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Idaho attorney general won’t join Texas election lawsuit

December 11, 2020 GMT

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho’s attorney general on Thursday said he is declining to join a lawsuit filed by Texas to overturn the outcome of the presidential election by invalidating the results in four battleground states President Donald Trump lost.

Republican Lawrence Wasden in a statement said the decision is necessary to protect Idaho’s sovereignty.

“As attorney general, I have significant concerns about supporting a legal argument that could result in other states litigating against legal decisions made by Idaho’s legislature and governor,” Wasden wrote. “Idaho is a sovereign state and should be free to govern itself without interference from any other state. Likewise, Idaho should respect the sovereignty of its sister states.”

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Not long after Wasden’s announcement, Republican Gov. Brad Little issued a statement saying he supports the Idaho Republican Party in backing the Texas lawsuit. His support does not mean Idaho is joining the lawsuit, however.

“Protecting the sanctity of the voting process is paramount to ensuring a strong democratic process, and our citizens need the confidence that their vote counts,” Little said.

Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin said on Twitter Thursday evening that she had filed an amicus brief with several state lawmakers from Idaho, Alaska and Arizona supporting the lawsuit.

Texas Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to invalidate Electoral College votes in Michigan, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Legal experts dismiss the challenge as frivolous.

On Wednesday, 17 Republican-led states threw support behind Paxton’s lawsuit that rehashes numerous disproven and unsupported allegations of illegal voting.

Both Idaho Republican U.S. Reps Mike Simpson and Russ Fulcher were among 106 Republican House members who Thursday signed on to a legal brief supporting Paxton’s effort.

“As is sometimes the case, the legally correct decision may not be the politically convenient decision,” Wasden wrote. “But my responsibility is to the state of Idaho and the rule of law.”

The Texas lawsuit demands that the 62 total Electoral College votes from the four states be invalidated. That’s enough, if set aside, to swing the election to Trump. Paxton’s lawsuit repeats a litany of false, disproven and unsupported allegations about mail-in ballots and voting in the four battlegrounds.

Legal experts dismissed Paxton’s filing as the latest and perhaps longest legal shot since Election Day, and officials in the four states sharply criticized Paxton.