Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed TN (R) U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty to the newsmakers line to answer questions related to his January 6 vote as new election irregularity evidence mounts in Georgia, S1, and the continuing border crisis.

Leahy: We welcome to our newsmaker line our friend, Senator Bill Hagerty. Good morning, Senator Hagerty.

Hagerty: Good morning, Michael.

Leahy: I want to talk about a couple of things in this segment. Georgia, S1, and the border. So in Georgia, the light of the ongoing evidence that no chain of custody documents exist for more than 300,000 absentee ballots cast in Georgia in November 2020 and reports of massive regularities in Fulton County, it appears to me that Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger’s decision to certify those results were, in fact, as a Georgia GOP convention recently found a dereliction of his constitutional duty.

Here’s my question for you. If you knew on January 6, what we know now about Georgia, would you have joined Jodi Hice in objecting to those Electoral College votes?

Hagerty: Michael, let me take both parts of your question. First, Georgia, because we haven’t talked about it. Then we’ll come back to January 6. You and I have talked about that in the past.

I didn’t need to see this latest evidence on the chain of custody in Georgia to know that there are serious problems there. In fact, I was down in Mar-a-Lago in April with President Trump reviewing the Fulton County data.

We were going through it in 15-minute increments at that point. There are major irregularities in Georgia and those are regularities that need to be addressed by those people responsible for them. And that’s the states.

And you and I’ve talked about this. The states are the ones that are given the responsibility and the authority to set the rules. They should be addressing this. And that’s the reason that President Trump loves the legislation I put for one of the first pieces of legislation I put forward as a sitting senator which is to protect the Electoral College Act.

And what that requires is an audit of the 2020 election to find out every state where the Constitution was violated and in any state that violated the Constitution. And I believe there were a number of them.

Those states will not receive any federal funding for their elections until they rectify that. That’s related to the conversations that we’ve had in the past about January 6. You recall, I said I would, and I objected to the Arizona results.

It was the first state that was objected to. I did that because I wanted to debate the formation of a commission. A commission that would identify those places where the Constitution was violated and put it back to the states to fix that before the inauguration.

That is the right way to fix it. I was never going to vote to federalize the election. I was never going to vote to give Congress the authority and take it away from the states. That would be the first step if Congress were to take control of the elections and we allowed Congress to change the result every time you’ve got the legislature in control of a different party than the incoming President.

That’s just the first step toward doing away with the Electoral College, in my view. And that’s not something that we would ever support. I don’t think you would, either. That conversation about forming a Commission completely changed when the capital was breached.

When the riots broke out, we were sequestered, put away and the conversation changed very quickly from debating a Commission to invoking the 25th amendment against our President to be impeaching him. The best thing to do at that point was to shut this thing down and focus on fixing it in a different manner.

And that’s why I put the legislation together that I brought forward to require an audit of all the states that violated the Constitution and again deprive them of funding until they repaired it.

Leahy: Crom Carmichael is in studio and he has a question for you on that, Senator Hagerty.

Carmichael: Senator, I have a question in regard to January 6. There’s evidence that now comes out that the FBI had people inserted in these groups. And some of the reports I’ve read is that the FBI was actually helping to insight the riot. Do you all have any information that the riot that happened was contrived?

Hagerty: Crom, this is very disturbing. I’ve heard the same reports that you have. I would actually be meeting with FBI Director Wray today. We have very, very strong reason to be concerned as a nation when we find out how the intelligence community has been abused, how law enforcement has been abused, and we need to get to the bottom of this.

Do we know the answers to this with certainty today? No. But are these serious serious questions? Absolutely, Crom.

Leahy: Well, that’s breaking some news that we didn’t know – that you’re meeting with the FBI director today.

Let’s talk about what happened last night in Washington. S1 came up with a 50 50 vote, didn’t get the 60. They needed to break a filibuster on it. What’s your take on what happened last night?

Hagerty: What happened last night, I think, was very predictable. What you had underway with this S1 was a blatant power grab by the Democrats in the most narrow, narrow majorities.

It’s a 50, 50 Senate right now. And the only way they controlled is because of who’s occupying the White House. They’ve tried to push through one of the most blatant power grabs ever.

And this is legislation that’s been lying around. The components of it have been lying around at Democratic smoke-built backrooms for years. They tried this right after the 2016 election.

They brought this up in the first part of 2017. The emergency, then and the crisis then that they brought forth was the fact that Trump was elected. Of course, that was wholly unacceptable to them.

So if you look back at what they brought back in 2017 essentially the same sort of thing, they tried it again in 2018, even in 2020. Nancy Pelosi tried to put this through, using the pandemic as the excuse in her effort to again rewrite all the election laws under the guise of a pandemic emergency.

And now the latest emergency that they’re siding, again this was their excuse, is the crisis that’s being caused by states trying to come in and impose some election integrity after the 2020 election.

