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Utah Sen. Mitt Romney says Trump is attempting to 'subvert the will of the people'

By Roy Burton and Ashley Fredde, KSL.com | Updated - Nov. 19, 2020 at 11:43 p.m. | Posted - Nov. 19, 2020 at 9:40 p.m.



SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Sen. Mitt Romney condemned what he called President Donald Trump's attempts to "subvert the will of the people and overturn the election" on Thursday as the president pressured Republican legislators to overrule voters in battleground states.

"Having failed to make even a plausible case of widespread fraud or conspiracy before any court of law, the President has now resorted to overt pressure on state and local officials to subvert the will of the people and overturn the election. It is difficult to imagine a worse, more undemocratic action by a sitting American President," Romney said in a statement on Twitter.

There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud on a scale that would overturn the results of the election won by President-elect Joe Biden, and lawsuits by Trump's campaign have met little success in court.

Romney's criticism came the same day that the Utah Republican Party declared its support for Trump and his claims of "wide-spread improprieties in the elections practices in states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Nevada."

The Utah GOP echoed concerns brought up in a press conference held by Trump's lawyers alleging connections between Dominion voting machines, Smartmatic voting software and attempts to interfere with the outcome of the election in various states.

"It is in our country's best interest to shed light on what has happened. After all, sunlight is always the best disinfectant," read the Utah Republican Party statement.

Trump's legal team alleged Thursday that the Dominion voting machines and Smartmatic voting software "were created in Venezuela at the direction of Hugo Chavez to make sure he never lost an election after one constitutional referendum came out the way he did not want it to come out."

The Associated Press reported that Dominion does not have any ties to Venezuela nor does it have a partnership with Smartmatic. Both companies have released statements saying no ownership existed between the two firms. Smartmatic is an international company founded by Venezuelans but states on its website that it has no government or political party association with any county.

Committees within the Department of Homeland Security that worked on ensuring that U.S. voting systems were protected found that the "election was the most secure in American history."

In a statement, the committee affirmed that "there is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised."

Georgia election officials confirmed Thursday after a painstaking hand recount of votes that Biden had won the state, making Trump's path to overturning the election even more difficult.

Earlier Thursday, Romney warned that the actions taken by Trump during his lame-duck period of his term are "potentially more severe" than those caused by the delayed presidential transition.

In an interview with CNN's David Axelrod on an episode of "The Axe Files" podcast," Romney cited Trump's decision to remove more troops from the Middle East, which he has called "politically motivated."

Romney's criticism comes after Trump's administration has delayed signing off on the transition and releasing funds and resources to the incoming Biden administration, causing concern among national security and public health officials who warn it may leave America open to foreign threats and negatively affect the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Prior to the statement from Romney and the Utah GOP, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert participated in a virtual meeting with Biden on Thursday about the nation's coronavirus response and issued a statement saying that he "wished the president-elect every success and am grateful for his efforts to engage the nation's governors in these important discussions."

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