Bergman condemns violence, presses on with electoral certification challenge
After violence broke out in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, U.S. Representative of Michigan’s first congressional district Jack Bergman issued this statement.
“In times of tension and turmoil, leaders stand up and do what is right,” he said. “I made it very clear this week that I intended to stand for my belief that irregularities, discrepancies, and usurpation of state election laws demanded an investigation into the 2020 election.”
Challenges against certification of the vote have been heard by more than 50 courts, including the Supreme Court, all of which have found either no standing for the cases, or no evidence of fraud on a scale able to alter the outcome of the election.
“After all, this is a duty that Congress has been given and a lawful way to challenge concerns with state electors,” he said. “As prescribed by the 12th Amendment, a joint session of Congress is to meet to “count electoral votes” and make a final determination on the 2020 Presidential Election. The Electoral Count Act of 1887 gives Congress the opportunity to object to any state where any member believes votes were either ‘unlawfully certified’ or ‘not regularly given.'”
The Electoral Count Act of 1887 governs how Congress counts and certifies electoral college votes. It has no language concerning elections, ballots or votes in any individual state. It says, in part, “…and no electoral vote or votes from any State which shall have been regularly given by electors whose appointment has been lawfully certified to according to section 6 of this title from which but one return has been received shall be rejected, but the two Houses concurrently may reject the vote or votes when they agree that such vote or votes have not been so regularly given by electors whose appointment has been so certified.”
Arizona and Pennsylvania, the two states whose results were challenged, both certified their results and chose their electors in November, over unsupported claims of fraud from Republican lawmakers.
“That is what I did today, and what many before me have done – including in recent elections,” he said.
Bergman is referring to the 2017 certification process, when several House Democrats objected to the certification of Donald Trump’s election victory. Then vice president, Joseph Biden presided over the process, and gaveled each objection down for not following the process laid out in the Electoral Count Act.
“Make no mistake, no one-person or chamber has unilateral power to overturn election results – not Congress, not the Vice-President, and not the President,” he said. “I said before, the decision we have before us was not binary – it was not founded in overturning an election, but grounded in securing free and fair elections and protecting election integrity. Congress and state legislatures have an obligation to provide restored confidence to the tens of millions of Americans who have lost faith in our election process.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Tennessee) stated Wednesday that a vote against certification could not be viewed as symbolic protest, “nor can public doubt alone justify a radical break when the doubt itself was incited without any evidence.”
“The actions of the mob that participated in storming the Capitol, fighting Capitol Police, and harming civilians and property is un-American and a disgrace to our republic,” Bergman said. “Those who broke the law and participated in this effort should receive maximum punishment. These actions undermine our very foundation – I didn’t fight for our country for 40 years to see us devolve into settling political disputes by violence and intimidation.”
Bergman is a long-serving veteran of the U.S. Marines with the rank of Lieutenant General, and has served in the U.S. House after winning election in 2016, and reelection in 2020.
“We are a nation of law and order and must remain so if we are to maintain our republic,” said Bergman.
Bergman’s office has not yet returned requests for an interview.