Republicans who push lies about fraud in the 2020 election are doing so knowing full well that they’re lying, Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) revealed this week.
In a podcast interview this week, Crenshaw explained that his Republican colleagues know that the claims of election fraud are lies, but they push the narrative anyway to gain favor with former President Donald Trump.
“The whole thing was always a lie. And it was a lie meant to rile people up,” Crenshaw said.
“So I was like, ‘What the hell are we doing?'” Crenshaw added. “I would tell that to people kinda behind closed doors too.”
Crenshaw said that he’s been frustrated with his colleagues’ actions for a long time.
“It really made me angry. Because I’m like, the promises you’re making that you’re gonna challenge the Electoral College and overturn the election, there’s not even a process for you to do that,” he said. “It doesn’t even exist.”
The Texas Republican said that lawmakers have been cavalier when approached about spreading the lies, saying, “‘Yeah, we know that, but we just, you know, people just need their last hurrah.’”
“‘No, it won’t [be fine],’” Crenshaw said he’s told his colleagues.
Crenshaw himself signed onto one of the election fraud lawsuits that were filed in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election. Since that time, however, he’s been outspoken about the fraud claims being untrue — meaning that it’s likely that more Republicans who signed onto the lawsuit knew that it was based on a lie.
Emails from Trump’s lawyers, brought to light last month, demonstrate that they were concerned about the legal ramifications of pushing election fraud conspiracy theories. “I have no doubt that an aggressive [district attorney] or [U.S. attorney] someplace will go after both the president and his lawyers once all the dust settles on this,” John Eastman, Trump’s lawyer at the time, wrote in an email in late December.
Trump’s election fraud lies in dozens of courtrooms following his loss may also land him in trouble. As District Judge David Carter noted last month, Trump signed onto a sworn statement, submitted in one of his lawsuits seeking to overturn the election results, asserting that a certain number of ballots in Georgia were improperly cast, even though evidence shows that his lawyers had told them those numbers were false.
“The emails show that President Trump knew that the specific numbers of voter fraud were wrong but continued to tout those numbers, both in court and to the public,” Carter wrote.