Top GOP congressman caught on tape pressuring local official to submit false election results
Rep. Ken Buck, the chair of the Colorado Republican Party, was caught on tape allegedly pressuring a district GOP party chair to sign a false affidavit certifying the results of that district assembly's vote on the nomination of candidates for a Republican primary to replace its term-limited state senator.
State Senate District 10 assembly delegates voted on March 22 on the candidacies of Republican activist David Stiver and state Rep. Larry Liston to run for the seat. With a 30% vote threshold for advancing to the June primary, Stiver received 24% of the vote; Liston received 75%.
In the midst of allegations by Stiver and supporters of irregularities in the assembly voting process, Buck spoke to state Senate District 10 party chair Eli Bremer during a meeting of the Colorado Republican Party's central committee.
On a tape of the conversation obtained by the Denver Post, Buck can be heard telling Bremer, "Do you understand that the order of the executive committee and the central committee, that you will submit the paperwork to include Mr. Stivers [sic] and Mr. Liston on the ballot, with Mr. Liston receiving the top-line vote?"
Bremer responds that he understands that the central committee "had adopted a resolution that requires me to sign a false affidavit to the state."
"And will you do so?" Buck asks. Bremer tells Buck that he will "seek legal counsel to find out if I am putting myself in jeopardy of a misdemeanor for doing that."
"You've got a sitting congressman, a sitting state party chair, who is trying to bully a volunteer — I'm a volunteer; I don't get paid for this — into committing a crime," Bremer told the Post on Wednesday.
Buck told the Post that he did nothing wrong, saying, "What I was asking Eli to do was not to commit fraud, I was asking Eli if he understood the decision of the central committee and if he was willing to follow the request of the Republican central committee."
Said Bremer, "This is the position that my party has put me in. The state party has not only commanded me to do something that is demonstrably not legal, they've put me in legal jeopardy."
Buck's congressional office would not comment on matters related to Buck's position as state party chair. The Colorado Republican Party did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Buck, a staunch conservative, was elected to Congress in 2014, and was elected chair of the Colorado Republican Party in 2019. He is no stranger to scandal.
In March, Buck filmed a video of himself threatening former Vice President Joe Biden and former Rep. Beto O'Rourke with a gun, saying, "If you want to take everyone's AR-15 in America, why don't you swing by my office in Washington, D.C., and start with this one?" while briefly pointing an assault rifle at the camera.
During a December hearing into the impeachment of Donald Trump, Buck used his five minutes of questioning to push debunked conspiracy theories about the 2012 terrorist attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya. He later voted against impeaching Trump.
The Colorado scandal is only the latest in a series of allegations of election fraud leveled against Republicans in the past few years.
In 2019, McCrae Dowless, a longtime political operative who worked for North Carolina Republican congressional candidate Mark Harris, was indicted on seven counts related to election fraud in the 2018 election. Dowless was indicted for a scheme through which he and colleagues allegedly collected absentee ballots from voters, and filled out some of them. Both activities are illegal in North Carolina.
The alleged fraud was so extensive that the results of the 2018 election were nullified and a court ordered a new election, which was held in 2019.
In Colorado, Bremer said Buck owed him an apology.
"How in the heck is the Republican Party going to go out and say we’re for the rule of law except when it applies to us — we can do whatever we want to?" Bremer told the Denver Post.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation. Attribution: Dan Desai Martin.