Georgia Republicans have reassigned three fellow GOP lawmakers who backed baseless allegations of voter fraud related to the November presidential election.
Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan on Tuesday changed state senate committee assignments for Sens. Matt Brass, Brandon Beach and Burt Jones, all of whom joined President Donald Trump’s efforts to undermine the results in Georgia.
Beach was stripped of his chairmanship of the Transportation committee and Jones was removed as chairman of the Insurance and Labor Committee. Brass was re-assigned to the Banking and Financial Institutions Committee, instead of remaining as head of the politically influential Reapportionment and Redistricting committee, according to Macy McFall, deputy chief of staff and director of communications for Duncan’s office.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution first reported the changes.
The demotion was expected by Jones, who told CNN that “he had a difference of opinion” from Duncan, who has vehemently pushed back against allegations of voter fraud in the Peach State.
“It didn’t bother me, other than it was an effort to try and just embarrass us and that really bothers me,” Jones said Thursday. “It was really unnecessary and pretty petty.”
He noted that this is the first time since his freshman year in office in 2013 that he has not held a chairmanship. Jones also said he and the other two senators weren’t looking to overturn the election results but wanted a deeper investigation into potential issues in the state’s voting process.
“We weren’t trying to overturn an election,” he told CNN. “You have to have evidence to overturn an election but in order to have evidence you’ve got to investigate things.”
He added that his goal was to “call out” Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, who has consistently rejected Trump’s claims of voter fraud.
Brass and Beach did not immediately respond to CNN’s requests for comment.
Republicans hold a majority in the Georgia Senate, with more than 30 seats out of the 56 total in the chamber.
Jones, along with Beach, applauded the Texas federal lawsuit seeking to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s win in key battleground states including Georgia. The lawmakers at the time had alleged “misconduct, fraud, and irregularities throughout the voting process.” The lawsuit that was ultimately denied.
“We are the trustees of the people, and we must secure their vote against all those, both foreign and domestic, who would defraud them of their collective decision at the ballot box,” read the December statement.
McFall said that the new state Senate committee assignments are effective immediately.
“These committee chairs are uniquely qualified to develop real and lasting solutions aimed at building a better Georgia,” Duncan said in a Tuesday statement. “The Senate will continue to prioritize diligent committee work and sound public policy, and I look forward to working closely with each one of our chairs, and their committee members, as we work to enact policies that advance both the lives and livelihoods of all Georgians.”