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Retiring House Republican rebukes party for 'mindless sort of obedience' to Trump following election loss

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 12/22/2020 Mike Brest
Mac Thornberry wearing a suit and tie © Provided by Washington Examiner

Rep. Mac Thornberry, a retiring House Republican, rebuked members of his party he believes are mindlessly obedient toward President Trump and his attempts to remain in office despite losing the election.

Thornberry, who is retiring in January after 26 years in office, told the Dallas Morning News in an exit interview that his party's support of Trump's election challenges "damage our system," adding that “Congress was created to be and meant to be a separate independent branch of government, not one in which its members take their direction from a president of either party."

The Republican lawmaker blasted many of his colleagues who supported a Texas lawsuit filed to the Supreme Court seeking to invalidate the election results in a handful of battleground states Joe Biden won. The suit, filed earlier this month by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, said the election “suffered from significant and unconstitutional irregularities.” It also claimed there were “intrastate differences” in how certain voters were treated and that there was an unconstitutional “relaxation” of ballot integrity laws. The Supreme Court rejected the case.

“It was a totally bogus legal argument to say that one state has standing to complain about the way another state runs its elections,” Thornberry said of the more than 100 House Republicans who signed on to the suit. “They could do it just as easily to Texas, and you start getting this back and forth that undermines our whole system.”

Thornberry said those who signed on to the lawsuit “really didn’t think about it that much." He said, “It was, ‘OK, this was a way to support Trump. I’m going to do it.'" He added, “It’s that mindless sort of obedience, and to some extent, it happens in both parties, but it’s more evident now in the Republican Party, that No. 1, doesn’t do credit to the individuals, but secondly, it undermines our institutions."

In a message to his colleagues, Thornberry urged them to “put the country first,” saying, ”The interests of the country and your oath to the Constitution has to come ahead of any sort of allegiance to an individual, to a party, to your short-term political best interests.”

Despite Thornberry's thoughts on Trump's continued election challenges and promotion of conspiracy theories, a handful of GOP House members have planned to protest the Electoral College votes, which are scheduled to be tallied on Jan. 6 in front of both chambers of Congress. There have been reports that a Republican senator could join them, which is necessary for their challenge to force a deliberation.

Tags: News, Mac Thornberry, 2020 Elections, Campaign 2020, Donald Trump, House Republicans

Original Author: Mike Brest

Original Location: Retiring House Republican rebukes party for 'mindless sort of obedience' to Trump following election loss

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