A gaggle of GOP senators led by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, will object to the Jan. 6 certification of the presidential election results subsequent week until there may be an emergency 10-day audit of the outcomes by an electoral fee.
Cruz and the opposite senators declare the Nov. 3 election “featured unprecedented allegations of voter fraud and unlawful conduct.”
Becoming a member of Cruz are Sens. Ron Johnson, R-Wis.; James Lankford, R-Okla.; Steve Daines, R-Mont.; John Kennedy, R-La.; Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and Mike Braun, R-Ind.; in addition to Sens.-elect Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo.; Roger Marshall, R-Kansas; Invoice Hagerty, R-Tenn., and Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala.
Their effort is separate from one introduced by Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., who mentioned this week that he’ll object to what he claims was the failure of some states — most notably Pennsylvania — to comply with their very own election legal guidelines.
“Voter fraud has posed a persistent problem in our elections, though its breadth and scope are disputed,” the lawmakers mentioned Saturday in a press release. “By any measure, the allegations of fraud and irregularities within the 2020 election exceed any in our lifetimes.”
No proof of widespread voter fraud that would change the end result of the election has been introduced so far. Dozens of authorized challenges filed by the Trump marketing campaign and its supporters have been dismissed by judges throughout the nation.
A supply aware of the trouble by the GOP senators advised Fox Information that it was Cruz who orchestrated the push simply days earlier than the joint session of Congress on Wednesday to formally approve the Electoral School votes electing former Vice President Joe Biden.
The lawmakers say there’s a precedent of Democrats objecting to election leads to 1969, 2001, 2005 and 2019. “And, in each 1969 and 2005, a Democratic Senator joined with a Democratic Home Member in forcing votes in each homes on whether or not to just accept the presidential electors being challenged,” they mentioned.
The senators and senators-elect are calling for Congress to nominate a fee to conduct a 10-day emergency audit of the election returns in states the place the outcomes are disputed. They cite as precedent the 1877 race between Samuel Tilden and Rutherford Hayes wherein there have been allegations of fraud in a number of states.
“In 1877, Congress didn’t ignore these allegations, nor did the media merely dismiss these elevating them as radicals attempting to undermine democracy,” the lawmakers mentioned within the assertion. “As a substitute, Congress appointed an Electoral Fee — consisting of 5 Senators, 5 Home Members, and 5 Supreme Courtroom Justices — to think about and resolve the disputed returns.”
“We should always comply with that precedent. To wit, Congress ought to instantly appoint an Electoral Fee, with full investigatory and fact-finding authority, to conduct an emergency 10-day audit of the election returns within the disputed states. As soon as accomplished, particular person states would consider the Fee’s findings and will convene a particular legislative session to certify a change of their vote, if wanted.”
If that does not occur, the senators intend to vote in opposition to certification.
“Accordingly, we intend to vote on January 6 to reject the electors from disputed states as not ‘commonly given’ and ‘lawfully licensed’ (the statutory requisite), until and till that emergency 10-day audit is accomplished,” they mentioned within the assertion.
It’s unclear whether or not they may rally extra Republicans to their trigger, given Senate Majority Chief Mitch McConnell’s public acceptance of Biden’s victory. Whereas the lawmakers notice that almost all Democrats and a few Republicans will vote to certify the outcomes, they argue that an audit would improve the general public’s religion within the course of.
“These are issues worthy of the Congress, and entrusted to us to defend. We don’t take this motion frivolously. We’re appearing to not thwart the democratic course of, however slightly to guard it,” they mentioned. “And each one in all us ought to act collectively to make sure that the election was lawfully performed underneath the Structure and to do every little thing we will to revive religion in our Democracy.”
The trouble by the senators marks a significant win for President Trump’s persevering with efforts to problem the outcomes of the election. Trump has repeatedly claimed he beat Biden, who flipped various states, together with Georgia and Arizona, to recover from the 270 Electoral School votes wanted to safe the White Home.
Trump’s marketing campaign has launched various authorized challenges, whereas Trump himself has urged states with Republican governors and legislatures to overturn Biden’s victories — as he alleges with out proof that widespread voter fraud tilted the scales.
Senate GOP leaders are in opposition to efforts to problem Biden’s win, with McConnell urging Republicans behind closed doorways to not contest the election outcomes.
But when the group of GOP senators object, together with the same effort by Home Republicans, the joint session of Congress can be dissolved, and the Home and Senate would then meet individually to debate any contested state’s electoral votes.
Afterward, every physique would vote whether or not to just accept or reject any contested votes. Then the Home and Senate would reconvene the joint session.
Within the Home, at the least 10 incoming Home GOP freshmen are anticipated to again a transfer by Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., to object to certification.
The final time this occurred (and solely the second time in U.S. historical past) was in January 2005, following President’ George W. Bush’s slim re-election victory over Democratic challenger John Kerry of Massachusetts. One Senate Democrat – Barbara Boxer of California – and one Home Democrat – Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio – objected. In 2017, a handful of Home Democrats objected to Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton, however no Senate Democrats joined them.
A state’s slate of electoral votes would solely be thrown out if each the Home and Senate vote to take action — one thing that’s unlikely given the Democratic majority within the Home, and the push by GOP Senate leaders to certify.
Fox Information’ Paul Steinhauser, Jason Donner, Marisa Schultz and Tyler Olson contributed to this report.