U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber, R-Hermantown, has joined a long-shot bid to invalidate millions of lawfully cast votes in four battleground states.
Stauber, a staunch supporter of outgoing President Donald Trump, said he signed off on an amicus brief in support of the petition filed at the U.S. Supreme Court by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
Sixteen other states and more than 100 House Republicans have joined the effort. It was widely reported Thursday that Rep. Tom Emmer, of the 6th Congressional District, was the only Minnesota member to sign on, but Stauber cited a "clerical error" that kept his name off the paperwork.
Stauber claimed in a tweet that the lawsuit will "address the American people's questions on the integrity of this presidential election." The announcement came the same week in which he told the News Tribune that he saw "questions of validity in certain states" and would allow Trump to exhaust his legal options before acknowledging President-elect Joe Biden as the winner.
The petition challenges the results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — crucial swing states that were won by Trump in 2016 and swung by Biden this year. All 50 states have certified their results, with Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris expected to be formally enshrined by the electoral college Monday.
The Republican suit claims "unconstitutional irregularities" that have cast doubt on the integrity of the four state's 62 electoral votes and asks the high court set aside the results — an unprecedented move that has been widely criticized by Democrats, legal scholars, historians and election officials, among others.
Post-election, Trump and his allies have lost dozens of legal challenges in state and federal courts across the country. There is no evidence of widespread fraud in voting or tabulating results.
“If the lawsuit Stauber backs is successful, it will help bring about the end of American democracy by invalidating millions of votes and placing an unelected man in the most powerful office in the world," Minnesota DFL Chairman Ken Martin said in a statement.
“Stauber’s support for a thinly veiled coup attempt should disqualify him from holding public office again in the eyes of all Minnesotans."