One last desperate trick for Congress to overturn President Donald Trump’s defeat at the ballot box is gaining momentum among current and future Republicans in the House of Representatives, an idea that is causing their GOP colleagues on the other side of the Capitol to waver.
” This is a pretty wild idea,” Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), a member of the leadership, told Washington Newsday.
” Our country must have confidence in the electoral process,” Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) added. “That doesn’t sound to me like it will add credibility to our electoral process”.
Ultimately, given the political composition of Congress, the long-winded approach would be symbolic. Nevertheless, Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) plans to lead a group of Conservatives in the House of Representatives to formally challenge the Electoral College’s confirmation of Joe Biden’s victory on January 6.
This move could turn into a test of loyalty and force Republicans to side with the man they warned against continuing to lead the party-even after he left the White House-or to accept Biden’s victory.
But Brooks also needs a Republican in the Senate who can formally challenge the confirmation and force a vote in Congress – something he has not yet succeeded in doing. He told Washington Newsday on Friday that he had not yet held talks with Republican senators.
“I hope we will have Republican senators who have the courage and conviction to do the same thing that Democratic senators have done,” Brooks said. “Every senator must wrestle with his or her own conscience about how to defend his or her country.
Brooks’ rhetoric about the election, which he described as “theft,” reflected the rhetoric of Trump and his allies who, despite the lack of evidence, tried to overturn the results in court. Two congressmen-designate Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) and Barry Moore (Ala.) – have publicly stated that they will support Brooks in the House of Representatives. Privately, Brooks said that the number of those who say they will support him is “double digits.
Some GOP senators did not close the door completely, such as Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), who said he needed to learn more about the trial, or Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who said various campaign complaints needed to be played out first. But so far no one has said that this is even within the realm of possibility.
While many Republicans still refuse to allow Biden to win the election, many have conceded that efforts to overturn the result will be over on December 14, when the electoral college will officially vote on the basis of the states’ confirmed results. The idea of challenging the result in Congress weeks later is not well received by many Republicans in the Senate as the leadership tries to stop the potential maneuver.
“I can’t imagine that this would ever happen,” John Thune (R-S.D.), the majority leader in the Senate, said this week. “Someone could, but I doubt it would go anywhere.”
Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Republican #4, noted that earlier attempts by Democrats to have Congress challenge the results have failed.
“You have to get the Senators to join them. We’ll see,” Blunt said, refusing to consider whether, in his opinion, this could have an impact on the outcome.
“I haven’t heard from any senator who has talked about this,” said Senator John Barrasso R-Wyo), a leading member, to Washington Newsday.
Brooks would not be by far the first congressman to challenge the results of the electoral college, and he will certainly not be the last. In fact, Democratic legislators have attempted to go down this road three times since 2000, but have failed on the victories of both George W. Bush and Trump.
The then Vice President Joe Biden, who presided over the Senate and led the process, declared, as you know, “it’s over” in front of Democrats in the House of Representatives who are trying to challenge the 2016 elections.
It was only when the Democrats challenged Bush’s second election victory that they managed to get a senator – former Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) – to join the House of Representatives in the effort.
Brooks remains undecided whether he would challenge the Electoral College’s certification if no one in the Senate joined him. Should he decide to proceed without a fellow Senator, his effort would be symbolic, as he would be dismissed and would not receive a vote.
“I want to force a vote in the House of Representatives and a vote in the Senate,” Brooks said, “where we will see who really wants to protect our American voting system from voter fraud and voter theft and who doesn’t.” The Senate will be the only place in the world where we will be able to see who really wants to protect our American voting system from voter fraud and voter theft.
Although Brooks said he had not discussed his plans with either the White House or the President, Trump took note and chirped out praise for the fifth-term legislator, who has just won re-election unchallenged.
Many thanks to Congressman Mo Brooks!
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2020
However, if potential 2024 hopefuls like Hawley or Cruz Brooks from the Senate follow suit, this could increase their platforms, especially in the Trump base.
“In my opinion, the evidence is overwhelming and convincing that if the counting of votes were limited to the legitimate votes of eligible American citizens, Donald Trump could easily win Electoral College and re-election to the presidency,” Brooks said.
Biden won the election with 306 votes from the Electoral College compared to 232 votes from Trump. The president-elect led the popular vote with 4.4 percent or more than 7 million votes.