This just in: Donald Trump lost the 2020 election.
Most have known that since November 7, 2020, four days after the election, when all the major networks declared Joe Biden the winner. However, Trump has continued to make baseless claims that the election was “stolen” from him.
All the allegations of election fraud have been debunked, and yet the myth persists. Now comes a comprehensive investigation by a group of prominent Republicans who examined every single claim of a stolen election.
The report, entitled Lost, not Stolen, the Conservative Case that Trump Lost and Biden Won the 2020 Presidential Election, reached this definitive conclusion:
“There is absolutely no evidence of fraud in the 2020 Presidential Election on the magnitude necessary to shift the result in any state, let alone the nation as a whole. In fact, there was no fraud that changed the outcome in even a single precinct.”
The investigation examined the 64 proceedings in six battleground states and determined that, in each instance, the claim of fraud and misconduct failed. Of the 64 cases, 20 were dismissed before a hearing on the merits, 14 were voluntarily dismissed by Trump and his supporters before a hearing, and 30 cases were decided on the merits.*
The 72-page report is illuminating. It lists every challenge in each of the six states and how the cases were adjudicated. Anyone who still believes Trump won or that there was enough fraud to change the outcome can go through the report, page by page, case by case.
The failed legal challenges, in addition to reviews and recounts, made the 2020 election one of the most heavily scrutinized ever, and Biden continues to emerge as the winner. But according to one poll, about 70 percent of Republican voters suspect election fraud and they do not believe Biden is the legitimate winner.
The fault lies not so much with those voters who support Trump and wanted desperately for him to win, but rather with Trump who continues to fuel their false hope with lies about a “stolen” election.
Dinesh D’Souza has kept the flames hot with his film “2000 Mules,” which attempts to show voter fraud in the 2020 election. Footnotes in the report list five media outlets—The Associated Press, The Dispatch, the New York Times, The Washington Post and NPR—that have debunked the analysis.
The report also points out that the persistence of baseless allegations is bad for America. “False charges corrode our democracy and leave a significant share of the population doubting the legitimacy of our system, seriously weakening the country.”
Election officials have a legal and moral obligation to get the results right. No election is completely free of fraud, but this highly decentralized system works remarkably well. It is also critical that there are mechanisms in place to raise legitimate challenges when fraud or mistakes are suspected.
According to the report, “We conclude that Donald Trump and his supporters had their day in court and failed to produce substantive evidence to make their case.”
Again, it is important to remember that this report came from prominent conservative Republicans,** and they believe it is well past time to move on.
“We urge our fellow conservatives to cease obsessing over the results of the 2020 election, and to focus instead on presenting candidates and ideas that offer a positive vision for overcoming our current difficulties and bringing greater peace, prosperity and liberty to our nation.”
Those are high ideals, and a call to action for anyone who is truly committed to making America great.
*(The Trump campaign did not allege fraud in Pennsylvania, but rather procedural defects. The report concluded, “Procedural claims, not based on fraud, met with some success, but none impugned the outcome of the election.”)
**(Former Senators John Danforth and Gordon Smith, former Solicitor General Ted Olson, former federal Judges Thomas Griffith, John Luttig and Michael McConnell, long-time Republican Party attorney Benjamin Ginsburg, Republican strategist Dave Hoppe.)