Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) was not one of the more than 100 House Republicans who voted to block certification of the 2020 presidential election results. However, he did sign onto a frivolous lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton that sought to block certification of four states' election results — a suit so ridiculous the heavily right-wing Supreme Court swatted it aside quickly.
On the Sunday talk show circuit, Crenshaw tried to draw a clear distinction between these things. "You guys in the press painted that as some extreme action, and of course it wasn't," he said. "That amicus brief was a simple question of the Supreme Court, in saying, 'Can you please speak to this question of whether, of whether process changes in the election -- last minute, not approved by the legislature — can be deemed constitutional?' It was a question, and they didn't want to answer that question."
On Monday, writing for CNN, fact-checker Daniel Dale dropped the hammer on Crenshaw's misleading account of events.
"The House Republican amicus brief did not merely ask the court to answer a constitutional question," wrote Dale. "In reality, the brief expressed a firm opinion — that the four Biden-won states had taken 'unconstitutional actions' — and asked the Supreme Court for a specific response: to allow Texas' lawsuit to proceed and to grant Texas' request for a preliminary injunction forbidding the four states from certifying Biden's victories until the lawsuit was resolved. The brief also invoked baseless claims of election fraud, saying that 'the election of 2020 has been riddled with an unprecedented number of serious allegations of fraud and irregularities.'"
Moreover, Dale also took aim at Crenshaw's spokesman Justin Discigil, who said that the brief Crenshaw signed, "doesn't make any specific request of the court or urge any specific outcome, and certainly didn't ask the court to overturn election results in states."
"That's just flat wrong. The conclusion of the amicus brief did make a specific request of the court beyond just objectively reviewing the Texas argument. In fact, it made two specific requests," wrote Dale. "There's 1) an explicit request for the court not to dismiss the Texas lawsuit and 2) an explicit request for the court to impose a preliminary injunction. And right before that, there is an explicit argument that the four states had acted unconstitutionally."
"If Crenshaw wants to distinguish himself from Republican colleagues who continued to try to overturn the outcome right up through January 6, he has solid grounds on which to do so," concluded Dale. "But that doesn't make his attempted whitewashing of the amicus brief any more factual."
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