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Trump slams Sen. Cotton for saying he won’t object to electoral vote certification

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A day after Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said that he would not object to the upcoming certification of the states’ electoral college votes, President Donald Trump on Monday set his sights on the potential 2024 presidential candidate for refusing to join 11 current and incoming senators in challenging President-elect Joe Biden‘s 2020 election win.

“How can you certify an election when the numbers being certified are verifiably WRONG,” the president tweeted Monday morning. “You will see the real numbers tonight during my speech, but especially on JANUARY 6th. @SenTomCotton Republicans have pluses & minuses, but one thing is sure, THEY NEVER FORGET!”

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1346110956078817280

On Sunday night, Cotton said he would not join the nearly a dozen current and incoming senators led by Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) in challenging the electoral votes from certain swing states on Wednesday in a joint session of Congress, stating that such an effort could “establish unwise precedents.”

RELATED: Walmart blames tweet calling Sen. Hawley ‘#soreloser’ on employee’s mistake

Also argued in his statement published Sunday evening is that challenging the electoral votes would go against the founding fathers’ intentions.

“The Founders entrusted our elections chiefly to the states — not Congress. They entrusted the election of our president to the people, acting through the Electoral College — not Congress. And they entrusted the adjudication of election disputes to the courts — not Congress,” Cotton’s statement reads.

“Under the Constitution and federal law, Congress’s power is limited to counting electoral votes submitted by the state,” he said.

Additionally, the 2024 hopeful warned that if Congress tossed out the votes of swing states like Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, where Trump and his allies claim widespread election fraud occurred, it would “take away the power to choose the president from the people.” 

On top of that, he argued that such an effort would throw the Electoral College and the megaphone it gives to tinier states like his home state of Arkansas into jeopardy and help Democrats “achieve their longstanding goal of eliminating the Electoral College.”

Furthermore, he said if Congress overturns the Electoral College’s vote, it would “take another big step toward federalizing election law.”

Other current GOP senators who have pledged to object to certification include Sens. Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), Ron Johnson (Wis.), James Lankford (Okla.), Steve Daines (Mont.), John Kennedy (La.), and Mike Braun (Ind.). Senators-elect who have promised to also object are Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.), Roger Marshall (Kan.), Bill Hagerty (Tenn.), Tommy Tuberville (Ala.).

Cotton is far from the only Republican refusing to object to certification. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and other GOP leaders have already congratulated Biden on his victory and have been urging their colleagues to not object to Wednesday’s certification.

On Sunday in a Twitter thread, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), another typically reliable Trump ally, also cast doubt on the objection effort, calling it a “political dodge.”

Overwhelmingly, experts have stated that the effort to object to electoral vote certification is a longshot and will most certainly fail.

According to a Sunday explainer piece from The Wall Street Journal, it takes one House representative and one senator to issue an objection to a state’s electoral votes. For each objection to a given state’s electoral votes, lawmakers from each chamber break for two hours at most to debate the objection. When debate ends, a simple majority vote is held on the objection, and both the House and Senate must agree for the objection to be successful.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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REPORT: China has vast network of covert police stations around the world

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China has a vast network of covert police stations abroad, according to a recent report by Safeguard Defenders, an NGO that focuses on human rights violations in China and other Asian countries. These police stations serve consular functions, but are also used by China to crack down on what the CCP deems “illegal” activity of Chinese nationals abroad. The police stations include at least 38 run by the Fuzhou City police, and 22 run by the Qingtian City police. Cities housing these police stations include New York, Toronto (which has three stations), London (two), Paris (three), Buenos Aires, Rio De Janeiro, and Tokyo.

Key findings of the report are below.

“Persuaded to return”

According to China, China has “persuaded to return [to China]” 230,000 Chinese nationals living aboard from April 2021 to July 2022 alone to face charges of fraud and telecommunications fraud. A Yangxia police station set up in Mozambique, for example, persuaded a Chinese national to return to China after being accused of stealing money from his employer. Chinese authorities also put pressure on the accused family to convince the accused to surrender.

Roughly 54,000 Chinese nationals were persuaded to return from northern Myanmar alone, in the first nine months of 2021. In July 2022, the government of Wenchang City warned that its citizens living in northern Myanmar must check in with their local police stations or face multiple penalties including blocking their children from attending urban schools back in China. Similarly, in February 2022, the government of Liayang City stated that Chinese “illegally staying” in northern Myanmar must return or the bank accounts of their immediate family members could be frozen.

The Nine Forbidden Countries

China has claimed that nine countries contain serious levels of fraud and telecom fraud perpetrated by Chinese nationals. Since November 2021, China has declared that Chinese citizens living in these nine countries must return to China immediately unless they have an “emergency reason” or a “strict necessity” to travel or stay in those countries. Those countries are: Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, the UAE, and Turkey. However, the report questions whether these countries are truly awash in such fraud, as most of China’s oversees police stations are in the West, and only one of the nine countries (Cambodia) has such a police station. Chinese staying in the nine forbidden countries, as well as threats to family members as stated above, creates a “guilt-by-association” atmosphere intended to repatriate the Chinese nationals.

Conclusion

According to the report, Chinese police stations abroad serve to bypass “bilateral extradition treaties or other mechanisms of judicial cooperation” to cooperate with CCP-linked NGOs which effectively “[sets] up an alternative policing and judicial system within third countries.” Instead of using international judicial cooperation, which establishes due process, the presumption of innocence, and the right to a fair trial, China uses the above “persuade-to-return” methods and transnational police stations to circumvent international law and coerce Chinese nationals to return to China for trials. These policies show the power of China’s long-arm oppression over its own subjects.

You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic

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