Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich seemingly demanded on Thursday night that Attorney General Bill Barr use federal agents to arrest election workers in Pennsylvania and that election results in the state should be tossed.
With former Vice President Joe Biden getting closer to an electoral victory as mail-in votes in Pennsylvania continue to break heavily for him, President Donald Trump threw a televised tantrum on Thursday and doubled down on his baseless claims that the election is being stolen from him and he’s the rightful winner.
“If you count the legal votes, I easily win. If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us,” Trump said. Team Trump, meanwhile, continued to file and threaten lawsuits in states where the president is trailing or could potentially lose.
Fox News host and informal Trump adviser Sean Hannity devoted the bulk of his Thursday night broadcast to proposing a new strategy to the president and his campaign: demand that Pennsylvania, the tipping point state, just re-do its election.
After selling Trump-boosting Sens. Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz on the idea, the Fox News star then checked in with Gingrich, asking him about the focus of one of the Trump campaign’s recent lawsuits.
“Let’s see. Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, all of them, a lot of them mention partisan observers are permitted to be present when ballots are counted,” Hannity stated. “But we get report after report that they are not being allowed to observe. Is that a violation of law? And how do you remedy that?”
“My hope is that President Trump will lead the millions of Americans who understand exactly what’s going on,” Gingrich fumed. “The Philadelphia machine is corrupt. The Atlanta machine is corrupt. The machine in Detroit is corrupt. And they are trying to steal the presidency. And we should not allow them to do that.”
“First of all, under federal law, we should lock up the people who are breaking the law,” he continued. “You stop somebody from being an observer, you just broke federal law. Do you hide and put up papers so nobody can see what you're doing? You just broke federal law. You bring in ballots that aren't real? You just broke federal law.”
After calling for poll workers to be locked up over the right’s latest conspiracy theories about the election, the former speaker wondered aloud if Republicans are “supposed to surrender,” adding that the specter of Trump losing is “a genuine deep crisis of our survival.”
“So, what is the answer, now that the law's been violated and observers been kicked out? Doesn't it render the vote illegitimate?” Hannity asked.
“The first answer—the first answer is for the attorney. Look, the attorney general this afternoon issued an order that federal agents can carry guns in the pursuit of people who are breaking the law. That's a signal,” Gingrich responded.
The ex-speaker began to call for the president to “calmly announce” what should happen to those “caught attempting to steal votes” or blocking observers before Hannity interjected, claiming they were running out of time.
“It’s already happened. The votes have already been counted and they didn’t have observers. They were kept away,” Hannity exclaimed, reiterating his previous question. (Observers were not kept away. The Trump team’s lawsuit complained that their poll watchers, which were there from the beginning, weren’t allowed to be close enough to observe the ballot counting.)
“You take them back,” Gingrich exclaimed. “Any precinct, any precinct that we were not able to observe, strip those votes out. Do not count them. Because they are by definition corrupt.”