The split within the congressional GOP over President Trump‘s push to overturn the election results is playing out among the White House staff – where trade advisor Peter Navarro produced a new volume claiming a ‘stolen’ election as a top Mike Pence advisor knocked his credentials.
Navarro, whose day job is driving trade strategy with China and other powers, produced Volume II of his report titled ‘Art of the Steal.’
It contains charts claiming ‘significant irregularities’ in six states, and follows a Volume I report that cited affidavits from lawsuits tossed out of courts.
Trade advisor Peter Navarro penned a second volume claiming voter fraud, but a top aide to Mike Pence noted he is ‘not a constitutional scholar’
Marc Short, the chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, who will preside over a joint meeting of Congress Wednesday, was quoted in the Wall Street Journal speaking to Navarro’s credentials – which include a Ph.D in economics but nothing to do with election administration beyond his own failed bids for public office.
Navarro previously claimed on Fox News that Pence, in his role presiding over the Joint Session, had the authority to delay proceedings for up to 10 days, as Trump tries to overturn the results in states that he lost.
‘Peter Navarro is many things,’ Short said. ‘He is not a constitutional scholar.’
The pushback came as Trump himself publicly leaned on Pence. ‘I hope Mike Pence comes through for us. He’s a great guy,’ Trump told a campaign rally Monday night in Georgia. ‘Of course if he doesn’t come through I won’t like him quite as much.’
President Donald Trump wants Congress to overturn the election results when lawmakers meet Wednesday
CHECK PLEASE: Navarro claims fraud in six states that Trump lost
OFF THE CHARTS: Navarro claims a Democratic strategy to ‘stuff the ballot box’
SHORT-TIMER: Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence said Navarro is ‘not a constitutional scholar’
IN THE HOT SEAT: Vice President Mike Pence will preside over the electoral vote count, but his role is mostly ceremonial
Under the Electoral Count Act, Pence’s role is to open envelopes submitted by states and announce the totals, but it is not a substantive role.
Trump tweeted Tuesday that the vice president ‘has the power to reject fraudulently chosen electors.’
‘That is completely false. That is not how the rules work,’ countered Rebecca Green, who co-runs the Election Law Program at William & Mary Law School, speaking on a call by the National Task Force on Election Crises.
Navarro on a press call Tuesday attacked Georgia Republican officials who have refused to go along with Trump’s claims of widespread fraud.
He singled out Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey. He said all were playing the role of ‘useful idiots’ – a phrase he connected explicitly to Russia’s Vladimir Lenin.
He also singled out billionaire George Soros, who is the subject of numerous anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, while also blasting Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Democratic lawyer Marc Elias, who has ridiculed ‘Kraken’ lawsuits on his Twitter account.
‘There’s only one degree of separation between Soros and Zuckerberg because Zuckerberg’s 501 c(3) is staffed by a lot of former Soros people,’ Navarro said.
Navarro said of Elias: ‘He was behind foreign intervention in all six battleground states,’ in an effort he said was ‘designed to initiate the Democratic Party grand stuff-the-ballot-box strategy.’
He also alluded to Elias’ role as a top lawyer for Democrats in commissioning research that became the Steele Dossier in 2016, terming it the ‘Russia hoax scam.’
He claimed a project by Soros was designed to ‘install puppet secretaries of state in key battleground areas so that they inside the machinery of government could advance the Soros globalist far left agenda.’
Navarro also blasted two Democratic secretaries of state, Kathy Bookvar in Pennsylvania and Joclyn Benson in Michigan. He called them the ‘poster’ child for the effort, saying the ‘often behave like children.’
Raffensperger on a leaked call with Trump repeatedly pushed back on the president’s unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud, even as the president asked him to ‘find’ 11,780 votes that would make him the winner in Georgia.