Saturday, during an appearance on Fox News Channel’s “America’s News HQ,” Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) discussed her decision to participate in an effort to object to the election results from certain states.
Blackburn joins Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Ron Johnson (R-WI), James Lankford (R-OK), Steve Daines (R-MT), John Kennedy (R-LA) and Mike Braun (R-IN), and Senators-elect Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), and Tommy Tuberville (R-AL).
Vice President Mike Pence also “welcomes” the challenge of electors by House and Senate Republicans, according to a statement by his Chief of Staff Marc Short reported Saturday evening by Axios’ Jonathan Swan, who posted the statement to Twitter. Pence will preside over Wednesday’s joint session of Congress to certify the Electoral College vote
VP Chief of Staff Marc Short: “Vice President Pence shares the concerns of millions of Americans about voter fraud and irregularities in the last election…”
The Momentum is building for the January 6 Electoral College battle, as a wave of U.S. Senators led by Sen. Ted Cruz, will join Sen. Josh Hawley and over 140 Republican members of the House in their Electoral College objection, likely to the chagrin of Republican leadership.
Unlike Hawley, Cruz and this new coalition of Senators are demanding a 10-day audit in battleground states to examine the numerous credible accusations of widespread voter fraud that plague at least six states.
The development was first reported by Politico’s Burgess Everett, who notes that Cruz led the Senators in a joint statement: “We intend to vote on January 6 to reject the electors from disputed states as not ‘regularly given’ and ‘lawfully certified’, unless and until that emergency 10-day audit is complete.”
Cruz leads senators in joint statement: "we intend to vote on January 6 to reject the electors from disputed states as not ‘regularly given’ and ‘lawfully certified’ (the statutory requisite), unless and until that emergency 10-day audit is completed."
— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) January 2, 2021
In a statement, the Senators said “Voter fraud has posed a persistent challenge in our elections, although its breadth and scope are disputed.” They add, “By any measure, the allegations of fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election exceed any in our lifetimes.”
Fox News notes: “The senators and senators-elect are calling for Congress to appoint a commission to conduct a 10-day emergency audit of the election returns in states where the results are disputed. They cite as precedent the 1877 race between Samuel Tilden and Rutherford Hayes in which there were allegations of fraud in multiple states.”
GOP senators, led by Cruz, to object to Electoral College certification, demand emergency audit | Fox News https://t.co/t0RRwhpLJn
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) January 2, 2021
This comes weeks after Rep. Mo Brooks announced his effort to object to the Electoral College count. Until this week, Brooks had no allies in the Senate. This was joined when Hawley announced he would join the call, despite Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pressuring him not to.
This also comes after dozens of state legislators in Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina, and Mississippi sent letters to their U.S. Senators, urging them to act on January 6. North Carolina legislators also sent a letter, as did Florida Rep. Anthony Sabitini, and Virignia’s Jarome Bell and Amanda Chase.
When McConnell attempted to excoriate Hawley in a Senate-wide conference call, McConnell reportedly raged for several minutes without realizing Hawley was not on the line and never joined the call.
Similarly, sources close to President Donald Trump told National File that Tuberville would join the fight, but would not announce it publicly. Then, McConnell reportedly contacted Tuberville and instructed him to “knife Trump in the back” on January 6.
It appears McConnell’s control over the Republican-led Senate may be wavering.
Now that multiple members of the House and Senate have agreed to object, the chances of a contingent election seem to have increased.
Pence will soon face a rare Constitutional event as competing slates of electors are provided on January 6. Meister notes that “Pence will be faced with dueling electors for the six disputed swing states, a Biden slate from the governors, and a Trump slate from the lawmakers.”
This would leave President Trump with a thin majority of electoral votes, with 232 to Joe Biden’s 227.
As neither candidate would win the requisite 270 vote majority, a contingent election would be necessary to determine the next President, in accordance with the Constitution.
A contingent election would see the House of Representatives charged with voting for the next President, and the Senate with choosing the next Vice President.
However, in a contingent election, each state represented in the House of Representatives will only have one vote, thus rendering the advantages of high population states like California and New York moot.
It remains unclear if other Senators, including Rand Paul and John Cornyn, who previously indicated they may join the Electoral College objection, will now join publicly as momentum increases.
We do know that the once failed presidential candidate Mitt Romney took aim at colleague Senator Josh Hawley over the Missouri Republican’s intention to object to the certification of the Electoral College vote this week.
Romney is an expert on losing https://t.co/nq61DnHSyr
— Jack Posobiec ?? (@JackPosobiec) January 3, 2021
In remarks reportedly made to a CNN “reporter” Pierre Delecto denounced Hawley’s bid to get the truth out as being “dangerous to democracy” both at home and abroad, not concerned that the perception of tens of millions of Trump voters and the Senate which is still under Republican control, has refused to investigate legitimate complaints regarding the irregularities.
Romney also denounced Hawley’s plans as spreading the false rumor that “somehow the election was stolen” which it was.
“Voter fraud has posed a persistent challenge in our elections, although its breadth and scope are disputed. By any measure, the allegations of fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election exceed any in our lifetimes.
“And those allegations are not believed just by one individual candidate. Instead, they are widespread.
Reuters/Ipsos polling, tragically, shows that 39% of Americans believe ‘the election was rigged.’ That belief is held by Republicans (67%), Democrats (17%), and Independents (31%).
there is long precedent of Democratic Members of Congress raising objections to presidential election results, as they did in 1969, 2001, 2005, and 2017. And, in both 1969 and 2005, a Democratic Senator joined with a Democratic House Member in forcing votes in both houses on whether to accept the presidential electors being challenged.
“The most direct precedent on this question arose in 1877, following serious allegations of fraud and illegal conduct in the Hayes-Tilden presidential race. Specifically, the elections in three states—Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina—were alleged to have been conducted illegally.
“In 1877, Congress did not ignore those allegations, nor did the media simply dismiss those raising them as radicals trying to undermine democracy. Instead, Congress appointed an Electoral Commission—consisting of five Senators, five House Members, and five Supreme Court Justices—to consider and resolve the disputed returns.
“We should follow that precedent. To wit, Congress should immediately appoint an Electoral Commission, with full investigatory and fact-finding authority, to conduct an emergency 10-day audit of the election returns in the disputed states. Once completed, individual states would evaluate the Commission’s findings and could convene a special legislative session to certify a change in their vote, if needed.