Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf pulled his nomination for the state’s top election official, claiming state Republicans would use the confirmation process to highlight alleged fraud in the state’s 2020 presidential election.
Wolf said he would withdraw Veronica Degraffenreid’s nomination for Secretary of the Commonwealth because he believed state Senate Republicans would use the confirmation hearings to “capitulate to Donald Trump’s fantasy that the 2020 election experienced irregularities that changed the outcome in Pennsylvania.”
He cited the state Senate’s plan to hold multiple hearings for Degraffenreid, who serves as the state’s acting Secretary of State, and claimed the “record number” of hearings requested was abnormal.
“It is clear that instead of providing advice and consent on my nominee for Secretary of the Commonwealth, they instead plan on using her confirmation as an opportunity to descend further into conspiracy theories and work to please the former president [Donald Trump] by spreading lies about last year’s election, instead of working together to address real issues facing Pennsylvanians,” he said in a statement.
Wolf also claimed the state Senate would be incapable of holding a fair hearing for Degraffenreid.
Republican Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, who has vowed to conduct a thorough investigation into the alleged fraud that took place during the 2020 election, responded to Wolf by saying state senators are “under no obligation” to honor his withdrawal and allow Degraffenreid to continue serving in the administration if she refuses to undergo the confirmation process.
“The acting secretary’s threats against counties and her refusal to participate in bipartisan election hearings will be considered by the Senate Republican Caucus as we plan how to proceed with her nomination,” Corman added.
Corman also defended the state Senate’s request for multiple hearings, arguing Degraffenreid’s contradictory and confusing election guidance has caused a disparate application of rules across Pennsylvania.
“We have the constitutional responsibility to provide advice and consent, not to be a rubber stamp for the administration,” Corman said. “There would not be a need for many of these hearings if they did their jobs fairly and honestly.”