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Government

W.Va. NAACP, House Delegates Ask For Morrisey's Removal

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AP
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President Donald Trump, left, shakes hands with Republican Senate candidate Patrick Morrisey, right, on stage during a campaign rally at WesBanco Arena, Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018, in Wheeling, W.Va.

A trio of Democratic state lawmakers, with support from the West Virginia NAACP and the state Working Families Party, are calling for the removal and disbarment of the state attorney general.

In a series of written statements emailed to members of the media on Monday, the coalition denounced Patrick Morrisey, the state’s Republican attorney general, for his participation in a lawsuit, challenging the results of the 2020 election in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

In all four states, elections officials — both Democrat and Republican — found that Joe Biden was the new president-elect. News outlets have documented significant Black voter turnout, including NPR in its coverage of the Georgia run-offs.

Morrisey entered the state into the lawsuit, introduced by the Republican attorney general of Texas, on Dec. 9, 2020, urging the U.S. Supreme Court “to consider the many irregular, highly problematic and unconstitutional actions that might have occurred in the states during the 2020 elections.”

The court rejected the attempt a few days later for a “lack of standing.” District courts across the country also have dispelled accusations by the Trump administration of widespread voter fraud in these states.

“We [West Virginia] joined a frivolous lawsuit that was going to disenfranchise the Black vote in the state of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Georgia … it’s just disgusting,” said Del. Danielle Walker, one of three Democratic House delegates pushing for Morrisey’s removal. “This was not about the people of West Virginia. This was a waste of taxpayer dollars over a political game.”

Walker told West Virginia Public Broadcasting Monday afternoon that she’s hoping to help introduce a resolution in the state House with other lawmakers, to begin an impeachment process for Morrisey’s removal.

“I know that the voters and the constituents will organize and strategize, and contact their elected officials,” Walker said. “And I would hope that they [elected officials] would vote with the people and not with party affiliation and properties.”

Morrisey said in a written statement Monday that his participation in the elections-related lawsuit was “absolutely appropriate.”

“It’s absolutely wrong for these radical, far-left delegates and their allies to make allegations out of thin air,” Morrisey said.

Dels. Mike Pushkin of Kanawha County and Barbara Fleischauer of Monongalia County joined Walker on Monday, linking Morrisey’s actions to the violence in Washington D.C. on Tuesday and further accusing him of disenfranchising other states’ Black voters.

“He knew this case was going nowhere but chose to waste public funds and previous time to appeal to his base and perpetuate a lie — a lie that eventually led to violence in our nation’s capitol,” Pushkin wrote.

The Washington Post reported on Monday that a nonprofit “dark money” group, which raises money for the campaigns of Republican attorneys general, had a role in creating the attempted insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

 

Last Tuesday, supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump broke into the Capitol as Congress was preparing to certify the results of the 2020 election. Staffers for the Rule of Law Defense Fund called Trump supporters a day before the event, urging them to attend and “fight.”

The group is an arm of the Republican Attorneys General Association, of which Morrisey is not a leader but a member.

“As a member of the Republican Attorneys General Association, I am stunned and deeply disappointed by actions taken last week outside of the organizations’ operating structure,” Morrisey said.

Morrisey is one of several RAGA members who said they were unaware of the organization’s work behind the riot, which has been linked to at least five deaths and several injuries.

Emily Allen is a Report for America corps member.


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