Retired GOP lawmaker warns Trump will attempt to steal upcoming election – .

Retired GOP lawmaker warns Trump will attempt to steal upcoming election – .

Gonzalez was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump following the Jan.6 attack on Capitol Hill. In the face of relentless attacks and threats directed against him and his family afterwards, the Ohio Republican chose to step down from Congress at the end of his term and avoid facing a main challenger backed by Trump the next year.

With Trump appearing to be preparing for another presidential race in 2024, Gonzalez told CNN he would try to stop Trump from executing the same 2020 game plan to overturn another election, but he warned Trump may have more help next time from race officials – – and certify – the elections.

“January 6 was an unconstitutional attempt by the President of the United States to overturn an American election and re-establish power illegitimately. It’s the land of a fallen nation, it’s the land of a third world country. My family left Cuba to avoid this fate. I will not do it. let it happen here, ”Gonzalez said.

“I think this all tends towards one of two outcomes: either he legitimately wins, which he can do, or if he loses again, you are just trying to steal him,” he added. .

Gonzalez was one of many Republicans targeted by Trump during the year since the 2020 election after resisting his attempts to subvert his electoral defeat to Joe Biden. Many GOP officials who have taken the brunt of Trump’s wrath spoke to CNN for “Trumping Democracy: An American Coup,” warning of the danger Trump still poses to American democracy as he continues to spread the lie that the election was stolen from him.

“I fear that the kind of political violence, the kind of abandonment of the rule of law, the kind of abandonment of the constitution that we have observed threatens the foundations of democracy, the foundations of our system,” he said. declared Rep. Liz Cheney, the Republican from Wyoming who was kicked out of the GOP House leadership for her criticism of Trump.

“And the fact that so many members of my party are willing to remain silent, are accomplices, allow it, adds a lot to the peril,” added Cheney, one of the two Republicans on the House select committee investigating the issue. January 6.

“I have real concerns about the future of this democracy,” said Bill Gates, a Republican supervisor from Maricopa County in Arizona, who rebuffed allegations that there had been fraud in the election results of. 2020. “I didn’t think we had that kind of pull towards authoritarianism in our democracy. “

Gonzalez pointed out that election officials like Gates were one of the main reasons Trump failed to overturn the election result in 2020.

“The institutions do not hold together,” he said. “In times of truth, you need the right people to pass the toughest tests. We had just enough people on January 6 to pass the test. We need to make sure that we have an equal number of people to continue taking the test in the future. “

But Gonzalez and other Republicans fear that the officials who arrested Trump in 2020 will be replaced by those “more indebted to him than their oath,” thanks to the former president’s revenge campaign against those who opposed his electoral lies.

Trump has endorsed Republicans who have embraced his lies about elections in major battlefield states for normally low-profile secretary of state races, seeking to replace officials who have pushed back his pressure campaign, such as the Republican of Georgia Brad Raffensperger.

“It seems to me that he evaluated what went wrong on January 6: why couldn’t he steal the elections? Who opposed him? Gonzalez said. “And he goes methodically state by state in races, you know, from state Senate races to county commissioner races trying to get the people who – Republicans, RINOs, in his words – who stopped it, who stopped him from stealing the elections.

Besides Gonzalez, Trump has targeted the other nine House Republicans who voted to impeach him for inciting the Jan.6 riot, supporting the main challengers of most lawmakers. Seven Senate Republicans voted to condemn Trump, and the former president has endorsed a main challenger to the only GOP senator in the group for re-election next year, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

In September, Gonzalez announced he was stepping down from Congress rather than running for reelection, citing in part the “toxic” dynamics of the Republican Party.

“This way of life, the constant traveling, the constant fundraising… It didn’t work before the impeachment,” he told CNN. “It was pretty clear that the time has come to come out of this. “

Last week Rep. Adam Kinzinger, the Illinois Republican who was kicked out of the House GOP conference for joining the select committee investigating Jan. 6 with Cheney, announced he would also be retiring. So far, the other eight House Republicans who voted for impeachment are preparing to run for their seats next year.

Two-thirds of House Republicans voted to oppose Biden’s victories in Arizona and Pennsylvania within hours of the Jan.6 insurgency, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the House Minority Whip Steve Scalise and House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, who replaced Cheney in the GOP leadership earlier this year.

Kinzinger accused none of them of believing Trump’s lies that the election was stolen, but they accepted him to stay in Trump’s favor.

“Not a word of that. I don’t think they believe it. But I think you can convince yourself, if you’re determined to do it, that I’m just going to play the game a little bit longer so that I’m here to lead in a new direction, ”Kinzinger told CNN. “Or I’ll play the game because I don’t have the power and influence to change the ship.” “

As Gonzalez retires from Congress, he has said he will not be leaving the political arena – especially if Trump runs again.

“If he is the candidate, or if he comes forward again, I will do everything I can to stop him,” he said. “Can I stop him? I’ve no idea. But I believe that as a citizen of this country who loves this country and respects the Constitution, it is my responsibility. “


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