The Republicans who voted to overturn the election

U.S. Congress

The Republicans who voted to overturn the election

Reuters asked the 147 lawmakers who voted to overturn the U.S. election if they believed Donald Trump lost the presidency because of election fraud. Most dodged the question.

Just hours after the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, 147 Republicans lawmakers voted to overturn then-president Donald Trump’s election loss, following months of his baseless claims that the November U.S. election had been stolen.

Since then, remarkably few have been willing to state clearly on the record whether they believe Trump was cheated by widespread voter fraud.

Was the election stolen? Don’t ask these Republicans

Reuters asked the office of every lawmaker who voted against the certification of Electoral College results the same yes-or-no question: Do you believe that Donald Trump lost the election because of voter fraud?

Fully 133 lawmakers of those lawmakers, or 90%, either declined to answer or did not respond to repeated inquiries. They include the two senators who led the coalition of objectors - Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley - as well as Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama, one of the most strident backers of Trump’s bid to overturn the election.

Sen. Josh Hawley

In a Dec. 30 statement, Hawley said some states, particularly Pennsylvania, failed to follow their own state election laws, an argument multiple courts had already rejected. "At the very least, Congress should investigate allegations of voter fraud and adopt measures to secure the integrity of our elections.”

But he later told CNN: “I was very clear from the beginning that I was never attempting to overturn the election.”

Hawley’s office did not respond to repeated inquiries into whether he believed Trump lost because of voter fraud.

Sen. Ted Cruz

“By any measure, the allegations of fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election exceed any in our lifetimes,” Cruz said in a Jan. 2 joint statement with 10 other senators and senators-elect.

Days later, speaking on the Senate floor the day of the Capitol siege, Cruz said: “Let me be clear. I am not arguing for setting aside the result of this election.”

When asked by Reuters whether Cruz thought Trump lost due to voter fraud, a spokesman declined to answer.

Rep. Mo Brooks
Ala. 5

“I discerned soon after the November 3rd election that honest America[n] citizens have been victims of the largest voter fraud and election theft scheme in American history,” Brooks said in a Jan. 4 statement. He later spoke at Trump’s rally before the Capitol riots and encouraged the “patriots” in attendance to start “taking down names and kicking ass.”

His office declined to answer when asked directly by Reuters if Trump lost because of voter fraud.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy
Calif. 23

“I agreed with objections that were made to two states, especially because constitutional questions have been raised about changes to election processes and whether these changes were approved by their respective legislatures, as required in Article II,” McCarthy said in a Jan. 7 statement. "The debate and votes were not about overturning an election or federalizing elections.”

“Last night Congress fulfilled its constitutional duty, and Joe Biden will be the next President of the United States,” McCarthy said. His office did not respond when questioned repeatedly whether he thought Trump lost because of voter fraud.

Only four lawmakers back Trump’s false stolen-election claim

Two lawmakers - Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia - told Reuters they believed Trump lost because of voter fraud. Two others who did not respond to the Reuters survey have explicitly claimed in public statements that the election was stolen: Rep. Louie Gohmert and Rep. Ronny Jackson, both of Texas.

Rep. Paul Gosar
Ariz. 4

Gosar spokeswoman Jessica Lycos, asked if the lawmaker believes fraud cost Trump the election, said: “He strongly believes that.”

In his speech on the House floor objecting to the certification of Arizona’s electoral votes, Gosar made the false claim that more than “400,000 mail-in ballots were altered, switched from President Trump to Vice President Biden, or completely erased from President Trump’s totals.” Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, dismissed Gosar’s fraud claims as baseless “conspiracy theories.”

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene
Ga. 14

Greene has repeatedly echoed Trump’s false claims that he won the election, including in a video: “We aren’t going to let this election be stolen by Joe Biden and the Democrats,” she said. “President Trump won by a landslide.” A day before the riots, she tweeted another video in which she said: “This is our 1776 moment.”

Her spokesman, Nick Dyer, confirmed Greene believed Trump lost the election because of fraud.

