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Prominent conservatives say election was lost, not stolen

A group of prominent conservatives released a new report Thursday outlining their investigation into the 2020 election and have concluded former President Trump’s claims of a stolen election are unfounded. 

The report, “LOST NOT STOLEN: The Conservative Case that Trump Lost and Biden Won the 2020 Presidential Election,” was put together by three former federal judges and eight conservative leaders who investigated Trump’s claims. 

Over the course of a year, the group looked at all 64 cases of the Trump campaign’s fraudulent claims in six key states and concluded that there were no substantial instances of fraud that would have changed the election results. The report goes state by state and claim by claim, taking time to investigate each legal case. 

Fears of further damage to the electoral process drove the report, as allegations of fraud continue. Investigators said they fear that Trump supporters’ unwillingness to see the election as lost could come back to haunt them if they flip the majority in the House and Senate this cycle. 

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“I think there is a lack of recognition that that goes both ways and that, should Republicans take over, you’re opening the door for Democrats to say the same thing, and that corrodes the basic fundamental part of our democracy,” Benjamin Ginsberg, an election attorney who has worked in Republican politics for decades, told FOX News. 

Ginsberg, along with former senators John Danforth and Gordon H. Smith and longtime Republican congressional chief of staff David Hoppe, as well as former Solicitor General Ted Olson and former federal appeals court judges Michael Luttig, Michael McConnell and Thomas Griffith concluded that there were no substantial claims of fraud to change the election. 

Griffith told Fox he felt it was important a group of conservatives do an investigation rather than rely on outside sources to investigate. 

“I contacted Ben and a number of other longtime political conservatives to say, ‘Let’s look at this ourselves. Let’s not rely on what The New York Times is telling us or our other outlets are telling us. Let’s look at this ourselves. Let’s spend the time. Let’s do a deep dive into each of the contested states,'” Griffith said.

The report acknowledges that changes in voting due to the COVID-19 pandemic could have created opportunity for more fraud but found that was not the case. 

Rudy Giuliani, left, with President Trump

“The performance of the system in 2020 was all the more remarkable because of the extraordinary circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which precipitated changes on an unprecedented scope and timeline,” according to the report. 

“Some of those changes may have created possibilities for fraud, but there is no evidence that those risks materialized in reality; nor did they result in dampening voter participation. Quite the opposite. Nonetheless, moving forward, the states should redouble their efforts to strengthen the integrity of our voting systems and make it as easy to vote and as hard to cheat as possible for persons of every circumstance.”

Claims of the 2020 election being stolen continue to come up on the campaign trail both from Trump and from potential voters.  At a rally in Alaska recently, Trump said ballot counting needs to be watched. 

“Democrats have proven, unfortunately, that the vote counter is far more important than the candidate is,” Trump said.

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This is exactly the kind of rhetoric Ginsberg, Griffith and their fellow authors insist is harmful to both the country and the Republican Party.

“One of the effects that the charges of fraudulent elections has is that it’s going to depress Republican turnout — that if voters come to think their votes don’t matter because the results are rigged, they’ll stay home,” Ginsberg said. 

Supporters of President Trump attend a rally to protest President-elect Joe Biden's win Nov. 7, 2020, in Salem, Ore.

The November midterms are just months away, and Republicans’ chances of flipping the majority in their favor remain high, according to polling.

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