Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.) has served Tennessee’s 4th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives since June 2011. He ran for reelection in 2022 with Trump’s endorsement and won with more than 70 percent of the vote. Born in Iowa, he is a physician who practiced as a generalist in Jasper, Tennessee.
DesJarlais’ congressional career has been plagued by scandal, leading Politico to publish a profile on him in 2014 titled, “The Biggest Hypocrite in Congress?” The article noted that as an anti-choice Republican, he pressured his wife and a girlfriend to get abortions and also faced ethics violations from the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners for his personal relationships with patients.
After the 2020 presidential election, DesJarlais helped spread the Big Lie by casting doubt on the legitimacy of the process and making claims of fraud unfounded by facts. He objected to certifying President Biden’s Electoral College win and voted against both impeaching Trump for inciting the mob and establishing a special House committee to investigate the insurrection, among other measures.
January 6, 2021
- Just hours after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, DesJarlais joined 146 other congressional Republicans in refusing to certify Biden’s win of the 2020 presidential election. He tweeted: “I believe the American people deserve a debate and investigation into voting irregularities during the 2020 election.”
- In voting against impeaching Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection, DesJarlais tweeted: “President Trump has announced a smooth, orderly & seamless transfer of power. His team is ensuring the Biden-Harris administration has everything they need to assume office. There is no need to create a further divide.”
- DesJarlais voted against establishing a House committee to investigate the Jan. 6 attack.
The Big Lie
- On Nov. 6 and Dec. 1, 2020, DesJarlais signed letters to Attorney General Bill Barr urging the Justice Department to investigate irregularities and accusations of fraud in the 2020 presidential election.
- On Dec. 10, 2020, DesJarlais signed an amicus brief in a lawsuit filed by the state of Texas urging the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the results of the presidential election in four swing states: Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
- On Dec. 17, 2020, DesJarlais co-signed a letter to congressional leaders requesting that they hold hearings to “probe all allegations of illegal conduct concerning the Nov. 3, 2020 elections” and “investigate systemic problems” with elections in the U.S.
- Prior to Jan 6., DesJarlais claimed that “voting irregularities” in the 2020 election included mismatched signatures on ballots and boxes of ballots that were pulled out of a “suitcase” at a Georgia polling center, a conspiracy theory that has since been debunked.
- In a March 3, 2021 op-ed on Facebook, DesJarlais discussed alleged voter fraud related to mail-in ballots. “Even the countries that allow mail-in ballots have protections, such as government-issued photo IDs,” he wrote. “But Americans are constantly assured even this step is completely unnecessary.”
- In 2021, in voting against the H.R. 1 (the For the People Act), he called the proposed voter protection legislation an “egregious overreach.”