Jan. 3 (UPI) — All 10 residing former Pentagon chiefs on Sunday declared the election over and warned the Trump administration’s Protection Division that navy intervention in its outcomes wouldn’t solely violate the Structure but additionally might end in felony prosecution.
“Efforts to concerned the U.S. armed forces in resolving election disputes would take us into harmful, illegal and unconstitutional territory,” the previous protection secretaries mentioned. “Civilian and navy officers who direct or perform such measures can be accountable, together with doubtlessly dealing with felony penalties, for the grave penalties of their actions on our republic.”
The brief letter was revealed within the The Washington Publish and signed by Ashton Carter, Dick Cheney, William Cohen, Robert Gates, Chuck Hagel, Leon Panetta, William Perry, Donald Rumsfeld and former secretaries beneath President Donald Trump, James Mattis and Mark Esper.
It got here as a number of GOP senators and Home representatives, citing broadly discredited claims of voter fraud, mentioned they are going to object to this week’s certification of Electoral School votes that say President-elect Joe Biden gained November’s presidential election.
Trump has but to concede defeat to Biden and continues to unfold the identical false accusations. An audio of a cellphone name revealed Sunday by The Washington Publish exhibits the president urging Georgia elections officers to “discover” sufficient votes to make sure he wins the state.
The previous protection secretaries mentioned the time to query the outcomes was over and now was the time for the counting of the Electoral School votes, stating that all of them swore an oath to not a person or celebration however to guard the US from overseas and home enemies, and its elections and the peaceable transition of energy “are hallmarks of our democracy.”
“Performing Protection Secretary Christopher C. Miller and his subordinates — political appointees, officers and civil servants — are every sure by oath, legislation and precedent to facilitate the entry into workplace of the incoming administration and to take action wholeheartedly,” the letter mentioned. “They need to additionally chorus from any political actions that undermine the outcomes of the election or hinder the success of the brand new crew.”
Final week, Biden complained his transition crew has been obstructed by political components within the Protection Division, stating it might trigger “a window of confusion” that may very well be exploited by adversaries.
Miller mentioned his division’s efforts to facilitate the transition “already surpass these of current administrations with over three weeks to go.”
The previous protection secretaries within the letter mentioned they name upon their successors “within the strongest phrases” to observe by with the transition of the presidency from Trump to Biden.
“This remaining motion is protecting with the very best traditions and professionalism of the U.S. armed forces and the historical past of democratic transition in our nice nation,” they mentioned.