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Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

All 10 living former Defense secretaries, including Dick Cheney and James Mattis, warned that involving the U.S. military in election disputes would take the country into "dangerous" territory, in a Washington Post op-ed on Sunday.

Why it matters: The secretaries' urging that the "time for questioning the results" of the 2020 election has passed comes as a growing number of Republican senators join House Republicans in plans to object to certifying Joe Biden's win through the Electoral College.

What they're saying: "Our elections have occurred. Recounts and audits have been conducted. Appropriate challenges have been addressed by the courts. Governors have certified the results. And the electoral college has voted," the former defense secretaries wrote.

  • "The time for questioning the results has passed; the time for the formal counting of the electoral college votes, as prescribed in the Constitution and statute, has arrived."
  • The op-ed also calls for the Defense Department to carry out a peaceful, transparent and cooperative transition within its own agency, and to "refrain from any political actions that undermine the results of the election or hinder the success of the new team."

Go deeper

GOP Sen. Lankford apologizes to Black Oklahomans for electoral challenge

Photo: Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) has apologized to Black Oklahomans for challenging Joe Biden's Electoral College victory, saying he did not realize his actions would be seen as "casting doubt on the validity of votes" in predominantly Black cities like Atlanta, Philadelphia and Detroit.

The big picture: Lankford was part of a group of 11 senators, led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who planned to object to the Electoral College certification unless Congress launched a commission to audit the election results. He later withdrew his objection after the pro-Trump siege of the Capitol.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden readies massive shifts in policy for his first days in office.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.
  6. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.
Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Alexey Navalny detained after landing back in Moscow

Navalny and his wife shortly before he was detained. Photo: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was detained upon his return to Moscow on Sunday, which came five months after he was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok. He returned despite being warned that he would be arrested.

The latest: Navalny was stopped at a customs checkpoint and led away alone by officers. He appeared to hug his wife goodbye, and his spokesman reports that his lawyer was not allowed to accompany him.