President Joe Biden's pick to serve on the Federal Election Commission refused to say on Wednesday afternoon whether "stolen election" claims undermine faith in democracy, saying "it depends on the context."
During a Wednesday afternoon Senate Rules Committee hearing, Dara Lindenbaum faced a line of questioning from Republican senator Ted Cruz based on a Washington Free Beacon report that detailed her work on behalf of failed gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, who claimed the election was "stolen" due to "voter suppression." Lindenbaum signed on to a federal complaint that challenged the election results and alleged that "unreliable" voting machines "switched" votes from Abrams to the winner, Republican Brian Kemp.
Lindenbaum would not say if such claims "undermine faith in the democratic process."
"I think it depends on the context involved," the Biden nominee answered. Lindenbaum went on to confirm she was willing to put her name on a "legal pleading alleging that the machines used in Georgia in 2018 were switching votes illegally from one candidate to another," but said she couldn't comment further because the case has yet to be resolved by the courts.
The exchange could open up Biden to criticism as he looks to get his nominee confirmed to the election regulatory agency. Biden has offered fierce criticism of Trump's 2020 stolen election claims—just weeks before he nominated Lindenbaum, the Democrat said Trump "created and spread a web of lies about the 2020 election" because "he sees his own interest as more important than his country's interest." Just days later, however, Biden suggested that the 2022 midterms could be illegitimate if Democrats are unable to pass election reform legislation.
"I'm not saying it's going to be legit, as the increase in the prospect of being illegitimate is a direct proportion to us not being able to get these reforms passed," Biden said.
If confirmed, Lindenbaum will mark a leftward shift for the commission, which helps shape U.S. election rules. Lindenbaum is slated to replace Steve Walther, an independent. In addition to her work with Abrams, Lindenbaum has also represented Sen. Raphael Warnock's (D., Ga.) Ebenezer Baptist Church, which joined Lindenbaum's Georgia election lawsuit in early 2019.