your more-than-occasional sex predator? Who looks at Mike Lee, sweating his way through each newly invented claim on their television screens, and says wow, that guy really speaks to me?
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