This story has been updated.
U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer, the longest serving Minnesota Republican in Congress, signed on to an amicus brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the election by invalidating the votes of millions of Americans whose support delivered the presidency to Joseph R. Biden.
Emmer is an influential player in the GOP caucus who led the National Republican Congressional Committee during the 2020 election cycle, in which Republicans picked up a bevy of House seats.
U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber, who won reelection in November to a second term, said Friday he too has signed on to the amicus brief, but his name was left off Thursday due to a “clerical error.” He also said he “wouldn’t commit to acknowledging President-elect Joe Biden,” the Duluth News-Tribune reported.
The continued support of Republican congressional leaders and backbenchers alike shows President Donald Trump’s continued grip on his party, despite becoming just the fourth president in 90 years to lose after a single term.
Most Republicans in Congress have refused to directly state whether they believe Trump was defeated.
Emmer is one more than 100 House Republicans to sign on to the lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who alleges that election officials in the battleground states of Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin illegally changed voting laws, which caused voting irregularities and altered the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
The FBI, Department of Justice and U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr have found no evidence of voter fraud or voter irregularities. Trump has directed his legal team to file dozens of lawsuits in an attempt to overturn the election results, and he’s lost all but one of them.
In a statement reported by the Star Tribune, Emmer said the lawsuit “asserts the democratic right of state legislatures to make appointments to the Electoral College was violated in several states.”
He added: “All legal votes should be counted and the process should be followed — the integrity of current and future elections depends on this premise and this suit is a part of that process.”
Attorney General Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania issued a rebuke of the Texas claims in a scathing 43-page brief, which reads, in part: “The Court should not abide this seditious abuse of the judicial process, and should send a clear and unmistakable signal that such abuse must never be replicated.”
Minnesota joined 22 other states defending the four battleground states. Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison released a blistering statement on the Texas lawsuit: “Unfounded and frivolous challenges to the American people’s will have been thrown out in courts across the country,” he said. “Now, the attorney general of Texas is making a last-ditch, evidence-free effort to undemocratically throw out the votes in states where he just doesn’t like the result.”
Legal and other experts quoted in the The New York Times ridiculed the lawsuit, calling its statistical analysis “comical” and its legal argument “an unprecedented intrusion into state sovereignty.”
U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips, who is Emmer’s Democratic-Farmer-Labor colleague and a fellow Minnesotan, was unsparing in his criticism, calling the lawsuit, “unforgivable.”
States Newsroom Washington reporter Ariana Figueroa contributed to this story.