Former Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan, who represented Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District from 1999 to 2019, issued the following statement on Republican efforts to overturn the November 2020 election for President of the United States when the Electoral College vote count is announced on January 6, 2021:

“All our basic rights and freedoms flow from a fidelity to the Constitution and rule of law. This principle is not only fundamentally American but a central tenet on conservatism. Under our system, voters determine the president, and this self-governance cannot sustain itself if the whims of Congress replace the will of the people. I urge members to consider the precedent that it would set.

“Efforts to reject the votes of the Electoral College and sow doubt about Joe Biden’s victory strike at the foundation of our republic. It is difficult to conceive of a more anti-democratic and anti-conservative act than a federal intervention to overturn the results of state-certified elections and disenfranchise millions of Americans. The fact that this effort will fail does not mean it not do significant damage to American democracy.

“The Trump campaign had ample opportunity to challenge election results, and those efforts failed from lack of evidence. The legal process was exhausted, and the results were decisively confirmed. The Department of Justice, too, found no basis for overturning the result. If states wish to reform their processes for future elections, that is their prerogative. But Joe Biden’s victory is entirely legitimate.”