EASTON — U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md.-1st, is defending his objections to Congress’ certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump.
Harris faces criticism from Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans who are upset with the challenges and the Eastern Shore conservative sticking with those objections after protesters stormed the Capitol on Wednesday.
Some critics are calling for Harris and other Trump supporters who backed objections to Biden’s win to resign or be expelled from Congress. The Maryland Democratic Party has specifically called for Harris to step down.
“I have routinely and consistently rejected violent protests, whether in the case of yesterday, or last summer. Democrats are calling for unity, yet also calling for the expulsion of Members who objected in yesterday’s Electoral College count. Today, some Marylanders are even calling for my resignation, which I will not do,” Harris said in a statement on Thursday, Jan 7.
Harris and other Trump allies had launched their first objections to Biden’s Electoral College win on Wednesday when pro-Trump protesters overran the Capitol after an earlier rally in front of the White House. Both chambers of Congress were locked down and a woman, who supports Trump, was shot and killed potentially by police.
Harris represents the Eastern Shore and areas north of Baltimore. He said the certification challenges were not about overturning the election.
“My colleagues and I held legitimate Constitutional concerns about how the November election was conducted in certain states and felt compelled to highlight those concerns during the formal vote count. We did not call for the overthrowing of an election. Joe Biden will be president on January 20th. Some of my colleagues, including those still in the Maryland delegation, offered objections in 2017 when counting the electoral votes for President Trump. Congress is afforded the right to count, and object, to electoral votes, which we utilized yesterday to highlight concerns we had regarding the November election. There was nothing treasonous or seditious about it in 2017, nor this year,” Harris said.
Social media platforms — including Facebook and Twitter — have banned Trump after the chaotic protests in D.C.
A White House spokesman issued a statement from Trump on Thursday saying he would abide by the 2020 results. “Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th. I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!,” Trump said portending a run again in 2024.
A number of Trump critics — including U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican — want the president out of office immediately
“I think there is no question that America would be better off if the president would be resigned or removed from office,” Hogan said during a briefing in Annapolis on Thursday, Jan. 7.