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WASHINGTON (AP) — Joe Biden and China's Xi Jinping have slurped noodles together in Beijing. They've shared deep thoughts about the meaning of America during an exchange on the Tibetan plateau. They've gushed to U.S. business leaders about developing a sincere respect for each other. The American president has held up his relationship with Xi as evidence of his heartfelt belief that good foreign policy starts with building strong personal relationships. But as the two leaders prepare to hold their first presidential meeting on Monday, the troubled U.S.
An open letter signed by 186 conservative legislators from 39 states has called for a 50-state audit of the 2020 presidential election. If fraud is uncovered, the U.S. House of Representatives should decertify the victory of President Joe Biden, the letter states.
"Sworn affidavits have accumulated from many states detailing rampant corruption and mismanagement in the election process," the letter states. "Fraud and inaccuracies have already been shown through multiple audits and canvasses in multiple states, as well as through lawsuits challenging the validity of election results in several counties in multiple states."
The letter does not specifically cite any specific instances of proven or alleged corruption.
It also claims that it has been proven in Arizona that "an inaccurate election was held." But while several state Republicans have made similar assertions, other state politicians have referred to such claims as "twisted conspiracy theories."
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A guide to how votes from Maricopa County were subjected to a sloppy recount, why it’s still dragging on, and what its proponents are really after.But Trump and his allies in Arizona have not been dissuaded by such independent findings, or their own failure to turn up any convincing evidence that Joe Biden only won the state through nefarious means. Since April, private parties answering to a faction of Republicans in the state Senate have been conducting an “audit” of Maricopa County’s 2020 election results.
The letter adds that states should "decertify its electors where it has been shown the elections were certified prematurely and inaccurately." It also suggests scrubbing voting rolls across the nation to "ensure future integrity of our elections."
BREAKING: 186 Legislators from 39 States Write a Letter to the American People Calling for a 50-State Audit, Decertification Where Appropriate, and Possible Convening of the US House of Representatives (1/2) pic.twitter.com/syGpDm5fN9
— Wendy Rogers (@WendyRogersAZ) November 23, 2021
The letter comes a few weeks after Republican former President Donald Trump issued a public statement asking Arizona and other states to "decertify" Biden's win.
Trump's statement mentioned Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich's recent launch of an investigation into the state's presidential election. Brnovich himself certified the state's election results in November 2020.
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Former Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes said that Brnovich questioned him in early November, according to Arizona NPR station KNAU. Fontes called Brnovich's investigation, "A sad and dangerous situation meant to advance conspiracy theories."
Liz Harrington, a Trump spokesperson, told USA Today that a September 24 report detailing a Republican-led audit of the election results in Maricopa County "clearly show the election in Arizona as counted should never have been certified."
However, the audit found that Bidenwon more votes than previously expected. The report found no evidence that voter fraud affected the election's outcome.
The audit's nearly $5.7 million in expenses were paid by five groups headed by Trump supporters seeking to delegitimize the election's results. The state Senate hired a group called Cyber Ninjas to conduct the audit even though the company had never conducted such an audit. Its CEO had previously spread conspiracy theories about election fraud.
The report suggested there were problems with Maricopa County's voter rolls. However, Jack Sellers, the Republican chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, said that the Cyber Ninja's "opinions" about the voter rolls came "from a misuse and misunderstanding of the data provided by the county and are twisted to fit the narrative that something went wrong."
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After losing the 2020 election by an Electoral College tally of 306 for Biden and 232 for Trump, the former president claimed that he had only lost due to an unprecedented nationwide conspiracy of voter fraud.
Trump's former attorney general, his former head of U.S. cybersecurity infrastructure, over 60 court cases filed by Republicans, as well as numerous statewide audits have all concluded that there's no real evidence that the 2020 election was stolen.
In early October, Stephen Richer, a Republican who serves as the Maricopa County recorder, said that the majority of Republican Arizona lawmakers he speaks with actually know Trump's and their own election fraud claims are "all BS."
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DOJ issues warnings to states on voting laws and audits .
The Department of Justice took aim Wednesday at post-election audits and a flurry of voting laws passed after the 2020 elections, warning states some of their actions may run afoul of the law.The two new guidances released by the department follow a commitment from Attorney General Merrick Garland in June to offer states a refresher on legal obligations as DOJ ramps up its enforcement of voting rights statutes.The guidance on post-electionThe two new guidances released by the department follow a commitment from Attorney General Merrick Garland in June to offer states a refresher on legal obligations as DOJ ramps up its enforcement of voting rights statutes.