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SPIGOLON: Congressman should stop tweeting and show us evidence
Hice stands by The Beast
U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, R-Greensboro, stands by "The Beast," the president's armored limousine, after flying with President Donald Trump to Atlanta on Air Force One — the congressman's first trip on the presidential plane, Wednesday, July 15, 2020, at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. - photo by Deborah Stewart

Eastern Newton County is represented in Congress by someone who apparently believes that all his constituents subscribe to the wild claims the president is making in the wake of his election loss.

It’s almost a given that U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, R-Greensboro, of Georgia’s 10th Congressional District, would support fellow Republican Donald Trump’s reelection bid, as almost all Georgia Republican leaders did.

Trump is the candidate whose campaign spent millions to find out more Democrats than Republicans vote absentee — in a year when voting in-person could potentially leave a voter of any political stripe sick with COVID-19.

And, so, the president deduced voting absentee by mail was akin to fraud, despite no real evidence to support it. 

Unfortunately, the congressman apparently is following him blindly down this rabbit hole.

Hice on Sunday alleged on Twitter that fraud was present “on multiple fronts with mounting evidence in Georgia.” 

Where is your evidence, congressman?

“No real signature verification of absentee ballots,” the congressman wrote in yet another of the recent conspiracy-laden tweets mirroring Trump.

Election officials with the Georgia Secretary of State have said repeatedly that signatures were verified as part of a two-step verification process.

They also noted it is not possible to match signatures at this point in the process because ballots are separated from envelopes to ensure the secrecy of voters’ selections.

Is Hice wanting Republican activists — bent on finding any way to steer the election to Trump — to legally verify the signatures by looking at secret ballots?

Wouldn’t he have had a problem with that if Biden had wanted Democratic activists looking at secret ballots?

Hice also claimed, “No rigorous audit of the election.”

In Georgia — including all the counties Hice represents — election officials have conducted a hand recount of 5 million ballots overseen by representatives of both political parties, followed by a machine recount of the same 5 million ballots watched by the same representatives.

The president’s lawyers are challenging the elections in many states they lost, including Georgia, and courts denied those challenges here and in state after state after no evidence of widespread fraud was shown.

Numerous safeguards were in place nationwide, verified by security experts and President Donald Trump’s hand-picked cybersecurity expert Chris Krebs — who was fired when he wouldn’t support Trump’s wild claims of a “rigged” election.

Hice also tweeted, “Where are our GA leaders??” 

Yes, where are leaders like you, Mr. Hice, in urging that we move on from the inflammatory rhetoric that has led to death threats against the Georgia Secretary of State from your own party? 

Or urging the president to at least consider he might not have been the majority of voters’ first choice to lead the country for the next four years?

Trump was outpolled by more than 6 million popular votes and 74 electoral votes.

Yes, I know Democrat Stacey Abrams also did not concede her 2018 loss to Gov. Brian Kemp. But that’s a different election and a different set of issues, and it didn’t result in Kemp not being inaugurated.

Speaking of the governor, Mr. Hice, how about defending him against Trump’s claims he colluded with his 2018 election opponent about voter signatures? 

How about when Trump over the weekend said he was “ashamed” he endorsed Kemp in 2018 — despite the president boasting that his “full endorsement” helped then-Secretary of State Kemp edge Abrams to win the 2018 election.

Trump said the governor also has “done absolutely nothing” to question the state’s election results. 

I guess the president, as he famously does, did not do the research that would have shown Kemp supported a second hand recount and also called for a check of absentee ballot signatures soon after Georgia’s results were certified Nov. 20.

My prediction: Hice will either ignore this column or call this opinion piece an example of “fake news.” 

And, again, he will have no evidence to back it up.

Tom Spigolon is news editor of The Covington News. He may be reached at