Rep. Louie Gohmert
Texas 1

In a failed lawsuit that argued then-vice president Mike Pence had the power to invalidate Joe Biden’s win, Gohmert falsely alleged “massive multi-state electoral fraud committed on Biden’s behalf that changed electoral results in Arizona and in other states such as Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.” The U.S. Supreme Court rejected his case on Jan. 7.

Rep. Ronny Jackson
Texas 13

“Big tech, the mainstream media and radical Democrats are trying to silence us by dismissing what we know to be true: President Trump won a second term,” Jackson said in a Jan. 6 op-ed.

Ten Republicans say election was NOT stolen - after voting to overturn it

Most of the 10 Republican lawmakers who now say they don’t believe Trump lost a rigged election had previously issued relatively mild statements that avoided any direct allegation of fraud. Exceptions are Rep. Lauren Boebert from Colorado and Rep. Madison Cawthorn from North Carolina, both newly elected in November.

Rep. Lauren Boebert
Colo. 3

“Objecting to the counting of certain electoral votes is NOT ‘overthrowing’ the results of the election if those votes were won through fraud,” she said in a Dec. 27 tweet. “Winning an election through fraud is what I would consider “overthrowing” the results. That is exactly why we’re fighting for POTUS!”

But when answering a Reuters survey, Boebert spokesman Benjamin Stout indicated that the representative does not believe Trump lost due to fraud. He denied Boebert had changed her position.

Rep. Madison Cawthorn
N.C. 11

“The Democrats - with all the fraud they have done in this election - the Republicans hiding and not fighting, they are trying to silence your voice,” Cawthorn said at Trump’s rally on Jan. 6 just before the storming of the Capitol. “They have no backbone!”

However, his spokesman Micah Bock told Reuters that Cawthorn “cannot prove fraud” and does not believe Trump lost because of fraud.

Rep. Buddy Carter
Ga. 1

“I have been very, very cautious not to indicate in any way that there has been any voter fraud,” Carter said in an interview with Reuters. “I’ve made it a point, that I have not said that at all. I’ve not lent any credence whatsoever to any kind of conspiracy theories. My problem is with the process.”

Rep. Daniel Webster
Fla. 11

Members of Congress “have no express authority or ability to independently prove the many allegations of fraud”, but many are “convinced the election laws in certain states were changed in an unconstitutional manner,” Webster said in a statement outlining his objection.

Rep. Kat Cammack
Fla. 3

“Given my constitutional duty and the fact that thousands of sworn affidavits detailing specific election irregularities remain unresolved, I will object to the electoral college certification process on Jan. 6,” Cammack said in a statement before the vote.

Rep. Jim Banks
Ind. 3

“The Congressman does not and has never believed the outcome of the 2020 election was determined by voter fraud,” said Buckley Carlson, a spokesman for Representative Jim Banks. Banks said he voted against certifying election results because some states’ voting rule changes violated the U.S. Constitution - an argument multiple courts have rejected.

Rep. Byron Donalds
Fla. 19

Donalds cited the same constitutional argument as his reason for objecting Pennsylvania and Arizona’s electoral votes, but he said those two states "would not have changed the outcome of the Electoral College count.” "Joe Biden had more than 270 votes in the Electoral College,” he told Reuters in an interview.

Rep. Cliff Bentz
Ore. 2

“My goal was to protect the integrity of our elections and to prompt all states to uphold election laws as determined by their state legislatures – all in accordance with our Constitution,” Bentz said in a Jan. 7 statement explaining his vote. “As we conclude the Electoral College certification process, we can accept that Joe Biden will be the next President of the United States.”

Rep. Carol Miller
W.V. 3

“We must debate the evidence of fraud,” Miller said in a statement explaining her vote. “The results being debated today will not overturn the outcome of the election, but it will provide the opportunity for the United States Congress to ensure our country has free, fair, and accurate elections that generations to come can be confident in.”

Sen. Rick Scott

“The situation in Pennsylvania is of particular concern to me, and I will likely vote to sustain the objection to their slate of electors. The actions of the Governor’s Administration and the courts in Pennsylvania pose a serious threat to the integrity of future elections,” Scott said in a Jan. 6 statement.


Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives

Edited by:

Soyoung Kim, Brian Thevenot and Jon McClure