As GOP leadership tries to stem the flow of members pushing to challenge the election results, an increasing number of defiant Republican lawmakers are vowing to support a challenge to the certification of the electoral college outcome on 6 January.
At least 20 congressional Republicans have now signed a letter to the GOP leadership and the chairpersons for several congressional committees, calling for an investigation into what it described as “election theft”, according to The Independent.
“The presidential election has been the subject of dozens of lawsuits alleging voter fraud, illegal voting, and election theft which, on January 6, 2021, may or will be the subject of extensive floor debate as Congress determines whether to accept or reject various states’ electoral college vote submissions,” the letter said.
As the party tries to chart its post-Trump future, leaders are growing anxious over the prospect of a constitutional crisis triggered by Trump’s frenetic attempt to stay in power and are warning his fellow members that any attempt to subvert the will of the people will be futile.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has publicly accepted Joe Biden as the president-elect and has encouraged Republicans to accept the results of the election, as an election challenge would force senate Republicans to vote it down and appear to crush President Trump’s last hope of overturning the election.
John Thune, the second-highest-ranking Republican in the Senate, said: “The thing they’ve got to remember is, it’s just not going anywhere. It’s going down like a shot dog.”
Trump responded with a scorching tweet, saying, “RINO John Thune, “Mitch’s boy”, should just let it play out. South Dakota doesn’t like weakness. He will be primaried in 2022, political career over!!!”
The problem for any House challenge to the election results is that for there to be any vote and debate on the issue, a senator has to sign on, and the only senator who has indicated that he may do so is Senator-elect Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, who will be sworn in on 3 January, three days before the electoral college results are to be certified by Congress. Mr Tuberville’s support will only make it possible to debate the issue, not overturn the election, since Democrats control the House.
President Trump has encouraged efforts to challenge the election results, and has reportedly been turning on anyone and everyone who doesn’t indulge his most outlandish conspiracy theories.
President-elect Joe Biden won the election by over 70 electoral votes and the popular vote by more than 7 million.
So far, the Trump campaign has lost numerous lawsuits challenging the results of the election. But that’s not stopping Trump from his quest to overturn the election.