It’s ridiculous. It’s nothing but a blatant power grab. And as I said, if we allow them to federalize elections, which is exactly what they were trying to do, they are going to use this as the first step, I think, to do away with the Electoral College and completely take control.

Carmichael: Senator, Michael, earlier in the show where I maintained that a lot of what’s going on by the Democrats in Washington right now essentially a head fake because what the Democrats are not being able to accomplish through the legislative process they’re accomplishing through the administrative process.

For example, the Secretary of Defense kind of unilaterally just came out and said that the Code of Military Justice will no longer apply to cases of sexual harassment and that they will be referred to the Justice Department, which I think is a huge change in the military. What are your comments on what’s going on in the administration?

Hagerty: I’m very concerned about this type of activity is something that I’m looking into right now. In fact, you had an extensive meeting on it yesterday utilizing the Congressional Review Act to come back and take these executive body administrative decisions like you described, apart and subject them to congressional review.

Because something like this would not pass congressional muster. What they’re trying to do again is just a blatant power grab. They’ve swung so far to the left I think they’re trying to reshape America into something that most of us can’t even comprehend.

And we’ve got to push back at every turn, and Congress has an important role to play. And so I’m looking into utilizing the Congressional Review Act to go after misuses and abuses just like you described.

Carmichael: So if we retake the House and the Senate, the Congressional Review Act, does that require 60 votes?

Hagerty: 50 plus one.

Carmichael: 50 plus one on the Congressional Review Act. So there’s a lot of authority to push back against administrative overreach if we can retake the House and have control of the Senate.

Hagerty: Absolutely. And there’s no reason to stop right now because you’ve got Democrats that I do not believe are as far left as the outspoken minority that seems to get all of the media amplification.

You think about leaders like Joe Manchin or Krysten Sinema, who will have a very hard time supporting or voting with some of these extremist policies that the Biden administration is putting forward.

There’s no reason to wait 18 months. I think we should start right now. And that’s what I’m going to put in motion because we cannot wait another day. We can get this. We’ve got to start pushing back on this immediately.

Leahy: Senator Hagerty, let’s talk about the other big issue out there, the border here. It appears to me that the Biden administration is absolutely failing to enforce our immigration laws and the border is entirely open. What in Congress can you do about that?

Hagerty: Well, one of the first things that I did is I took the absolute first official congressional trip done by the Senate of the pandemic. I’m the only member of the United States Senate that actually has diplomatic experience.

I served as U.S. ambassador to Japan, the third-largest economy in the world, after the United States and China. I’ve had experience doing this sort of thing, and I went to Guatemala, into Mexico, just like Vice President Harris did all be it a full month before she did.

I met with the President of Guatemala. I met with his Foreign Minister. I explained to them the urgency of the situation. We need to stop the crisis at the border right now. The talk about root causes, they were very clear to me.

The President of Guatemala was very clear to me what the root cause actually is. The root causes are the messages coming out of the White House. It’s Joe Biden in his campaign saying, hey, if I win my election, I’m going to treat you better.

It’s Joe Biden saying, we’re going to reunite families again? The President of Guatemala said to me, the Coyotes immediately began marketing and collecting children, getting their parents to give them their life savings to undertake one of the most treacherous journeys imaginable.

They are praying on the most vulnerable in their society. Using again, messages coming out of Washington, D.C. Messages like a $15 an hour minimum wage, $1,400 of free money going to illegal immigrants.

These messages are being marketed by Coyotes. They’re enriching the cartels, and they’re creating this massive illegal movement that’s destroying nuclear families in their countries. They don’t like this one bit.

They’re very upset about it. And they made it clear to me that we have a lot to do with this. We mean, the Biden administration being the most important and significant root cause and causing our border to collapse has really made something else happen as well.

And this is where the leadership of Mexico made very clear to me. The Mexican Foreign Minister when I met with him, said, look, China is moving in. They’ve stepped up their fentanyl operations in my country.

In Mexico, they’re shipping more precursor chemicals, more fentanyl in. They’ve got Chinese lab technicians working with the cartels making fentanyl in Mexico and shipping it across this porous border.

Our Customs and Border Patrol agents are all tied up dealing with these families, dealing with these unattended minors. Meanwhile, the cartels are shoving more and more drugs across our borders.

And as I talk with sheriffs in law enforcement in Tennessee every day, they told me since January, since the border collapsed, they’ve seen a dramatic rise and overdoses and death from Fentanyl and Methamphetamines. Where is it coming from? Mexico? Who’s manufacturing it? The Chinese.

Leahy: Senator Bill Hagerty. Thanks so much for joining us. I know sometimes we ask you questions that are a little tougher than maybe you get from some folks. But you always step up. You always come on. You always answer the questions. We really appreciate that.

Listen to the full third hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio