“We take an oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic,” Pelosi began.
“The actions this administration are taking vis-a-vis our voting system, our sacred right to vote, are a domestic assault on our Constitution.”
Pelosi said that the American people should cast their ballots by mail instead of going to the polls amid the coronavirus pandemic, suggesting that Trump and his allies will do all they can to suppress voter turnout in November.
She stressed that Americans shouldn’t risk their health by casting their ballot in person, but noted that “if you do, vote plenty early because within this administration is an attempt to make sure your vote doesn’t count and doesn’t count as cast.”
Trump has long argued against vote-by-mail, claiming — without evidence — that it would result in widespread fraud.
The commander-in-chief and his allies have also targeted the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) in an apparent attempt to suppress voter turnout.
Earlier this week, Trump, who voted by mail in Florida’s presidential primary earlier this year, suggested that he would oppose funding the USPS, which would make it impossible for the organization to handle postal ballots.
However, he has also said that he is open to making a deal with Democrats, as long as they give up on some of their demands pertaining to the upcoming coronavirus relief bill.
House Democrats have sought to provide the USPS with $25 billion in order to ensure the ballots are sent on time. The GOP-controlled Senate has rejected their demands.
With congressional leaders unable to reach a deal, some Democrats in swing districts have reportedly expressed concern about their electoral prospects.
Pelosi dismissed the idea that vulnerable lawmakers could be negatively impacted by the stalemate, saying that both she and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer enjoy strong support from their colleagues.
“Overwhelmingly, the House Democratic Caucus, including our freshmen, very much want us to meet the needs of the American people,” Pelosi said.
Some Republicans have pushed back against Trump’s attacks. Notably, in an interview on Friday, Utah Sen. Mitt Romney said that he does not know of “any evidence” that mail-in voting would lead to manipulation or fraud.
Romney noted that he is concerned about potential cyberattacks on electronic systems and stressed that politicians should not attack the foundations of U.S. democracy.