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Anti-Trump group amps up pressure on GOP lawmakers who voted against election results

Francesca Chambers
McClatchy Washington Bureau

Washington – A group that opposes former President Donald Trump is dialing up the pressure on Republican lawmakers who objected to the certification of the 2020 presidential election results.

The Republican Accountability Project is spending $1 million on a new round of TV and digital ads criticizing six GOP members of Congress the group says “encouraged a deadly attack” on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 as Electoral College votes were being counted.

The Republican Accountability Project's web page criticizes GOP members of Congress who objected to the certification of the 2020 presidential election results.

The ads target Reps. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who is the House GOP leader; Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga.; Matt Gaetz, R-Fla.; Louie Gohmert, R-Texas; Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C.; and Mo Brooks, R-Ala., who is running for the state’s open U.S. Senate seat.

“We remember how Kevin McCarthy lied about the 2020 election results,” the narrator of the ad that focuses on the California Republican says. “We remember that he voted to overturn the will of American voters.

“He hopes we’ll forget. We won’t,” the narrator continues. “If Kevin McCarthy won’t support democracy, we won’t support him.”

The new ads are part of a broader push from the Republican Accountability Project, which plans to spend $50 million in the 2022 election cycle, to weaken Trump and his allies. The group has pledged to protect Republicans who voted for impeachment, and may support primary challengers to pro-Trump lawmakers.

“It is about creating an awareness that what they did was a violation,” said Sarah Longwell, the founder of the Republican Accountability Project. “Lying about the election being stolen, that it is disqualifying, and that they shouldn’t be allowed to just pretend that it didn’t happen.”

The commercials are set to begin running Monday on CNN and on digital platforms such as Facebook and YouTube. They will also air later in local news media markets in the lawmakers’ districts.

Spokespersons for the lawmakers declined to provide comment on the ads.

Longwell said they are starting with ads against the more high-profile GOP lawmakers who objected to the election results and will eventually target all of them.

The Republican Accountability Project consists of former GOP officials and operatives who oppose the party’s direction under Trump. Republican leaders have criticized the group and other ‘Never Trump’ organizations for essentially acting as vehicles that benefit Democrats.